University of Georgia

Location: Athens, Georgia
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 11th Circuit

Tell University of Georgia to revise its speech policies by filling out this form.

Speech Code Rating

University of Georgia has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more here.

  • University of Georgia: Police Investigate and Censor “Intolerance” in Residence Halls

    October 10, 2011

    The University of Georgia (UGA) apparently requires its Resident Assistants to call the police to address violations of UGA’s “Acts of Intolerance” policy, which forbids jokes, posters, or comments that are “motivated by prejudice toward a person or group” because of various protected characteristics. The police come, investigate, and censor students under this policy. Between August 1 and September 27, 2010, eight police reports were filed for “acts of intolerance,” including the words “Dick and Sideboob” written on the dry erase board of a student’s door. The censorship and potential punishment of students for clearly protected speech in such cases […]

    » Read More
  • University of Georgia: Student Faces Charges for Complaint about Parking Services

    September 10, 2010

    On August 17, 2010, University of Georgia graduate student Jacob Lovell e-mailed UGA Parking Services with a joking complaint about what he perceived to be its poor job of providing parking for scooters. Parking Services reported his e-mail to UGA’s judicial affairs office. On September 3, 2010, Associate Dean of Students Kimberly Ellis notified Lovell that the university had charged him with "disorderly conduct" and "disrupt[ing] parking services when he sent an email to them that was threatening." After FIRE wrote UGA President Michael F. Adams, explaining that Lovell’s grievance was protected by the First Amendment and that administrators could […]

    » Read More
Yellow Light Policies
  • Policies on the Use of Computers

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: May 21, 2018

    No one without prior authorization shall use University facilities to distribute spam messages–the same or substantially the same e-mail message to more than one person without prior evidence that they wish to receive it.

    The University reserves the right to discard incoming mass mailings and spam without notifying the sender or intended recipient.

    » Read More

  • Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: May 21, 2018

    Sexual Harassment is defined as:

    Unwelcome verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct, based on sex or gender stereotypes, that:

    1.Is implicitly or explicitly a term or condition of employment or status in a course, program or activity;

    2.Is a basis for employment/educational decisions; or

    3.Is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to:

    a.interfere with one’s work or educational performance

    b.create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment; or

    c.interfere with or limiting one’s ability to participate or benefit from an institutional program or activity.

    Sexual harassment includes forced or coerced sex or relationships, including where a person is incapable of giving consent due to use of drugs or alcohol, or due to disability or being under the age of 16. Other examples that may constitute sexual harassment when sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive include, without limitation:

    1. Non-consensual touching of another’s body, including unwanted hugging or shoulder rubbing.
    2. Sexual remarks, jokes, anecdotes, inquiries, or physical gestures.
    3. Requests or propositions of a sexual nature.
    4. Gender or sex-based comments or comments of a sexual nature (either complimentary or insulting) about a person’s physique, clothing, or sexual/romantic activity or preferences.
    5. Inappropriate use or display, or non-consensual sharing, of sexual images, text, or objects.

    » Read More

  • Title IX: Sex Discrimination & Harassment: Sexual Harassment Brochure

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: November 13, 2018

    What is sexual harassment?
    Sexual harassment is unwelcome verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct based on sex, or on gender stereotypes, that is:
    • Implicitly or explicitly, a term or condition of employment or status in a course, program or activity; OR
    • A basis for employment/educational decisions; OR
    • Is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive to:
    • interfere with one’s work or educational performance; OR
    • create an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or learning environment; OR
    • interfere with or limit one’s ability to participate in or benefit from an institutional program or activity.

    Examples of sexual harassment:
    Unwelcome conduct that may constitute sexual harassment when sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive includes, without limitation:

    • Sexual remarks, jokes, anecdotes or physical gestures
    • Requests or propositions of a sexual nature
    • Comments of a sexual nature (either complimentary or insulting) about a person’s physique, clothing, or sexual/ romantic activity or preferences
    • Inappropriate or non-consensual creation, use, display, or sharing of sexual images, video, text or objects

    » Read More

Green Light Policies
  • Freedom of Expression Policy

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: May 21, 2018

    Except to the extent provided in Sec. I.B. below, any member of the University community that engages in expressive activity at a campus location must submit a request for reservation of that location.

