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FIRE Chairman Calls Out Northeast Colleges in Annual ‘Muzzle Awards’

Each summer for the past eighteen years, FIRE Co-founder and Chairman Harvey Silverglate has announced the winners of his annual “Campus Muzzle Awards”: colleges and universities in the Northeast stifling campus discourse in particularly outrageous ways.

Along with myself and fellow research assistant Timothy Moore, this year, Harvey has written about incidents at Brown University, SUNY Buffalo State, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Norwich University, and Harvard Law School. As always, a key theme is students’ and administrators’ desire to shield themselves from uncomfortable speech or ideas. Regarding the incident at Harvard Law School, Harvey writes:

The campus “disinvitation” trend forces us to ask ourselves the question: If only those who have never said or done anything objectionable may speak on campus, can anyone honestly do so?

Alongside the Campus Muzzle Awards, Northeastern University professor Dan Kennedy has compiled a list of 10 free speech violators outside of academia. This year’s illustrious recipients include President Barack Obama, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, and leading purveyor of fried eats Chick-Fil-A.

Formerly a Boston Phoenix feature, the Muzzle Awards are now published online by WGBH News. Read them in full here.

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