At FIRE, our job is to ensure that students and faculty members are able to speak their minds on campus.
After Donald Trump emerged as the winner of Tuesday’s presidential election, Americans from coast to coast have shared their opinions on the outcome, voicing everything from congratulations to the president-elect, condemnation of him, to sentiments falling somewhere in between.
Post-election demonstrations on college campuses have been widely reported. For instance, students at American University (AU) in Washington, D.C. protested Trump’s impending presidency by burning the American flag—a form of symbolic expression that, while historically controversial, is nonetheless protected by the First Amendment. (Notably, although AU is private, it promises its students the right to freedom of expression.)
While core political speech is constitutionally protected on public campuses and promised on most private ones, students still frequently face uncertainty when speaking about controversial topics. For that reason, we want to remind everyone about FIRE’s FAQ for Student Protests on Campus, in which we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about student activism. Our tips help students learn their rights on their individual campuses, know what to do in the event of censorship attempts, and more.
If you’ve got questions about demonstrating at your college or university, we’ve got the answers here: