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SUNY Brockport Revises Speech Codes, Earns FIRE’s Highest Free Speech Rating

February 18, 2016

BROCKPORT, N.Y., February 18, 2016—The State University of New York College at Brockport (SUNY Brockport) has revised its speech codes, earning the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s (FIRE’s) highest, “green light” rating. In cooperation with FIRE, SUNY Brockport becomes the second institution in the past week to join a prestigious group of colleges and universities that have revised their policies on student and faculty expression to ensure compliance with First Amendment standards.

“I am thrilled to have SUNY Brockport join the University of Maryland as the second institution within a week to earn a green light rating,” said Azhar Majeed, director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Education Program. “I commend SUNY Brockport’s administration for working with FIRE to further improve the university’s policies and for the ease of the revision process.”

When FIRE began working with SUNY Brockport last fall, the school maintained two speech codes earning a “yellow light” rating. Following discussions with FIRE’s Majeed, SUNY Brockport administrators revised the school’s policy governing email and Internet usage, as well as its posting policy.

SUNY Brockport’s chief communications officer, David Mihalyov, said, “At Brockport we are deeply committed to protecting the rights of all our students and faculty to ensure that we have a robust campus environment that encourages the full exchange of ideas and information that is the hallmark of a SUNY Brockport education.”

SUNY Brockport becomes the 25th green light institution in FIRE’s Spotlight database of over 400 colleges and universities, as well as the first in the state of New York. Last year, six colleges and universities collaborated with FIRE on policy reform to earn a green light rating. FIRE hopes the strong start to 2016, led by the University of Maryland and SUNY Brockport, inspires more schools to revise restrictive policies.

“The efforts of administrators at SUNY Brockport to protect the First Amendment rights of the school’s nearly 8,000 students are commendable,” said Majeed. “I hope their positive approach to free expression on campus spreads to other institutions both within and outside the state of New York.”

FIRE is a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational foundation that unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals from across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of individual rights, freedom of expression, academic freedom, due process, and rights of conscience at our nation’s colleges and universities. FIRE’s efforts to preserve liberty on campus across America can be viewed at thefire.org.

CONTACT:

Katie Barrows, Communications Coordinator, FIRE: 215-717-3473; katie@thefire.org

Schools: State University of New York – Brockport