University of Alabama: Ban on Window Displays
The administration of the University of Alabama (UA) has "indefinitely" tabled a policy outlawing all window displays in student dormitories. This instance of UA's censorship of student expression began when administrators ordered a student to remove a Confederate flag from his window, citing a draft of a university policy that forbade putting up any displays "in view of the general public" that were "inconsistent with accepted standards or University policies." FIRE wrote UA President Robert E. Witt pointing out that the university's requirement that window displays meet "accepted standards" was so vague that it would allow administrators to choose what sorts of expression would be allowed based solely on their whims and unfettered discretion. UA responded by banning all window displays, prompting students to protest the ban by flying American flags in their windows, an act that FIRE supported. After protests by FIRE, the ACLU, the League of the South, and the Alabama Association of Scholars, the UA administration indefinitely tabled the proposal.
- "FIRE Coalition Shatters Window Display Censorship Policy at University of Alabama," October 3, 2003: First Amendment rights have returned to the University of Alabama as administrators there "indefinitely tabled" a ban on all dorm window displays. FIRE and the Alabama Scholars Association pressured the university while students defiantly displayed American flags in their windows, challenging administration censors.
- "FIRE's Letter to the University of Alabama; July 15, 2003," July 15, 2003
- "Lighting the fire for free speech,"
by Suzanne Fields, Townhall.com, October 13, 2003
- "Proposed Res Life policy to be postponed,"
by Joan Garrett, The Chrimson White, August 21, 2003
- "FIRE spokesman clarifies organization's position,"
by Greg Lukianoff, The Crimson White, August 15, 2003
- "Students plan to fight for their First Amendment rights,"
by Dan Whisenhunt, The Crimson White, August 6, 2003
- "UA plans to ban window displays in dorms,"
by Amanda Dawkins, Tuscaloosa News, July 21, 2003