2010's Speech Code of the Year: UMass Amherst
January 5, 2011
As I reported last week on The Torch, each month, FIRE singles out a particularly reprehensible speech code for our Speech Code of the Month award. One of those—University of Massachusetts Amherst's policy on "rallies"—is so egregious that it deserves to be 2010's Speech Code of the Year. The policy has special regulations applicable to what it calls "controversial rallies." If a rally is deemed "controversial," it may only take place between noon and 1 p.m. on the Student Union steps, must be registered at least five days in advance, and even requires the student group to provide its own security in the form of members of the student group, potentially putting students at risk in a situations that trained police could probably handle easily. Speech codes don't get much more ridiculous than this one.