    B. Spontaneous Campus Expression

    1. Free Expression Areas: To accommodate the need for immediate and spontaneous demonstration and to better facilitate the free exchange of ideas, the University has also designated “Free Expression Areas” for speeches and demonstrations in high visibility areas. These areas are the Tate Student Center Plaza and the Memorial Hall Plaza, which are available for this purpose between 8:00 am and 9:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Although it is not necessary, for students and other University affiliated speakers, to request a reservation for use of the Free Expression Area for the purposes of expression, the University encourages all parties to contact the Associate Dean of Students for scheduling to minimize reservation conflicts and best accommodate all interested users. Groups of ten (10) or more persons wishing to gather in the Free Expression Areas at times other than the hours noted above are required to provide notice by calling the University Police Shift Commander at (706) 542-2200.

    2.  Members of the University Community may also engage in spontaneous expressive activity without a reservation in publicly accessible areas of campus other than the designated Free Expression Areas only if the spontaneous expressive activity:

    a. is prompted by news or affairs coming into public knowledge less than forty-eight hours prior to such event;

    b. is not planned more than 24 hours in advance, making it impractical to make a reservation in accordance with Section I.A., above;

    c. takes place in open, generally accessible outdoor areas of campus;

    d. adheres to the time, place, and manner restrictions set forth in Section C, below; and

    e. involves less than ten (10) persons; provided, however, that if the spontaneous expressive activity involves ten (10) or more persons, the expressive activity may continue only if immediate notice is provided to the Associate Dean of Students by calling (706) 542-7774 during normal business hours. If the spontaneous expressive activity occurs after normal business hours or on weekends, immediate notice must be provided by calling the University Police Shift Commander at (706) 542-2200.

    » Read More

  • Code of Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: May 21, 2018

    Students and organizations are not only members of the academic community but are also members of the larger society. Students individually, therefore, retain the rights, guarantees and protections afforded to and the responsibilities held by all citizens.

    The University of Georgia fully supports the marketplace of ideas and shall enforce its conduct regulations in accordance with the freedoms of speech and expression protected by the United States and Georgia Constitutions.

    » Read More

  • Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: May 21, 2018

    At the University of Georgia, discriminatory harassment is defined as:

    Unwelcome verbal or physical conduct based on race, color, sex (including sexual harassment and pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity or national origin, religion, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status when it is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive to:

    1. Unreasonably interfere with the individual’s work or educational performance;
    2. Create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment; or
    3. Unreasonably interfere with or limits one’s ability to participate in or benefit from an institutional program or activity.

    » Read More

  • Freedom of Expression Policy

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: May 21, 2018

    No rights are more highly regarded at the University of Georgia than the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and the right to assemble peaceably.

    » Read More

  • Trending: Conservatives, Christians Take Campus Battles to Court – And Win

    August 11, 2014

    By Jennifer Kabbany at The College Fix They’ve been ordered not to hand out copies of the U.S. Constitution. They’ve been denied promotions because of their faith. They’ve been forced to help pay for abortion-inducing birth control. They’ve been judged solely by the color of their skin. And they’re fighting back. And they’re winning. Conservative and Christian students and professors who have been denied free speech or faced discrimination and religious persecution because of their beliefs have recently enjoyed a string of courthouse victories in what’s amounting to something of a banner year for such causes. There’s been at least six […]

    » Read More
  • Ga. University Sued Over ‘Speech Zones’ That Limit Protests to One Percent of Campus

    May 3, 2014

    By Kellan Howell at The Washington Times A southern university is enforcing new rules that restrict students’ free speech rights to an area that accounts for one percent of the campus. The University of Georgia (UGA) has designated two “speech zones” in two campus plazas, where students can freely protest without prior approval, any other demonstration must be approved by the administration 48 hours in advance, Campus Reform reported. The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is suing the university on behalf of the school’s Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) chapter, a student group that advocated libertarian policies. The lawsuit was filed yesterday in […]

