Tuesday, December 23, 2008

FIRE Challenges SIU Speech Zone

The campus watchdog group F.I.R.E. (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) offers a challenge -- and advice -- to SIUC on how to free up student speech on campus. Read here for the local news coverage and here for the full document (click Download and Open).

First step: Make free speech, leafleting, and the rest possible across campus. Currently, such speech is confined to a "zone." In the 1990s, colleges enacted speech codes and were swept back by groups like FIRE, ACLU, and the National Association of Scholars. (Disclosure: Together with ACLU Southern Illinois, the moderator, as president of the Illinois Association of Scholars, cosigned the FIRE letter to Chancellor Goldman).

Readers may recall that this was an issue in 2004 when a student protested outside the designated "speech zone," thus resulting in an outcry over free speech. That incident involved an antiwar protest but it could be almost any other kind of peaceful demonstration.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have long denounced SIUC's unconstitutional policy of free speech zones. One of my good friends in 2004 was almost denied the right to graduate over SIUC's SIU speech zone. This is another policy along with the unconstitutional Student Conduct Code that needs to end with all due speed.
History Alumni
LeNie Adolphson