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College Student Rights

Research & Learn

Defending student rights on college and university campuses is at the heart of the work we do at FIRE. Whether we’re helping students speak out on causes they care about, protecting campus journalism, or ensuring due process in disciplinary proceedings, FIRE has worked tirelessly on behalf of students’ civil liberties for more than 20 years.

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Student Rights on Campus

FIRE wrote the book on student rights — in fact, we’ve written five of them. For a deep dive into specific types of college student rights that frequently need protecting or defending, check out one of FIRE’s comprehensive guides. 

How does your college compare?

Find out how well your school’s policies protect individual rights of students and faculty.

Find a School

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Student Press Censorship

Protecting the free student press.

FIRE’s Student Press Freedom Initiative (SPFI) defends free press on campus by advocating for the rights of student journalists at colleges and universities across the country.

See How SPFI Can Help You

Defending Your Rights

FIRE defends the rights of students and faculty through several core services.

Student defenders know their colleges’ policies — and they know what your rights are.

Know your rights, defend your rights

Student Defenders

When a college student is accused of violating the code of conduct, they may feel lost, anxious, and scared about their future. That’s where Student Defenders come in. These are students who are trained as conduct advisors and who work to protect the right to due process, or the right to fair treatment in a disciplinary process, for all students. 

Learn more about the student defenders

“It’s important for a student to know they have someone on their side who isn’t directly involved. We’re just there to ensure that the student is being treated fairly.” Veronica Joyce, Penn State

Student Defenders

FIRE’s Student Defenders program recruits college students interested in helping peers accused of conduct violations navigate their school’s often-confusing disciplinary systems.

Read Veronica's Story