Rights in the News: Victory at UCLA Helps FIRE Blaze Trail Into New School Year

August 21, 2009

It’s nice every time you can take a case public on a Thursday and declare victory by lunchtime on Friday. This was FIRE’s good fortune this week after we issued a press release yesterday concerning UCLA’s threats against former graduate student Tom Wilde, who maintained a private website that was critical of what he called UCLA’s “weeding out” practices. Within hours, UCLA had dropped its threats against Wilde (though we’re still waiting on Santa Rosa Junior College to make a similar move). Eugene Volokh—a professor of law at UCLA—is among the many pleased with the news. You can read his thoughts on the matter at The Volokh Conspiracy.

Hopefully you’ve caught Greg’s column in The Huffington Post, which is the latest from FIRE on the Harvard Law Review‘s lazy defense of speech codes and its potential implications. If you haven’t gotten to it yet, give it a look, and check out our other writings on it as well.

Elsewhere, “back to school” seems to be a running theme of the news this week, starting with an Examiner.com piece by J.D. Tuccille, calling attention to the threat of speech codes on campus, as well as listing the five schools on FIRE’s Red Alert list and embedding the video of Greg’s recent interview on Reason.tv. Thanks to J.D. for his useful article, though hopefully students won’t need to “keep FIRE’s number on speed dial” as he advises.

Also this week, Will lends his expertise to the North Carolina-based Independent Weekly in an interesting piece on the state of free speech in the University of North Carolina system. And as Adam blogged earlier in the week, The West Georgian, the student paper FIRE successfully defended at the University of West Georgia, has a feature this week on the paper’s struggle and FIRE’s efforts to help it win justice.

Schools:  University of West Georgia Santa Rosa Junior College University of California, Los Angeles

Cases:  University of California at Los Angeles: Attempt to Stop Critical Website from Using Letters ‘UCLA’