    » Read More
  • ‘CBS Atlanta’ Investigation of Georgia Regents Reveals Years of Mishandled Appeals

    November 13, 2013

    by Peter Bonilla CBS Atlanta’s Jeff Chirico reports a disturbing story from Georgia: the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG), which has the authority to review appeals of employee terminations and student expulsions, may have been systematically shirking this duty for a decade or more. This is eyebrow-raising for several reasons, starting with USG’s sheer size. The system consists of 31 public institutions, including major institutions like the University of Georgia (UGA) and Georgia Tech, enrolling more than 300,000 students. The system also includes tens of thousands of academic and non-academic staff; UGA alone employs 9,874. For students, faculty, and […]

    » Read More
  • Protecting speech on college campus

    March 15, 2011

    Should the University of Georgia be a campus where anyone – no matter how thin-skinned – can invoke disciplinary mechanisms for speech they find offensive? UGA’s current anti-harassment provisions lack the precision the U.S. Supreme Court requires for the regulation of speech, “our most precious” freedom. UGA’s policies are as flawed as the infamous University of Wisconsin and University of Michigan policies federal courts found to be unconstitutionally vague and overbroad. President Michael Adams’ recent announcement that UGA’s restrictive Non-Discrimination and Harassment Policy (NDAH) is being reviewed is a positive development. But last month’s revelation that student affairs officials want […]

    » Read More
  • Student gets in trouble for e-mail on scooter parking

    September 26, 2010

    Put this in the “what-were-they-thinking” category. “They” are officials at the University of Georgia, who took exception to a mocking e-mail sent by a student complaining about the location of available parking for scooters on campus. As reported by FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, the school actually invites students to send positive and negative feedback to Parking Services, so student Jacob Lovell sent an e-mail Aug. 17 that said the following (note that I took out some language not allowed on the Post Web site): “Why isn’t there any scooter parking near Aderhold, according to your parking […]

    » Read More
  • Foul e-mail nearly costs grad student

    September 25, 2010

    University of Georgia officials have called off disciplinary proceedings against a graduate student who sent an irate and profane e-mail to parking services, complaining about the lack of scooter parking on campus. “Why isn’t there any scooter parking near Aderhold, according to your parking map,” graduate student Jacob Lovell wrote Aug. 18 in an e-mail to UGA’s Parking Services Department. “There’s like a billion places to park on north campus and over by the Georgia Center, but nothing anywhere close to Aderhold. What the hell? Did you guys just throw darts at a map to decide where to put scooter […]

    » Read More
  • University of Georgia punishes student for parking complaint

    September 22, 2010

    Think twice before you make a complaint about parking at the University of Georgia. When student Jacob Lovell submitted an email to the UGA Parking Services, he was then threatened with charges of “disorderly conduct” and “disruption” by the associate dean of students, Kimberly Ellis. (Click here for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s press release.) “Specifically, it is alleged that Mr. Lovell engaged in disorderly conduct and disrupted parking services when he sent an email to them that was threatening.” The email was sent to “,” which solicits comments from patrons “both positive and negative.” Here’s the email […]

    » Read More
  • Campus conduct reviewed

    February 26, 2008

    Examples listed in the University’s harassment policy do not meet a legally-defined standard, a top official in a national individual rights defense organization said. The policy “contains potential examples of harassment that will rarely, if ever, rise to the level of actual harassment,” said Samantha Harris, director of legal and public advocacy for the Philadelphia-based Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. The group aims to defend individuals’ rights at colleges and universities, according to its mission statement. Legitimate sexual harassment must be hostile or abusive speech that is “severe and persistent” against the same person, rather than a one-time act, […]

