FIRE President Scores Suppression of Free Speech at Auburn

Glenn Ricketts

Ho-Hum: here we are with still another college administration that’s on the job in making sure that the First Amendment doesn’t interfere with its campus climate, safety rules or ever-expanding notions of what constitutes an “offensive” idea.  You didn’t actually think that public universities are bound by the First Amendment, or something, did you?  I have to wonder if it would be easier to compile a list of schools where unfettered freedom of speech is permitted, since it would probably be pretty short.

In this piece at the Daily Caller, FIRE President Greg Lukianoff describes how Auburn University felt the need to protect its students from campaign posters supporting presidential candidate Ron Paul.  Seems that it violated a safety rule about hanging banners from dorm windows although, as Greg notes, similarly displayed role-outs endorsing president Obama hadn’t been removed.  What’s especially striking, as Greg observes, is the complete indifference and lack of outrage among the students at Auburn.  In days gone by, at least some intrepid souls might have mounted a protest – this is a college campus, right? -  but nope, not now.  At least you have to hope that it’s ignorance or easy-going indifference that explains student complacency.  Heaven forefend if they actually approve.

But check out this article from the Indiana Daily Student in Friday’s digest of undergraduate press stories, where a vigilant First Amendment sentinel blows the whistle on the subtle but steady erosion of free speech rights at IU.  I don’t know if it’ll have any impact on his peers, but I’ll bet that the administration is in a sweat.  Good for him.

  • Share

Most Commented

May 7, 2024


Creating Students, Not Activists

The mobs desecrating the American flag, smashing windows, chanting genocidal slogans—this always was the end game of the advocates of the right to protest, action civics, student activ......

March 9, 2024


A Portrait of Claireve Grandjouan

Claireve Grandjouan, when I knew her, was Head of the Classics Department at Hunter College, and that year gave a three-hour Friday evening class in Egyptian archaeology....

April 20, 2024


The Academic's Roadmap

By all means, pursue your noble dream of improving the condition of humanity through your research and teaching. Could I do it all again, I would, but I would do things very differently....

Most Read

May 15, 2015


Where Did We Get the Idea That Only White People Can Be Racist?

A look at the double standard that has arisen regarding racism, illustrated recently by the reaction to a black professor's biased comments on Twitter....

October 12, 2010


Ask a Scholar: What is the True Definition of Latino?

What does it mean to be Latino? Are only Latin American people Latino, or does the term apply to anyone whose language derived from Latin?...

September 21, 2010


Ask a Scholar: What Does YHWH Elohim Mean?

A reader asks, "If Elohim refers to multiple 'gods,' then Yhwh Elohim really means Lord of Gods...the one of many, right?" A Hebrew expert answers....