In The Virginia Advocate, an independent student newspaper at the University of Virginia, Wendy Morrison writes a brief column noting with pleasure the university’s rank as a "green light" school after having seen FIRE’s latest national survey of campus speech codes,
"This ranking was no faint praise," Morrison writes, "when you compare UVA to other top tier Universities like Yale, who were given yellow lights and whose profiles cited many examples of seemingly unreasonable censorship."
Indeed, it is no faint praise, though it is praise we give out far less often than we’d like. Currently only sixteen colleges nationwide (with Ole Miss being the newest of the lot) earn a green light from FIRE, our highest speech code rating, meaning that no policies on their books place free expression at risk.
Indeed, as our founder Thomas Jefferson once wrote, "For here we are not afraid…to tolerate error so long as reason is free to combat it." That sentiment is one that I believe encompasses the main tenet behind FIRE’s mission: that expression, unless directly in violation of other’s rights, should not be censored so long as we rely on our reason to distinguish right from wrong.
Here, Morrison communicates well a point we’ve long advocated at FIRE: Speech that people find offensive or wrongheaded should be fought with more speech, not less. Read Morrison’s whole piece here.