    » Read More
  • The new campus brownshirts

    November 7, 2006

    A crime wave is spreading like wildfire across our nation’s campuses, and conservative students are the victims. Thefts of conservative student publications are on the rise. Even campus administrators are doing what they can to prevent the dissemination of conservative viewpoints. Whatever happened to diversity of thought and respecting the ideologies of our fellow classmates? Not too long ago, the Georgia GuardDawg reported that over 1,200 issues of its student-run conservative newspapers were stolen and their distribution bins were tagged with demeaning and disparaging remarks. Unfortunately for advocates of intellectual diversity on our nation’s college campuses, this latest incident is […]

    » Read More
  • Coaches blow whistle on athlete indiscretions on networking sites

    July 16, 2006

    Before DeMarcus Dobbs plays a game at Georgia, we know this much: He has 271 friends. He was at Whitney’s for a party over Memorial Day weekend. (But he doesn’t drink or smoke.) He broke Jake the Snake’s nose. (But it was Justin’s fault.) He has a girl named Anna who will always love him despite the paint handprint he put on her shirt. And he’d better bring his money next time he sees Bobby “cuz it’s on.” Welcome to the online social networking/self-profiling world of, and dozens of similar Internet sites.   That emerging world has started […]

    » Read More
  • Conformity on Campus

    June 1, 2005

    We hear a lot these days about the importance of diversity in ensuring that ideas are heard fairly. But the individuals who are most insistent about this are interested only in racial and sex diversity. Intellectual and ideological diversity is not what the enforcers of political correctness on campuses and other sectors have in mind. This magazine has helped pioneer evidence of how politically unbalanced most college campuses have become. Most recently (see our January/February 2005 issue) we presented the findings of University of California economist Daniel Klein, who found that the ratio of Democrats to Republicans in social sciences […]

    » Read More
  • University of Georgia’s Reaction to Student’s Off-Campus Arrest Could Chill Speech

    April 22, 2015

    When students are accused of breaking the law while engaging in nonviolent off-campus expressive conduct, but not yet convicted, should colleges initiate disciplinary proceedings against them? FIRE doesn’t think so, but evidently that’s what students at the University of Georgia (UGA) can expect. On March 2, UGA student Adam Veale was arrested for blocking the steps of the rotunda outside of Atlanta’s capitol building while participating in a protest for Medicaid reform. Weeks later, Veale was charged with violating UGA’s Code of Conduct. Veale was offered an informal resolution, which would require him to admit guilt, but he chose to […]

    » Read More
  • University of Georgia Revises Policy on Freedom of Expression, Ending Student Lawsuit

    March 12, 2015

    As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last week, the University of Georgia (UGA) chapter of the student organization Young Americans for Liberty has settled its free speech lawsuit against UGA after the university revised its policy on free expression. UGA’s previous Policy on Freedom of Expression established just two areas on campus for spontaneous student expression, requiring students gathering elsewhere to obtain a permit at least 48 hours in advance of their expressive activity. The new policy makes spontaneous student expression easier, keeping the two “Free Expression Areas” but also allowing for spontaneous speech elsewhere on campus under certain circumstances: Members […]

    » Read More
  • ‘Unlearning Liberty’: Censorship of Pro-Life Speech at UGA

    March 5, 2014

    Pro-life campus organizations are a frequent victim of “unlearning liberty,” as FIRE has copiously documented throughout the years. A new case at the University of Georgia (UGA) provides the latest example.

    » Read More
  • University of Georgia Student Paper Reports on School’s ‘Yellow Light’ Rating

    November 15, 2013

    Wednesday’s edition of The Red & Black, the student newspaper at the University of Georgia (UGA), has an article on the school’s “yellow light” speech code rating. Based on an interview with Samantha Harris, FIRE’s director of policy research, Dillon Richards’ article explains UGA’s problematic policies, which include a 48-hour waiting period for approval to demonstrate anywhere outside of two designated “free speech zones.” The university’s legal counsel declined to comment, leaving Jan Barham, the associate dean of students, to defend the policies. Barham revealed once again how hard it is to explain why limiting speech on universities campuses is a good idea. Barham, like […]

