San Diego State University (SDSU) has been upgraded by FIRE from a “red light” to a “yellow light” school, reports the student newspaper The Daily Aztec.
The change comes as the result of the complete removal of a policy that heavily restricted the content of emails sent via SDSU’s network or computers. The former policy banned the transmission of “unsolicited information which contains obscene, offensive or discriminatory material” and “inappropriate” mailing list entries. In so doing, the former policy prohibited a substantial amount of speech that SDSU, as a public university, is legally bound to protect under the First Amendment. We were grateful to learn from Beth Elderkin, managing editor of The Daily Aztec, that SDSU said “the policy was outdated and no longer represented the current attitude toward academic computer use.”
Though SDSU has work to do to reach “green light” status, we here at FIRE are extremely pleased that the university was responsive to our concerns about student speech rights, and are hoping to help SDSU become the first “green light” school in California. We look forward to SDSU reaching that goal.