Southwestern College: Professors Banned from Campus after Students Stray Beyond 'Free Speech Patio'
- "New Southwestern College Freedom of Expression Policy," September 13, 2011
- "Southwestern Community College District Policy on Freedom of Expression," March 9, 2011
- "Letter of February 4, 2011, Rescinding Reprimand from Michael Kerns, Vice President for Human Resources, Southwestern College," February 4, 2011
- "ACLU Response Letter to Southwestern College Revised Policy, October 27, 2010," October 27, 2010
- "FIRE and ACLU of San Diego: California College's 'Free Speech Patio' Chills Expression," May 13, 2010: Southwestern College near San Diego limits free expression on its campus to a single "free speech patio" and has proposed a new policy that unconstitutionally restricts expression. The new policy remains defective despite the college taking five months to reevaluate its old policy, according to letters released today by FIRE and the American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego & Imperial Counties
- "FIRE Second Letter to Southwestern College Superintendent/President Raj K. Chopra, May 12, 2010," May 12, 2010
- "E-mail to Southwestern College Faculty from Angelina Stuart, April 28, 2010," May 12, 2010
- "Proposed Freedom of Expression Policy, Southwestern Community College District," May 12, 2010
- "ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties Letter, May 7, 2010," May 7, 2010
- "Southwestern College President Evaluation," February 1, 2010
- "Response to FIRE from Southwestern College Counsel Jonathan A. Pearl," November 25, 2009
- "Letter to the Southwestern College Community from Nicholas C. Alioto, Acting Superintendent/President," November 13, 2009
- "Letter to Southwestern College President Raj K. Chopra from David Blair-Loy, Legal Director for the ACLU-San Diego," November 9, 2009
- "Letter to Southwestern College Professor Ending Administrative Leave," November 4, 2009
- "FIRE Letter to Southwestern College Superintendent/President Raj K. Chopra," November 3, 2009
- "Report of Independent Investigator," November 2, 2009
- "Southwestern College Campus Map with Free Speech Patio," September 1, 2009
- "Southwestern Community College District Policy No. 5550, Jan. 10, 2007," January 10, 2007
- "Southwestern College's New Freedom of Expression Policy Eliminates Unconstitutional 'Free Speech Patio,' But Problems Remain," by Azhar Majeed, September 29, 2011: Nearly two years after three faculty members at California's Southwestern College (SWC) were suspended from campus for their presence at a peaceful campus demonstration, SWC has finally reformed its unconstitutional free speech policy. SWC's Freedom of Expression policy previously had confined expression on campus to a tiny "free speech patio." Both FIRE and the American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego & Imperial Counties engaged with SWC over proposed revisions, and on September 13, SWC passed a new version of the policy stating that free speech will be subject only to content-neutral regulations and that public areas of the campus may be used without a reservation. Since problems in the policy remain, FIRE will monitor SWC's application of the policy to protect student and faculty speech on campus.
- "New Board Vindicates First Amendment Rights at Southwestern College, Rescinds Punishment for 'Free Speech Patio' Protest," by Adam Kissel, February 23, 2011: Three faculty members at Southwestern College in California have had formal reprimands removed from their records, following a vote by the new Governing Board that vindicates their First Amendment rights. Last academic year, the three professors were banned from campus, placed on leave, and formally reprimanded because they had joined with students who had strayed beyond the college's unconstitutional "free speech patio." Now that the reprimands have been lifted, Southwestern must complete its revisions of its unconstitutional protest policy as soon as possible.
- "Southwestern College Probation Continues," by Peter Bonilla, February 9, 2011
- "SPLC Warns College Presidents: Don’t Mess with the First Amendment," by Joanna Brenner, December 7, 2010
- "Spirits Rising at Southwestern College after President Resigns under Free-Speech Cloud," by Adam Kissel, December 3, 2010
- "Embattled Southwestern College President Resigns Under Fire for Free Speech Violations," by Adam Kissel, December 2, 2010: The president of California's Southwestern College (SWC), Raj K. Chopra, abruptly resigned on November 30 under a cloud of free-speech controversy. His administration shamelessly suspended four faculty members (later reduced to three) for their part in a protest that strayed beyond the school's unconstitutional free speech zone, a small patio area. Then, for more than a year, Chopra refused either to abolish or to suspend enforcement of the "free speech patio" policy, despite warnings from FIRE. Hopefully, SWC's new leadership will immediately recognize the school's legal and moral obligations to maintain free speech on campus.