    » Read More
  • University of Georgia Drops Last ‘Red Light’ Speech Code

    September 21, 2012

    The University of Georgia (UGA) no longer receives a “red light” rating from FIRE after removing from its website an email policy that prohibited “profanity, obscenities, or derogatory remarks in electronic mail messages.” This is the second red light policy that UGA has revised within the past two years; last August, the university revised a residence hall “acts of intolerance” policy after that policy came under criticism. In a statement to UGA’s student paper, The Red and Black, UGA’s Vice President of Public Affairs claimed that FIRE’s rating was based on “old information,” and that the email policy was in […]

    » Read More
  • Resolution for ‘The Red and Black’

    August 21, 2012

    After almost a week of controversy at the University of Georgia, good news broke yesterday in the ongoing struggle at award-winning independent student newspaper The Red and Black.  The controversy began last week when the entire student editorial staff of the campus publication quit following proposed changes to the paper’s staff and editorial process. The changes, drafted by the board of directors of The Red and Black, included the implementation of prior review by a non-student editorial director-an egregious usurpation of student editorial control. The staff’s resignations attracted national media attention and public support, leading the board of directors to […]

    » Read More
  • ‘Red & Black’ Update

    August 17, 2012

    The news is arriving fast and furious out of Athens, Georgia, where the former editorial staff of award-winning independent student newspaper The Red & Black met with members of the paper’s Board of Directors this afternoon to discuss their reasons for resignation and the possibility of reversing the deeply problematic staffing and editorial changes recently imposed upon the paper.   For background on the troubling dispute, see the staffers’ blog, Red and Dead, or the impressive and encouraging amount of coverage the board’s power grab has generated in just 48 hours. The former staffers’ Twitter feed, @redanddead815, is the best […]

    » Read More
  • Student Journalists at UGA Walk Out After Hostile Takeover of Paper by Non-Students

    August 16, 2012

    The student editorial staff of the award-winning University of Georgia (UGA) independent student newspaper The Red & Black quit en masse Wednesday in response to the appointment of a non-student editorial director with power of prior review of the paper. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and a variety of other media have also covered the developing story, and the staffers who walked out are reporting on the situation from their new blog, Red & Dead.  A statement from former Editor-In-Chief Polina Marinova lays out the facts, and here is her explanation as to why the students quit:  In less than a month, […]

    » Read More
  • Student Papers at UGA, Utah State on Schools’ ‘Red Light’ Ratings

    February 8, 2012

    Coverage of FIRE’s most recent speech code report, Spotlight on Speech Codes 2012: The State of Free Speech on Our Nation’s Campuses, keeps rolling in. Recently, student newspapers at the University of Georgia (UGA) and Utah State University (USU) joined those campus outlets that have drawn attention to FIRE’s review of their institution’s policies on student speech. At UGA, The Red & Black took note of the university’s “red light” rating, interviewing FIRE’s Samantha Harris: “UGA received a ‘red light’ rating mainly because of its email policy,” said Samantha Harris, director of speech code research at FIRE. “It prohibits any […]

    » Read More
  • University of Georgia’s ‘Awful History of Infringing Upon Speech’

    September 30, 2011

    In a well-written column for the student newspaper The Red and Black, University of Georgia (UGA) sophomore Jonathan Klein analyzes UGA’s shortcomings in protecting students’ right to freedom of expression, concluding that the university’s free speech zones, in particular, are “incompatible with the First Amendment.” Klein’s piece is a reminder to UGA students and administrators alike that UGA must stop violating the First Amendment in both policy and practice. Klein’s column targets the free speech zones created by UGA’s Policy on Freedom of Expression (.pdf): [T]he University has an awful history of infringing upon speech that should be protected. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which […]

    » Read More
  • UGA Journalism Professor: Harassment Policy ‘Infantilizes’ Students

