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Your Call: Free speech on college and university campuses

Used under CC by DC John
From 2005: George Mason University student social art installation


What’s the right way to do free speech on campus?

Safe spaces.  Hate speech.  Public safety.  Free speech zones.  The First Amendment. It is not easy to write a campus speech code in 2017. But if colleges don’t get it right, they risk being sued or having legislators fix the rules for them. How do you defend free speech while also protecting faculty and students from harassment or violence?


Henry Reichman, professor emeritus of history at California State University, East Bay, first vice president of the American Association of University Professors, and chair of committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure

Samantha Harris, director of policy research at The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)

Lecia Brooks, outreach director at the Southern Poverty Law Center

Web Resources:

Academe Blog: On Outside Speakers and Academic Freedom, Part I

FIRE: Free Speech

New York Times: Fighting for Free Speech on America’s Campuses


The Atlantic: Free Speech Is No Diversion, Defenders of the First Amendment aren’t distracting from attention from racism—they’re preserving the tools necessary to struggle against it.

Washington Post: I invited Ann Coulter to speak at UC Berkeley. Here’s why.

Washington Post: To fight ‘hate speech,’ stop talking about it

Washington Post: ‘Hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment,’ Portland mayor says. He’s wrong.

Dangerous Speech Project

National Coalition Against Censorship