Watchdog Unveils Top 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech

A free speech watchdog group Thursday morning named several prominent colleges and universities to its list of the top ten worst colleges in the country for freedom of speech based on specific times the institutions reportedly violated students’ and faculties’ rights.

The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) named Hamline University, Collin College, Emerson University, University of Pennsylvania Law School, Loyola University New Orleans (NOLA), Texas A&M, Pennsylvania State University, Emporia State University, Tennessee Tech University and the University of Oregon as the worst institutions for free speech in its 12th annual report, shared with the Daily Caller News Foundation. The report detailed the worst cases of censorship the watchdog faced at higher education institutions in 2022. 

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Local Government’s Christmas Policy Parallels Woke Rules Found on College Campuses

A memo shared by the free speech watchdog, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), reveals that employees of King County, Washington, are advised not to include “religious symbols” in their workspaces. 

“Before adding any decorations to your workspace (including your virtual workspace), consider the likely effect of such decorations on all of the employees in and outside of your workgroup,” writes Workforce Equity Manager Gloria Ngezaho in the “Guidelines for Holiday Decorations for King County Employees.” 

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University in Ohio Retracts Plan That Could Have Punished Students and Staff for Using People’s Legal Names

The University of Toledo walked back a potential policy which would have required faculty and students use an individual’s “chosen name” after the First-Amendment watchdog group Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) accused it of violating free speech rights.

The proposed policy, introduced in February, attempted to mandate the use of a name an individual “choose[s] to be called in day-to-day life” in all verbal communication and on all documents where a legal name is not required such as on course rosters, university identification and directories. FIRE, however, accused the policy of being in violation of the First Amendment for policing speech.

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Michigan Mayor Sued After Shouting Down Residents During Public Comment

When Eastpointe residents criticized Mayor Monique Owens in a Sept. 6 city council meeting, she claimed the residents were “assaulting” her.

Now, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that defends free speech, filed a federal lawsuit accusing Owens of “abuse of authority.”

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Students Hope to Establish Conservative Club After College Tears Down Flags Supporting First Responders

Trinity College (TC) students Lucas Turco and Finn McCole are looking to establish a conservative voice on campus after they were reportedly targeted by the college for hanging a “Don’t Tread On Me” flag and an American flag with green, blue, and red stripes for supporting first responders.

Roommates Turco and McCole explained to Campus Reform that on Oct. 27 they noticed two women had suddenly appeared outside their dorm with a ladder and started tearing down their “Don’t Tread on Me” and American flag-supporting first responders that were hung outside their windows.

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Commentary: Liberal Arts Colleges Are More Liberal than Universities

Students often approach me to share the experiences they are having with other faculty on campus. They talk of being deeply uncomfortable asking questions in seminars and share with me how intimidated they are to challenge their professors. They often have real difficulty in sharing views that may run against the progressive, even Marxist, ideas that tend to dominate my campus.

I have been a professor at Sarah Lawrence College—one of the nation’s more elite and politically active campuses—for over a decade now. Liberal activism and ideological infusion into classes have become standard here and at many other liberal arts schools.  

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Florida College Pre-Approves Advertisements Before Being Displayed on Campus

Florida A&M University (FAMU), a historically black college in Tallahassee, released a regulation in 2018 restricting the posting of signs, flyers, and advertisements on designated bulletin boards, and requiring that any such postings be pre-approved by the university.

Posting material is “limited to the Quadrangle Information Center and bulletin boards and will not be displayed, for example, on trees, buildings, or road signs,” the regulation reads.

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Michael Knowles After Disinvitation to Speak: University of St. Thomas ‘Pretends to Be Catholic’

Michael Knowles is now speaking out after he was denied the ability to address students at a St. Paul, Minnesota, college.

In the spring 2022 semester, College Republicans at the University of St. Thomas, a Catholic institution, attempted to invite The Daily Wire host, a practicing Catholic, to speak. The university denied the request due to Knowles’ past statements related to past comments expressing socially conservative opinions.

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Florida A&M University Pushes Policies in Tension with the State University System’s ‘Statement on Free Expression’

According to official Florida A&M University (FAMU) student residential policy, “[b]ehavior and/or activities that are considered offensive to others that do not constitute ones freedom of expression is prohibited, while in public areas of the residential facilities.”

This is just one of a multitude of FAMU policies that, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), are in tension with the freedom of speech and expression at the school.

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