    April 22, 2011

    A few weeks ago I wrote here about an excellent Atlanta Journal-Constitution column by University of Georgia (UGA) journalism professor William Lee, in which he pointed out the infirmities in UGA’s speech codes, which fall well short of giving students the First Amendment protections they are owed. As Lee now writes for UGA’s paper, The Red and Black, he’s been taking that message to his students. As his April 20 column opens: The remark was extraordinary. After a discussion of the University’s anti-harassment policies in my communication law class, a student exclaimed, “UGA treats us like children. It is time that […]

    » Read More
  • UGA Professor Calls for School to Reform Speech Codes in ‘Atlanta Journal-Constitution’

    March 21, 2011

    For University of Georgia (UGA) journalism professor William E. Lee, UGA’s decision to review its current Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy is a step in the right direction. Not so that the screws can be tightened on free speech, as is too often the case, but so that UGA officials can put the policy in line with the First Amendment. In his guest column in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Lee reminds readers that “UGA’s current anti-harassment provisions lack the precision the U.S. Supreme Court requires for the regulation of speech, ‘our most precious’ freedom,” and points out that “UGA’s policies are as […]

    » Read More
  • Free Speech Awakening at University of Georgia?

    March 1, 2011

    Something good for free speech might be happening at the University of Georgia (UGA), and I don’t mean the quiet retirement of the “Party in the UGA” orientation video. At the beginning of this academic year, UGA brought us Scootergate (video), in which a student was brought up on charges after he sent some negative feedback to UGA Parking Services. (After FIRE intervened, UGA dropped the charges.) UGA also literally brought us the speech police—between August 1 and September 27, 2010, eight police reports were filed for “acts of intolerance,” mainly involving constitutionally protected expression, such as the words “Dick and […]

    » Read More
  • FIRE Highlights UGA’s ‘Scootergate’ in New Video

    January 13, 2011

    When University of Georgia (UGA) student Jacob Lovell wrote a frustrated e-mail to the school’s Parking Services about the lack of places on campus to park his scooter, he had no idea that his e-mail would lead to formal charges from the university for disruption and “conduct that causes or provokes a disturbance.” Only after FIRE got involved did UGA back down from the charges, concluding there was insufficient evidence to justify them. Now, FIRE has chronicled Lovell’s travails in our newest video, “Scootergate!” The video is a humorous treatment of Lovell’s case, since it has to be counted among […]

    » Read More
  • Greg Introduces FIRE’s New ‘Scootergate!’ Video on ‘Huffington Post’

    January 13, 2011

    FIRE President Greg Lukianoff writes in The Huffington Post today about the significance of free speech in light of the recent debates over “hate speech” following the tragic shootings in Arizona. Greg emphasizes how granting the power to censor often leads those in authority to censor any criticism of themselves, and points to the case of University of Georgia student Jacob Lovell, whose experiences are profiled in our newest video, “Scootergate.”

    » Read More
  • Scootergate!

    January 13, 2011

    On August 17, 2010, University of Georgia graduate student Jacob Lovell e-mailed a complaint to UGA Parking Services concerning limited scooter parking. Although Parking Services specifically asks students for both “negative & positive” comments, Lovell spent nearly a month under the threat of punishment after submitting his complaint.

    » Read More
  • A Misguided Call for Censorship in University of Georgia Student Newspaper

    November 16, 2010

    At FIRE, we are very concerned about the increasingly large number of college students who believe it’s OK or even commendable to censor certain forms of speech. This phenomenon is widespread enough that Greg coined a phrase for it: “unlearning liberty.” Samantha Shelton, one such student who has apparently unlearned liberty, gives us yet another reason for concern in her column yesterday for the University of Georgia’s independent newspaper The Red & Black. Shelton calls for censorship of “extremist Christian” groups like the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR), a pro-life organization which recently erected a display on campus featuring pictures […]

    » Read More
  • Police Investigate Jokes about Human Anatomy on Whiteboards in University of Georgia Residence Halls

