‘News Record’ on Free Speech Zone Lawsuit at University of Cincinnati
March 8, 2012
by Adam Kissel
The News Record at the University of Cincinnati (UC) reports on the latest in the federal civil rights lawsuit involving the university's "free speech zone." UC's chapter of Young Americans for Liberty (UC YAL) filed suit after the group was told that UC would call the campus cops if they were seen "walk[ing] around campus" gathering signatures rather than staying in UC's minuscule free speech zone—a pathetic 0.1% of the university's 137-acre West Campus.
Will wrote about the case yesterday, explaining that UC has no leg to stand on in pretending that it is "accommodating" its students, since UC actually threatened to call the cops on civic-minded students seeking to exercise their constitutional rights. Will also wrote about the temporary agreement that permits UC YAL to walk around campus while the lawsuit goes on.
The News Record writes that the agreement "does not, however, stretch to cover all UC students." So it looks like it takes a lawsuit just to get your fundamental rights recognized at the University of Cincinnati. Robert is quoted in the article:
"The fact that it took a federal lawsuit to get UC to open up more of its campus to free speech — even temporarily — is shameful," said Robert Shibley, senior vice president of FIRE.
The News Record adds that FIRE has been warning UC about its unconstitutional free speech zone for years. That's true—we named UC's free speech zone policy our Speech Code of the Month way back in December 2007. UC can't say with a straight face that it wasn't warned, but maybe UC will try that argument, too.