Campus Speech

Screenshot of the website for The Koala, a satirical student newspaper at University of California, San Diego.

Appeals Court Rules that University Violated Satirical Publications’ First Amendment Rights

July 24, 2019 The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturned a lower court’s ruling that had dismissed a lawsuit brought by a student publication against the University of California, San Diego for First Amendment violations. On November 16, 2015, The Koala, a student-run humor publication, posted an article satirizing the concept of safe spaces. Generously laced with[Read More…]

July 26, 2019 Below the Fold, Campus Speech
U.S. President Donald Trump (L) stands with Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. after delivering keynote address at commencement in Lynchburg, Virginia, U.S., May 13, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Liberty University’s President Defends Right to Censor Student Newspaper

June 12, 2019 Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. defended his right to censor the university’s student newspaper, arguing that the practice does not violate First Amendment rights to freedom of the press and speech. Last week, writing in an article for the university’s magazine, Liberty Journal, Falwell said that as part of his “fiduciary responsibility” to the private evangelical[Read More…]

June 21, 2019 Campus Speech
Reuters Pulitzer winners for International Reporting Simon Lews, Kyaw Soe Oo, Poppy McPherson, Shoon Naing, Anthony Slodkoski, Wa Lone, and Columbia University president Lee Bollinger pose for a picture inside Low Library at Columbia University in New York, U.S., May 28, 2019. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Columbia President Lee Bollinger Weighs In On The State of Campus Speech

June 12, 2019 Columbia University president and First Amendment scholar Lee Bollinger writes about the state of free speech on college campuses. Despite President Trump’s claim that an executive order was necessary to defend“American values that have been under siege” on university campuses, Bollinger writes that Trump is ignoring two critical facts: that universities are more open to debates than[Read More…]

June 12, 2019 Campus Speech
Defunding of Student Newspaper Violates First Amendment, Says Watchdog Group

Defunding of Student Newspaper Violates First Amendment, Says Watchdog Group

An independent student newspaper lost its funding in a recent referendum vote, and the process violates the First Amendment, says Freedom for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Since The Daily Targumbroke free from Rutgers University in 1980, it has had to rely on funding from the student body, which votes every three years on whether to allocate student fees to fund the newspaper. In order to qualify for funding, at least 25 percent of the student body has to vote on the referendum. But following a two-year campaign by a right-leaning student group to deny funding for the student newspaper, for the first time in 39 years, voter turnout was too low to qualify the publication for funding.

June 10, 2019 Campus Speech
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Embroiled in Free Speech Controversy

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Embroiled in Free Speech Controversy

June 7, 2019 The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is the latest college campus to become embroiled in a free speech controversy. During a campus event celebrating Israel’s independence, a student held up a sign with a swastika and the word, “Gas,” written on it. When students complained, the school chancellor defended the student’s right to free speech. The chancellor’s response angered[Read More…]

A student participates in a free-speech rally outside the Supreme Court in Washington March 19, 2007. The U.S. Supreme Court considers on Monday its first major dispute on student free-speech rights in nearly 20 years, a case about the power of school authorities to censor what they viewed as a pro-drug message at a school-sponsored event.  REUTERS/Molly Riley   (UNITED STATES)

Nonprofit Sues University of Illinois Over “Unconstitutional” Student Policies

Speech First, a conservative legal organization, sued the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign over its free speech policies. The group objects to the University’s position on political pamphlets, its bias reporting system, and its no-contact policy for students accused of bias. “On a regular basis, the University of Illinois sends a clear message to students who wish to engage in political and religious speech: there are some views that are welcome, and others that are not,” Speech First President Nicole Neily said in a statement. “Students deserve to be able to express themselves and voice their opinions without fear of investigation or punishment – which is why these policies must be reformed.”

May 31, 2019 Campus Speech, Prior Restraint
New Survey on Free Expression On College Campuses Reveals Gender, Race, And Religion Divisions

New Survey on Free Expression On College Campuses Reveals Gender, Race, And Religion Divisions

May 13, 2019: Recent survey of college students reveals gender, race, sexual orientation, and religion divides in attitudes about hate speech. The Knight Foundation released a new report, “Free Expression on College Campuses,” that examines students’ views on topic like hate speech and inclusion. In conjunction with College Pulse, a mobile-first polling platform, Knight surveyed 4,407 full-time college students enrolled[Read More…]

May 17, 2019 Campus Speech, Reports
Lawrence Bacow is greeted by his wife Adele during Bacow's inauguration as the 29th President of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., October 5, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Student Protesters at Harvard Disrupt Discussion And Cause Venue Change

  In early April, a group of student protesters at Harvard disrupted a discussion between two administrators who were going to discuss how universities could promote economic opportunity. The event, which featured University President Lawrence Bacow and Graduate School of Education Dean Bridget Terry Long, barely got underway before approximately 30 student activists stood up from their seats, held signs,[Read More…]

April 18, 2019 Campus Speech, Protest
U.S. President Donald Trump shows an executive order linking "free speech" efforts at public universities to federal grants during a signing ceremony in the East Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

As Promised, Trump Signs Contentious Executive Order on Campus Free Speech

President Trump vowed to sign an executive order requiring American colleges and universities to protect free speech on campus, and would withhold federal research funds from schools that don’t comply.

“Today, I am proud to announce that I will be very soon be signing an executive order requiring colleges and universities to support free speech if they want federal research funds,” Trump said in his remarks at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, known as CPAC.

March 21, 2019 Campus Speech
A news stand outfitted with "Fake News" headlines for a stunt pulled off by the Columbia Journalism Review is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York, New York, U.S., October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

New Knight Study Released on The Future of the First Amendment

The Future of the First Amendment: 2018 Report of High School Students and Teachers report examines how high school students’ attitudes about the First Amendment, censorship, and the news environment are changing and what that means for the future of democracy.

December 14, 2018 Campus Speech, Reports