Free speech

A university tests free speech mettle, ensuring graduation of Charlottesville marcher

Colleges are routinely accused of intolerance toward nonliberal views. One university did all it could to ensure that a literal poster boy for white supremacy got his degree.

Calls for Stanford RA to be fired after he threatens to fight Zionists

A student at Stanford University is under fire for posting that he would "physically fight" Zionists who came onto the campus -- and some are questioning whether the university is taking his words seriously enough.

UCLA will limit how much it will pay in security on outside speakers

For certain events, UCLA will only cover $100,000 worth of security each year for speakers outside the university, a unique spending cap so far in higher education.

Timing and tone are key to a college president's response to controversial speakers on campus

Knowing when and how to publicly disavow and disagree with a campus speaker is a skill all college presidents need. Experts say timing and tone are key.

University of Virginia bans white supremaicst who started "Unite the Right" rally last year


University of Virginia bans organizer of last year's fatal Unite the Right rally from coming on campus after calls from students and professors to do so.

Punishments for shouting down college speakers run the gamut

Colleges and universities aren’t eager to punish students who shout down speakers, but they must follow their own policies and foster an environment conducive to free speech, experts say.

Three books arrive on campus free speech debates

After a year of constant debate and considerable divisiveness, three texts seek to make the discussion more productive.

Students Refuse to Cease and Desist Using Bear Image

The University of California, Los Angeles, asked a student Palestinian-rights group to remove UCLA's name and references to the university's Bruin Bear mascot from its promotional materials. The students are pushing back.

A logo for Students for Justice in Palestine's upcoming conference depicts a bear with a Palestinian kite, which, the university claimed in its cease-and-desist letter, "some may interpret as an intention to endorse violence." The university also requested that the group remove any mention of UCLA except to state where the conference will be held.

"Taken as a whole, these uses claim, suggest, or imply an affiliation with or an endorsement by UCLA of [National Students for Justice in Palestine] and/or its annual conference which is simply incorrect," the letter read.

The students, in conjunction with the ACLU of Southern California and Palestine Legal, issued a statement in response.

“We condemn attempts by UCLA administration to taint imagery that is grounded in freedom and liberation. Moreover, we reject UCLA’s attempt to infringe on our right to associate a bear (which is not trademarked) and a kite -- a children's toy -- with justice for the Palestinian people,” the statement read in part. “The stated demands are ridiculous, and we will continue to use both design elements.”

The ACLU of Southern California and Palestine Legal sent an additional letter to university officials and requested a response from them by Nov. 9 that confirms they will not take legal action against the students.

Tod Tamberg, a university spokesman, said that the students had complied with the university's request to remove "UCLA" from the conference logo.

"Some members of the Jewish community have been sharply critical of upcoming conference, demanding that UCLA move to cancel it. As a public university, UCLA is legally bound to comply with the First Amendment, which protects everyone’s right to express their views, even those that are offensive and hateful or that the university opposes," Tamberg wrote in an email. "Use of campus facilities by a registered student organization to host an event neither constitutes nor implies UCLA’s endorsement of the event, the speakers or the views expressed."

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UW-La Crosse Invites Former Porn Performer

The University of Wisconsin at La Crosse invited Nina Hartley, a former pornographic actress, to speak on campus last week about sexuality and adult media, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported.

About 70 students attended Hartley’s talk, which Joe Gow, university chancellor, described as “essential, and gets to the heart of free expression.” Hartley spoke on campus the week following Free Speech Week, a series of events dedicated to highlighting a new UW System policy that protects free expression.

The university paid Hartley $5,000 from the chancellor’s discretionary funds, made up of interest earned on revenue from auxiliary services including dining services, parking fees and residence halls. Taxpayer dollars did not contribute to Hartley’s speaker fee.

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Seton Hall students occupied administration building in quest for institutional change


Protests lead to meetings, a scuffle between a student and professor, and a relocation of the president's office.


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