Ball State University: Policy on Outdoor Expression Used to Censor Professor's Indoor Expression
On February 11, 2013, Ball State University Professor Dom Caristi was instructed by a Ball State official to remove an Italian flag hanging inside his office window. Leisa I. Julian, Associate Vice President for Business and Auxiliary Serves, cited Ball State’s Policy on the Use of University Property for Expressive Activities as the governing policy, despite the fact that the policy explicitly applied only to “temporary structures and signs out-of-doors in a designated area.” FIRE wrote to Ball State University President Jo Ann M. Gora on April 29, 2013, pointing out that Ball State’s severe misapplication of its policy put First Amendment rights throughout the campus at risk. On May 29, 2013, Ball State agreed to let Caristi return the flag to his window and announced it would reevaluate its policies.
- "Photos of Flag in Professor Dom Caristi's Office, Other Signage Around Campus," June 28, 2013
- "Email from Leisa Julian to Dominic caristi," June 28, 2013
- "Letter from Ball State University Vice President for Business Affairs and Treasurer Randall B. Howard to FIRE," May 29, 2013
- "FIRE Letter to Ball State University President Jo Ann M. Gora," April 29, 2013
- "Ball State University Policy for Expressive Activities," November 16, 2012
- "Ball State Professor's Flag Flies Again, Thanks to FIRE," by Peter Bonilla, June 28, 2013: Citing its policy on the “Use of University Property for Expressive Activities,” Ball State University in Indiana ordered a professor to remove an Italian flag hanging inside his office window in February—despite the fact that the policy explicitly applies only to “temporary structures and signs out-of-doors in a designated area.” After FIRE wrote to Ball State, pointing out this obvious discrepancy, Ball State promised to reevaluate its policies, and allowed the professor to hang the flag in his window once again.