Rights in the News: New Publications Bolster FIRE's Efforts
November 20, 2009
Last week, FIRE excitedly announced the publication of Correcting Common Mistakes in Campus Speech Policies, a handy reference for university administrators striving to protect the expression of their students from unconstitutional speech codes. This week, the publication of Azhar Majeed's new law review article on speech codes in the Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy added yet another important entry to the legal debate on speech codes. Together with Correcting Common Mistakes (which has gotten kudos from John Leo and the National Association of Scholars and has been featured on the "Family News in Focus" radio program), Azhar's new article makes the case against speech codes ever more persuasive.
The University of Massachusetts at Amherst administration would do well to read both publications; the past several months have seen one free speech fiasco after another, exacerbated by a fickle administrative response that has reduced principle to a four-letter word. FIRE Co-founder and Chairman Harvey Silverglate tackles the latest such incident—UMass' flip-flopping on whether or not it should honor the speaking invitation of convicted domestic terrorist Raymond Luc Levasseur—in a column this week in The Boston Phoenix.
The administration of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been notably better (at least recently) in its handling of attempts at censorship by its students. As for the students, FIRE President Greg Lukianoff was on hand at UNC last month to deliver his lecture on "Unlearning Liberty," and you can watch the YouTube video of his speech here at The Torch.