Students’ Protest Leads to New Expression Policy at NKU

May 4, 2007

The Cincinnati Post reported this week that Northern Kentucky University (NKU) has adopted a new freedom of expression policy in response to student protest against proposed revisions. The news comes as a welcome and well-earned victory to the NKU students who had rallied for change on campus.
Two months ago, NKU students had been upset that the school’s proposal for a new freedom of expression policy would have forbade chalking and indoor demonstrations. In response, students held protests and meetings, eventually persuading NKU administrators to gather more student input and delay a scheduled vote on the proposed revisions. Revisions were made to the proposal to allow for content-neutral rules, to eliminate “free speech zones” on campus, as well as to permit indoor demonstrations and chalking.
One of the NKU students leading the charge for free speech on campus was junior Alex Kindell, an intelligent and energetic young woman whom Emily and I had the pleasure to meet this past March in New York at the College Media Advisers conference. When researching the constitutionality of NKU’s proposed changes, Alex asked FIRE to review certain sections of the new policy. We were pleased to discover that NKU had indeed taken student grievances seriously, and their concerns were adequately addressed and reflected in the policy’s proposed revisions.
We’re proud to have contributed, albeit in a small, indirect way, to the reform of NKU’s policies, and even prouder of the collective student effort responsible for this needed reform. We at FIRE tip our hats to Alex and all the NKU students involved in this victory for free expression.

Schools:  Northern Kentucky University