Weekly Media Round-Up: Quick Victory at Binghamton Keeps FIRE Looming Large

November 21, 2008

It’s a good day when FIRE is able to declare victory in a nasty dispute before the waves of attention generated by our initial involvement have had time to settle. Such was the case with Binghamton University’s (BU’s) Department of Social Work, which dropped its investigation of graduate student Andre Massena within a day of FIRE exposing his egregious treatment at the hands of BU administrators.

The Volokh Conspiracy, which picked up FIRE’s press release detailing BU’s appalling violations of Massena’s constitutional rights within hours of its being issued, was equally quick to report FIRE’s victory. Students for Academic Freedom carried word of FIRE’s victory as well, as did Freedom Fighter Radio.

A lecture at Wabash College by Adam Kissel, Director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program, was featured in an article in Wabash’s newspaper, The Bachelor. In light of rumors on campus that some members of one of Wabash’s fraternities had been coerced into abdicating campus leadership positions following the tragic death of one of their members, Adam tailored his discussion to the issue of student rights. Sean Clerget, President of the Wabash Conservative Union, which hosted Adam’s lecture, noted this focus with appreciation:

Adam Kissel coming to campus this week could not have been more appropriate. The change of topic was very important due to recent events on campus. Concerns about freedom of association both in living units and student clubs prompted the change. We wanted to allow a forum where students, faculty, staff, and administration could come and ask questions about what has been happening on campus, and about what their rights actually are.

Adam will have further comment on his visit to Wabash and the college’s current controversy over student and student group rights for The Torch on Monday.

As Brandon already mentioned this week, FIRE’s work exposing the reeducation efforts of the University of Delaware’s Residence Life Program was cited in an editorial in The Red and Black, the student newspaper of the University of Georgia. FIRE’s work helped to bolster author Chris Chiego’s criticism of Georgia’s own residence hall policies. Hopefully more students like Chiego will use our experience at Delaware to consider the policies in place at their universities.

An article on the web-based BYU NewsNet of Brigham Young University (BYU) serves as a reminder of the approaching deadline for FIRE’s First Annual "Freedom on Campus" Student Video Contest. (BYU is the alma mater of prolificand highly controversialplaywright and film director Neil LaBute, so you never know where that winning entry will come from.) Just a reminder, though: FIRE has extended the application deadline to December 1.

Finally, FIRE received praise from Glenn Reynolds on Instapundit.com, who wrote: "FIRE does good work, and if you’re looking to make an end of the year charitable donation, you could do a lot worse than sending some cash their way." We would certainly agree with Reynolds. Donating to FIRE is a worthwhile investment and helps ensure the preservation of liberty on campuses across the country.

Schools:  Binghamton University, State University of New York Brigham Young University University of Georgia University of Delaware