West Virginia University: Limit on Speech to Campus "Free Speech Zones"
West Virginia University (WVU) has abandoned a notorious and chilling policy that quarantined free expression to two small areas of campus. FIRE first learned of WVU's censorship zones from two WVU students, Michael Bomford and Matthew Poe, in November 2001. The students, who founded the West Virginia University Free Speech Consortium, have publicly criticized the policy since late 2000, when campus police first prohibited the distribution of protest literature. The campus police cited WVU's policy, which identified only "two designated areas for free speech and assembly"- outlawing these rights on ninety-nine percent of the campus. FIRE wrote WVU President David C. Hardesty, Jr. and urged him "to tear down the barriers to speech and declare all of WVU a ‘Free Speech Zone.'" WVU's Board of Governors finally replaced its policy with one that recognized free speech rights. The new policy officially abolished censorship zones, stating, "Assemblies of persons may occur on any grounds on the campus outside of buildings."
- "Victory at West Virginia University: The End of a Censorship Zone," December 5, 2002: In a momentous victory for freedom of speech, West Virginia University has abandoned a policy that quarantined free expression to two small areas on campus. The university’s new policy now recognizes the entire campus as a "free speech zone."
- "Policy Regarding Freedom of Expression and Use of Facilities at West Virginia University and Regional Campuses, November 8, 2002," November 8, 2002
- "FIRE’s Open Letter to Professor Robert Griffith Concerning WVU’s Latest Speech Policy, May 10, 2002," May 10, 2002
- "FIRE's Second Letter to President Hardesty," April 12, 2002
- "West Virginia University Quarantines Free Speech," March 18, 2002: West Virginia University has restricted free speech to two small areas on campus. This assault upon the First Amendment is the latest in that institution's long and sad history of attempts to restrict free expression.
- "Letter from WVU Associate General Counsel Beverly Kerr to FIRE, February 15, 2005," February 15, 2002
- "Statement from West Virginia University's Free Speech Consortium," February 14, 2002
- "FIRE's Letter to WVU's President Hardesty," February 11, 2002
- "West Virginia University's Speech Policy as of February 11, 2002," February 11, 2002
- "This Month in FIRE History: The End of a Free Speech Zone at West Virginia University," by Claire Jenkins, December 28, 2009
- "Education quality more important than marketing,"
by Cheyenna Weber, The Charleston Gazette, May 18, 2007
- "UNCG in free speech battle,"
by Jane Stancill, News & Observer, December 17, 2005
- "Students to protest UNCG’s free speech zones,"
by Amy Kingsley, Yes! Weekly (Greensboro, N.C.), November 15, 2005
- "WVU labeled 'red light' school over free speech,"
by Justin McLaughlin, Times West Virginian, September 24, 2005
- "DoE Letter Hailed as Having 'Significant' Impact on Campus Speech,"
by Lawrence Smith, Huntington News, September 18, 2003
- "A space for speech,"
by Sarah Muench, The Web Devil (Arizona State University), April 28, 2003
- "Issues of free speech confronted at colleges,"
by Spencer Willig, The Daily Pennsylvanian, April 17, 2003
- "West Virginia U. Abolishes Campus Free Speech Zones,"
by Debrah Bonn, The Daily Texan, December 9, 2002
- "WVU Ends 'Free-Speech Zones',"
by Bill Steigerwald, Pittsburgh Sunday Tribune-Review, November 17, 2002
- "WVU Eases Campus-Speech Rules,"
by Ellen Sorokin, The Washington Times, November 12, 2002
- "Muzzling Free Speech,"
by Harvey Silverglate and Josh Gewolb, The National Law Journal, October 1, 2002
- "Lawsuits, debate intensify over university 'free speech zones',"
by Christian Mignot, Daily Bruin (UCLA), October 1, 2002
- "Boxing-in the Bill of Rights,"
by Brent Tantillo, Campus Magazine, September 30, 2002
- "Free speech: WVU policy unnecessary,"
The Charleston Gazette, June 18, 2002
- "WVU Students are at Greater Liberty to Protest,"
by Mary Kershaw, USA Today, May 13, 2002
- "WVU Students Mourn Death of Free Speech,"
by Vicki Smith, The Associated Press State & Local Wire, May 13, 2002
- "College students protest against so-called free speech zones at their campuses, saying that they violate their First Amendment rights,"
by Jeff Young, NPR Morning Edition, April 26, 2002
- "Groups Fight West Virginia U. Speech Policy,"
by Grant Smith, University Wire, April 18, 2002
- "Expanded Free Speech Zones' Reception Cool,"
by Jake Stump, The Dominion Post, April 15, 2002
- "WVU Free Speech Policy Called Better But Not Perfect,"
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 15, 2002
- "New Policy Keeps Limits on Free Speech at WVU,"
by Vicky Smith, The Associated Press, April 1, 2002
- "Civil Libertarians Take on Campus 'Free-Speech Zones',"
by Ellen Sorokin, The Washington Times, March 26, 2002
- "In the Zone,"
by Jonathan Last, The Weekly Standard, March 25, 2002
- "The Cleavage in Higher Education,"
by Suzanne Fields, The Washington Times, March 25, 2002
- "Students, FIRE Put Heat on WVU Free Speech Rules; Civil Rights Foundation Joins Campus Protest,"
by Jake Stump, The Dominion Post, March 22, 2002
- "Students Protest WVU Free Speech Zones,"
by Michael Fuoco, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 13, 2002
- "WVU Students Protest Free Speech Zones on Campus,"
by Vicky Smith, The Associated Press State & Local Wire, February 12, 2002
- "First Amendment only free speech policy needed,"
by Daniel Shapiro, The Daily Athenaeum (WVU), February 11, 2002
- "'Free-speech Zone' Policy in Force at WVU,"
by Lawrence Smith, The Charleston Gazette, December 6, 2001
- "Student Life: Boxing In Free Speech,"
by Randal Archibold, The New York Times, April 8, 2001
- "Promoting Order or Squelching Campus Dissent?,"
by Scott Street, The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 12, 2001