Bonilla: Campus Free Speech Crucial During Election Season
January 20, 2012
FIRE's Peter Bonilla has a new article on PolicyMic discussing the importance of freedom of expression on campus during election season. Referencing FIRE's past fights for free political speech at colleges nationwide, Peter writes:
The University of Oklahoma, for example, in 2008 banned "the forwarding of political humor/commentary" using university e-mail accounts. That same year, the University of Illinois system issued warnings to faculty against engaging in basic political activities - including wearing campaign buttons, attending rallies, and even placing stickers on their cars. Then in 2011, Illinois' flagship campus in Urbana-Champaign proposed an electronic communications policy that would have banned any and all "political campaigning" by faculty and students. Fortunately, these policies were all revised or scrapped after FIRE objected. Yet such misconceptions by universities are common enough that FIRE has issued and re-issued a policy statement on political activity to guide universities in policy and practice.
Peter provides an excellent and timely reminder of why unfettered campus free speech is of vital importance as our democracy once more engages in the serious business of choosing our leaders. Check out the full piece here.