    October 19, 2010

    The speech police are out in full force in the dorms at the University of Georgia! On August 21, University of Georgia (UGA) police officer David Rocklein reports: I was dispatched to Boggs Hall in reference to an act of intolerance. I made contact with the complainant … who stated that while making rounds at 1900 hour she noticed that a bulletin board that was supposed to have “WELCOME TO BOGGS 3RD FLOOR” had been changed to “WELCOME TO BOOBS 3RD FLOOR.” One day later, police officer Ty Vickery reports: [A resident assistant] took us up to room [REDACTED] of […]

    » Read More
  • Victory for Free Speech Nets Victory for Scooter Users at UGA

    October 13, 2010

    Here’s a fun development after FIRE’s victory on behalf of University of Georgia (UGA) student Jacob Lovell, who faced charges of “disorderly conduct” and “disruption” for e-mailing UGA Parking Services a complaint about campus scooter parking on campus. As the Athens Banner-Herald reports, Lovell was far from alone in registering his dissatisfaction with scooter parking, and UGA has finally listened. The Banner-Herald reports: Scooters will get more parking spaces, many of them conveniently placed near UGA buildings where students congregate, such as the Miller Learning Center and Snelling Hall, a UGA dining hall. Parking officials hope scooter riders like the […]

    » Read More
  • University of Georgia in the News After Trying to Punish Student for Parking Complaint

    September 29, 2010

    As one might expect with a case stemming from a complaint over parking accommodations that resulted in the threat of disciplinary charges for University of Georgia (UGA) student Jacob Lovell, much of the public’s reaction to UGA’s behavior has been along the lines of: really? As in, UGA really thought Lovell’s e-mail constituted a threat? See Washington Post blogger Valerie Strauss, who opens with: Put this in the “what-were-they-thinking” category. And closes with: The case was closed. But why was it ever opened? Similarly, Becca Nadler, blogging for Saxaspeak (a blogging arm of the Georgetown University paper The Hoya) begins: […]

    » Read More
  • Victory in Georgia: Student Cleared of Charges for Complaint about Campus Parking

    September 22, 2010

    Today’s press release tells the curious tale of University of Georgia (UGA) student Jacob Lovell, who wanted to find parking for his scooter when he drove to class. Not finding enough parking close enough to class, he e-mailed UGA Parking Services with his complaint about its service. His flippant and joking e-mail mused, “Did you guys just throw darts at a map to decide where to put scooter corrals?” and otherwise made fun of the department for what he perceived to be its poor job of providing parking for scooters. The response from Parking Services, in its entirety: “Your e-mail […]

    » Read More
  • Victory in Georgia: Student Cleared of Charges for Complaint about Campus Parking

    September 22, 2010

    ATLANTA, Sept. 22, 2010—The University of Georgia (UGA) has withdrawn charges of “disorderly conduct” and “disruption” filed against a student after he sent a mocking e-mail to UGA Parking Services to complain about the lack of parking spaces for scooters on campus. Although Parking Services specifically asks students for both “negative & positive” comments on its performance, student Jacob Lovell spent nearly a month under the threat of punishment after submitting his e-mail. UGA backed down after Lovell came to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. “Jacob Lovell just wanted to park his scooter on campus, and […]

    » Read More
  • Weekly Media Round-Up: Quick Victory at Binghamton Keeps FIRE Looming Large

    November 21, 2008

    It’s a good day when FIRE is able to declare victory in a nasty dispute before the waves of attention generated by our initial involvement have had time to settle. Such was the case with Binghamton University’s (BU’s) Department of Social Work, which dropped its investigation of graduate student Andre Massena within a day of FIRE exposing his egregious treatment at the hands of BU administrators. The Volokh Conspiracy, which picked up FIRE’s press release detailing BU’s appalling violations of Massena’s constitutional rights within hours of its being issued, was equally quick to report FIRE’s victory. Students for Academic Freedom […]

    » Read More
  • Citing University of Delaware Case, UGA Student Calls For Respect of Students’ Rights in Dorm Life

