University of Southern California: Censorship of Performance and Protest
The University of Southern California (USC) has declared its dedication to upholding the First Amendment and has announced that it will review its speech code after FIRE denounced its recent censorship of both a campus performance and signs that it deemed offensive. FIRE intervened after a member of USC's student affairs department shut down a public performance of a play titled ManLady because of its vulgarity. Three days later, students were detained for holding signs with derogatory language to protest the play's interruption. FIRE wrote to USC President Steven Sample to remind him that California law forbade private universities in California from abridging the free speech rights of students, wherein FIRE enumerated how USC violated students' free speech rights and listed numerous ways USC could correct this problem. Two USC administrators responded affirming USC's commitment to freedom of speech, and promising a review of the university's speech code.
- "Victory for Freedom of Speech at the University of Southern California," April 10, 2006: Thanks to FIRE's intervention, the University of Southern California has publicly reaffirmed its commitment to freedom of speech and repudiated two instances of censorship.
- "Letter from University of Southern California Associate Vice President Lori S. White to FIRE, March 8, 2006," March 8, 2006
- "Open Letter from University of Southern California Vice President Michael L. Jackson, March 6, 2006," March 6, 2006
- "FIRE Letter to University of Southern California President Steven B. Sample, February 22, 2006," February 22, 2006
- "Daily Trojan Article Describing Censored Protest, January 27, 2006," January 27, 2006
- "Daily Trojan Article Describing Censored Performance, January 24, 2006," January 24, 2006