Beginning today, FIRE will author a weekly feature for the New York Post discussing recent and ongoing FIRE cases and the climate for free speech at campuses all over the country. The column, called Campus Alert, is scheduled to run on Mondays in the future and will appear in the Opinion section of the print edition of the Post.
Our first piece discusses our case at the University of Rhode Island (URI), where the fate of the College Republicans lies in the hands of a Student Senate insistent on disregarding the advice of FIRE, the Rhode Island ACLU, and URI President Robert Carothers and on continuing its violation of the College Republicans’ right to protected political expression. A senate vote is scheduled for tomorrow to determine if the group’s official status will be revoked for advertising and refusing to apologize for a mock scholarship based on race and gender—an intentional jab at other race- and gender-based scholarships at URI.
As today’s Campus Alert column states:
URI President Robert Carothers’ response was sensible: He told the Senate in no uncertain terms that its actions were wrong. But the student government on April 15 brazenly derecognized the CRs—a penalty that robs the group of all its rights as a student group including its share of student fees and access to other school resources.
URI’s student government seems to think itself above the law—able to take fees extracted from students by a state university, while ignoring the constitutional obligations that come with that power.
FIRE is still watching the URI case for new developments and will report the outcome of the Student Senate vote as soon as possible. Be on the lookout for updates on URI and upcoming editions of Campus Alert for more of the latest news from FIRE.