- "Change Has Come to Southwestern College's Governing Board; Will It Come to Southwestern's Policies on Expression?," by Azhar Majeed, November 5, 2010
- "FIRE and ACLU Hammer California’s Southwestern College for ‘Free Speech Patio,’ Unconstitutional Policies," by Adam Kissel, May 13, 2010
- "Greg in 'Huffington Post' on Southwestern College's Muzzle Award," by Claire Jenkins, April 14, 2010
- "Southwestern College Receives Jefferson 'Muzzle' Award for Egregious Censorship," by William Creeley, April 13, 2010: The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression has awarded a 2010 "Jefferson Muzzle"—a dubious distinction reserved for "egregious or ridiculous affronts to the First Amendment right of free speech"—to administrators at California's Southwestern College. The public college earned its Muzzle by "consistently refusing to heed and apply such clear principles of free expression in the governance of an institution of higher learning" in dealing with a peaceful student and faculty protest over budget cuts. The college banned from campus faculty members who participated in the protest. FIRE has been extensively involved in defending the faculty members and advocating for the dismantling of Southwestern's unconstitutional "free speech zone." This is the third consecutive year that a school at the center of a FIRE case has been awarded a Jefferson Muzzle.
- "'Southwestern Sun' Keeping Heat on SWC Administration," by Peter Bonilla, March 9, 2010
- "Faculty Survey Gives Southwestern College President an 'F'," by Peter Bonilla, February 15, 2010
- "A Scorching Study of Chopra's Troubled Tenure at Southwestern College," by Peter Bonilla, February 9, 2010
- " Southwestern College Accreditation in Jeopardy; ‘Culture of Fear and Intimidation’ on Campus ," by Adam Kissel, February 5, 2010
- "New Video Highlights Free Speech Troubles at Southwestern College," by Peter Bonilla, January 7, 2010
- "Is Southwestern College's Board Going to Take Free Speech Seriously? ," by Adam Kissel, December 8, 2009
- "Is Southwestern College's Board Going to Take Free Speech Seriously? ," by Adam Kissel, December 7, 2009
- "At Southwestern College, Backlash Against Bullying, Unaccountable Administration," December 4, 2009
- "At Southwestern College, Backlash Against Bullying, Unaccountable Administration," by Peter Bonilla, December 4, 2009
- "Southwestern College President Defends Unconstitutional 'Free Speech Patio' and Contradicts Himself," by Adam Kissel, November 20, 2009
- "FIRE in 'San Diego Union-Tribune' on First Amendment Challenges at SWC ," by Adam Kissel, November 12, 2009
- "ACLU of San Diego Intervenes in Southwestern College 'Free Speech Patio' Case, Seconding FIRE's Concerns ," by Adam Kissel, November 11, 2009
- "Rights in the News: FIRE's Campaigns in Texas, California, and Georgia Get Results," by Peter Bonilla, November 6, 2009
- "Illustrated Eyewitness Account Backs Up Southwestern Professors' Stories," by Robert Shibley, November 6, 2009
- "Southwestern College Professors No Longer Banned, But 'Free Speech Patio' Still Violates Constitutional Rights," by Adam Kissel, November 6, 2009: FIRE has confirmed that the three Southwestern College (SWC) professors who were banned from campus on October 22 have been allowed back on campus. The professors had been banned and put on administrative leave because they joined with students who took their protest outside of SWC's unconstitutional free speech area—a mere patio—to a more visible and audible location. The professors were reinstated just two days after FIRE intervened in the case. Nevertheless, this case is not over so long as the "free speech patio" remains in place and SWC violates the First Amendment in both policy and practice.
- "Greg in 'Huffington Post' on Southwestern College," by Claire Jenkins, November 5, 2009
- "San Diego's Channel 10 Covers FIRE's 'Free Speech Patio' Case," by Adam Kissel, November 5, 2009
- "Fear of More Retribution at Southwestern College," by Adam Kissel, November 4, 2009
- "Media Picks Up on Insanity at California’s Southwestern College ," by Azhar Majeed, November 4, 2009
- "FIRE Intervenes in Case of Professors Suspended at California's Southwestern College for Assembly Outside of the 'Free Speech Patio'," by Adam Kissel, November 3, 2009
- "Teachable Moments: Chula Vista campus charged with violating student rights,"
by Michelle Barreto, San Diego News Network, May 18, 2010
- "Muzzle Tov, Southwestern College & Your 'Free Speech Patio'!,"
by Greg Lukianoff, The Huffington Post, April 13, 2010
- "Southwestern College pushed to the brink by brutal power struggle,"
by Lyndsay Winkley and Sean Campbell, Voice of San Diego, February 7, 2010
- "Criminal charges possible for professors' role in protest,"
by Staff Editorial, 10News San Diego, November 5, 2009
- "Professors suspended at Californian college for peacefully protesting outside of "Free Speech Patio","
by Greg Lukianoff, The Huffington Post, November 4, 2009