    November 19, 2008

    University of Georgia (UGA) student Chris Chiego published an op-ed in today’s edition of The Red and Black, UGA’s student newspaper, describing a number of issues that have occurred within the university’s residential life program. Recently, an entire floor of a dorm at the university was fined as a result of vandalism in a shared bathroom. As Chiego puts it, “Collective punishment should have gone out of fashion when we had to stay in for recess in fifth grade after one person decided to throw an apple across the lunchroom.” Other problems are more serious, and include housing policies forbidding […]

    » Read More
  • University of Georgia’s Broken Promises

    July 2, 2008

    (Brian Mink is a sophomore in International Affairs and History at the University of Georgia and a 2008 FIRE Summer Intern.) From a young age, we’re taught the value of a promise. We’re taught that acting the same way in private that we act in public constitutes integrity. We’re taught that neglecting our duty damages our reputation, sometimes irrevocably. Administrators at the University of Georgia, no doubt, are well aware of these truisms; in fact, they’ve exerted no small amount of energy (or money) to preach them to students. One need only board a University bus to see what I […]

    » Read More
  • University of Georgia Violates Anonymity of Course Evaluations to Punish Offensive Speech, Then Violates FERPA

    December 4, 2007

    Last year, a University of Georgia student wrote disparaging (but not threatening) personal comments about his professor in his anonymous course evaluations both semesters. The professor examined the student’s handwriting and identified him. The professor also notified the university, which brought in a handwriting expert to verify that the identified student was the writer of the evaluations. This fall, the student was punished and forced to apologize.   I want to say no more about the student because his anonymity has already been violated—not just by the professor but also by the university, and then by the student newspaper. Indeed, […]

    » Read More
  • University of Georgia President Sends Students on All-Expenses-Paid Guilt Trip

    December 14, 2006

    David French, in a very revealing December 8 post that I had missed on Phi Beta Cons, brings to our attention an embarrassing tactic that administrators sometimes use to attack students who ask that their constitutional rights be respected: Within a day after the Christian Legal Society and the Alliance Defense Fund filed suit to protect the rights of a Christian fraternity at the University of Georgia, the school reversed course, recognized the fraternity, and pledged to study its policies. While this is all good news, and UGA’s president, Michael Adams, should be commended for his quick action, he did […]

    » Read More
  • University of Georgia Settles Freedom of Association Case

    December 8, 2006

    This week, the Alliance Defense Fund and the Christian Legal Society filed a lawsuit against the University of Georgia for refusing to recognize a Christian fraternity because the fraternity would require members to share the group’s Christian beliefs. Literally days after the lawsuit was filed, the university agreed to settle it by agreeing to recognize the group and to amend the non-discrimination policy to allow religious student groups to use belief-based criteria for membership. The denial of freedom of association to student groups is quickly becoming a disturbing trend. In recent years, FIRE has been forced intervene at Tufts University, Louisiana State […]

    » Read More
  • Newspaper Thievery at the University of Georgia

    September 26, 2006

    Last Thursday night vandals at the University of Georgia stole over 1200 copies of The Georgia GuardDawg, the campus conservative paper. A number of the distribution bins were reportedly vandalized with acrimonious remarks. Damage was assessed at about $700. The GuardDawg’s latest issue included an interview with Ruth Malhotra, the plaintiff in a recently successful speech code litigation case against Georgia Tech. As David French notes on Phi Beta Cons, there is an appropriate irony in the fact that the vandals targeted an issue celebrating free speech. Incidents of newspaper theft are all too common on university campuses.  FIRE has […]

    » Read More
  • Majority Love, Minority Rights

    June 15, 2005

    The Chronicle of Higher Education’s June 17 issue contains an interesting article analyzing the Georgia public’s continuing high regard for the University of Georgia, which “stands out as a blue island of Democrats in a Republican-red sea.” While you should read the entire article, the critical point is summed up in the opening paragraphs: Georgia, on the whole, is a conservative place, its state capital dominated by Republicans who ran for office promising to cut taxes, rein in government spending, and uphold what they see as traditional family values. The University of Georgia, by contrast, has long had a reputation […]

    » Read More