Last August, the University of Florida (UF) revised its policies to eliminate all undue restrictions on student free speech rights, becoming the 19th institution to earn FIRE’s highest Spotlight rating—a “green light.” (Last month, George Mason University became the 20th.) It’s encouraging to see the number of green light schools grow, and just as encouraging to see the response from students. This semester, three members of the UF student government worked to pass a resolution commending UF’s administration for partnering with FIRE to reform their speech codes:
WHEREAS, the exemplary and enduring work of the Dean of Students Office (DSO) has earned the University of Florida the highest available rating in freedom of expression at higher education institutions by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) …
THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED, that the University of Florida Student Senate commends Dr. Jen Day Shaw, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students, and all acting university administrators for working to ensure that the University of Florida is recognized as an institution of higher learning that supports the rights of all individuals to free expression.
The resolution was authored by UF student senators Max Klein and Hammaad Saber and sponsored by senior senator Keith Sant. We’re glad to see that Max, Hammaad, Keith, and the rest of their peers in UF’s student government understand that free speech is worth celebrating. With more college administrators working to protect student speech rights, and more students who understand the importance of supporting those efforts, there is reason for optimism on campus.
Check out the full resolution at the UF student government website.