Table of Contents

Opposing Speech Codes

An illustration of a persons mouth with red tape in an X over their mouth.

It's FIRE's job to raise awareness about speech policies and empower people to do what they can to make America's colleges and universities the bastions of free expression and exchange of ideas they once were. But we can't do it alone! If you're interested in fighting back, please consider getting involved.

How Students and Faculty Can Help

As a student or a faculty member, you can fight back against campus censors by joining the FIRE Student Network, a coalition of students and faculty dedicated to advancing civil liberties on their campuses. The FSN arranges speeches by FIRE speakers, rewards active students through an incentive program, organizes an annual FIRE summer conference, and bolsters FIRE's programs with grassroots support. By organizing students and faculty, the FSN strives to change the culture of censorship on college campuses from the inside.

Students and faculty can fight campus censorship by informing FIRE of abuses. If your campus has a speech code that we have not displayed here, we invite you to let us know. If you wish to submit a case to FIRE, please use FIRE's case submission form.

How Administrators Can Help

Some college administrators, understanding that universities must be bastions of free expression in our modern liberal democracy, want to fight back against censorship on their campuses. FIRE welcomes as valuable allies those administrators who have the moral clarity to oppose the national scandal of speech codes.

We urge all administrators who wish to correct defects in their school's policies regulating speech to read Correcting Common Mistakes in Campus Speech Policies, a short handbook designed to help university administrators identify and remedy the errors FIRE most often sees when reviewing policies that govern student and faculty speech. 

If you are an administrator and you want to let FIRE know about a new or proposed speech code on your campus, we would appreciate knowing about it. If your university has changed or abandoned a policy that FIRE criticizes here, please let us know, and we will update our website accordingly. If you wish to discuss the issue of speech codes in general or the circumstances of your own campus, please feel free to contact us.

How Attorneys Can Help

Some colleges and universities will not respect the rights of free expression unless ordered to do so by a judge; in those cases, litigation is the best way to secure the rights of students and faculty on campus. For this reason, FIRE has created a Legal Network that unites remarkable attorneys from across the country who are willing to offer their services and expertise in the defense of liberty. FIRE encourages all liberty-minded attorneys to sign up for the Legal Network.