Censorship is Everybody’s Problem
December 29, 2005
- Seminole Community College in Florida refused to allow a student to distribute literature from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. After FIRE intervened, the college changed course and allowed the student to distribute her literature.
- Northeastern Illinois University decided to allow its College Republicans to hold an “affirmative action bake sale” protest on campus after FIRE publicized the university’s unconstitutional threat to punish the College Republicans if they held the protest.
- Unconstitutional policies at George Mason University in Virginia led to the arrest of a GMU student who was protesting military recruiters on its Northern Virginia campus. After FIRE wrote a letter to the university expressing concern, the university “launched a review of all of its policies on the use of public space,” and criminal charges against the student were dropped.
- The Oregon Commentator, a conservative student magazine, was derecognized and defunded by the University of Oregon’s student government after it published an article making fun of a transgendered student senator. After FIRE wrote letters to the administration and to relevant campus leaders, the student government reversed its unconstitutional actions and re-recognized the Commentator.
- The Communicator, the student newspaper at Craven Community College in North Carolina, published an explicit sex advice column in March 2005. After the column caused some controversy, the college considered granting prior editorial review of the paper to college administrators, an action that would have violated the First Amendment. After protests from FIRE and the Student Press Law Center, Craven affirmed that The Communicator would continue to enjoy editorial independence.
- At William Paterson University in New Jersey, a Muslim student employee was convicted of harassment after he expressed his religious objection to homosexuality in a private e-mail to a professor. FIRE wrote to the university in protest and publicized the case. When the student appealed the finding through a union grievance process, the hearing officer determined that the harassment charge was “not supported” and that the student’s one-time expression of a personal religious belief was not “harassment.”