Auburn University: Ban on Ron Paul Window Hanging Exposes Double Standard
In November 2011, Auburn University student Eric Philips was required to remove a banner supporting Ron Paul's presidential campaign from the inside of his dormitory window. Despite Auburn's policy prohibiting all window decorations in its residence halls, Philips documented numerous examples of the policy not being enforced against other students. Following a letter from FIRE on December 9, 2011, Auburn responded that it was committed to a "total ban" on this form of student expression. When FIRE presented Auburn with continued photographic evidence of its selective enforcement, however, Auburn then claimed that the policy existed for the "safety, health, and wellbeing" of Auburn students. Philips and FIRE, however, have continued to document Auburn's lax enforcement of the policy, calling into question the legitimacy of the "safety" rationale.
- "Window hanging photo, April 17, 2011," April 17, 2012
- "Response to FIRE second letter from Vice President for Student Affairs Ainsley Carry, February 6, 2012," February 6, 2012
- "Second letter to Auburn University President Jay Gogue, January 16, 2012," January 16, 2012
- "Photos of Dorm Decorations at Auburn University, January 12, 2012," January 12, 2012
- "Auburn University Bans Ron Paul Banner from Dorm Room Window," December 22, 2011: Auburn University has ordered a Ron Paul for President campaign banner removed from the inside of a dorm room window while allowing students to display numerous other banners, stickers, and flags. Student Eric Philips, who was ordered to remove his sign last month, used his cell phone to gather photographic evidence of the double standard and came to FIRE for help.
- "Pictures of Window Hangings at Auburn University, Fall 2011," December 21, 2011
- "Response to FIRE from Auburn University Assistant VP for Student Affairs Amy Hecht, December 13, 2011," December 13, 2011
- "FIRE Letter to Auburn University President Jay Gogue, December 9, 2011," December 9, 2011
- "Greg Lukianoff in ‘Daily Caller’: Students Have Gotten Used to Censorship," by Gina Luttrell, September 21, 2012
- "On Graduation Day, Remedial Lessons on Free Speech Needed at Auburn," by Peter Bonilla, May 7, 2012
- "Greg’s Appearance on ‘Stossel’ Now Online," by Gina Luttrell, April 24, 2012: FIRE President Greg Lukianoff's appearance on Stossel last week is now available online. The episode highlights two current FIRE cases: Auburn University's selective banning of student window hangings and the University of Cincinnati's threats to arrest students who wanted to gather signatures outside of the school's free speech zone. Greg also told the Florida State University audience that FSU's speech codes are unconstitutional. Check out the video!
- "‘Safety’ Defense Only Makes Auburn Look Foolish," by Peter Bonilla, April 23, 2012
- "Watch FIRE on 'Stossel' This Week," by Adam Kissel, April 19, 2012: FIRE President Greg Lukianoff appears on ‘Stossel' this week to discuss free speech on campus. The show also features students from FIRE's cases at Auburn University, which selectively ordered a student's Ron Paul banner to be taken down despite leaving many others on display, and the University of Cincinnati, which threatened to arrest students if they tried to gather petition signatures outside the university's tiny "free speech zone." The episode first airs Thursday evening at 9 pm Eastern on Fox Business Network. Tune in!
- "Censored Auburn Student Shares Story with ‘Plainsman’ ," by Peter Bonilla, January 24, 2012
- "Double Standard at Auburn: Ron Paul Banner Banned from Dorm Room Window While ‘Total Ban’ Goes Unenforced," by Adam Kissel, January 16, 2012: Auburn University has discriminated against a student by ordering him to remove a Ron Paul banner from his dormitory window. Although the university has nominally instituted a "total ban" on window decorations, a dozen or more other window decorations have been permitted. Moreover, the university has failed to provide any evidence that such a total ban is necessary. Today FIRE has asked Auburn to justify its discriminatory enforcement of the supposed "total ban" on this form of student expression.
- "Auburn Student Blasts University’s Window Policy," by Lyzi Diamond, January 13, 2012
- "FIRE's Bonilla in 'Daily Caller' on Auburn's Ban on a Ron Paul Poster," by Robert Shibley, December 23, 2011
- "Unlearning liberty: Auburn’s censorship of Ron Paul poster is part of larger problem,"
by Greg Lukianoff, The Daily Caller, September 20, 2012
- "Auburn student ordered to take down Ron Paul sign shares his story,"
by Will Rahn, The Daily Caller, December 22, 2011
- "Who’s afraid of Ron Paul? Apparently, Auburn University,"
by Peter Bonilla, The Daily Caller, December 22, 2011