Feeling proud to be a resident of Philadelphia, Susana.
President, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education – Greg Lukianoff article at the Huffington Post.
In my 11 years with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), I’ve learned that fighting censorship on our nation’s college campuses isn’t just about filing First Amendment lawsuits or reminding colleges — sometimes quite sharply — of their promises to protect student speech. It is also important to honor the colleges that do respect student speech and that pass the tests of their commitment to free speech when they are presented. As I said right here on The Huffington Postlast year, it’s important to give credit where credit is due.
To that end, I’m proud to announce FIRE’s second annual list of America’s Best Colleges for Free Speech!
A few quick notes before you check out the list. First, this isn’t a scientific study. Of course there’s no perfect algorithm to determine with exact certainty which college is the best for student speech. Instead, our list is populated by colleges that (1) have earned a “green light” from FIRE, meaning that their policies as written do not pose a serious threat to free speech on campus and (2) to our knowledge, have not committed a serious incident of censorship in the past several years. (FIRE attorneys rate nearly 400 colleges nationwide annually, ranking them as “red,” “yellow,” or “green” light schools on the basis of their written policies’ impact on student speech, not specific allegations of censorship.)
Many readers also noted that the institutions on last year’s list weren’t evenly distributed across the country, and some folks suggested that the lack of perfect geographic balance undermined the credibility of the list. It doesn’t. While we’d love to have a model institution for student speech from every state in the union, some states simply aren’t living up to their end of the bargain! Take California, for example, which has exactly zero green light schools out of the 45 we review, and where the president of the University of California System is currently being asked to ban protected speech.
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/greg-lukianoff/free-speech-college-campus_b_1840659.html?utm_source=Alert-blogger&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Email%2BNotifications#s1448800&title=University_of_Pennsylvania
The PennBook | Guidelines on Open Expression
A. The University of Pennsylvania, as a community of scholars, affirms, supports and cherishes the concepts of freedom of thought, inquiry, speech, and lawful assembly. The freedom to experiment, to present and examine alternative data and theories; the freedom to hear, express, and debate various views; and the freedom to voice criticism of existing practices and values are fundamental rights that must be upheld and practiced by the University in a free society.
B. Recognizing that the educational processes can include meetings, demonstrations, and other forms of collective expression, the University affirms the right of members of the University community to assemble and demonstrate peaceably in University locations within the limits of these Guidelines and undertakes to ensure that such rights shall not be infringed. In keeping with the rights outlined in I.A. above, the University affirms that the substance or the nature of the views expressed is not an appropriate basis for any restriction upon or encouragement of an assembly or a demonstration. The University also affirms the right of others to pursue their normal activities within the University and to be protected from physical injury or property damage. The University shall attempt to ensure that, at any meeting, event or demonstration likely to be attended by non- University law enforcement authorities, the rights provided by these Guidelines are not infringed.
C. The University shall be vigilant to ensure the continuing openness and effectiveness of channels of communication among members of the University community on questions of common interest. To further this purpose, a Committee on Open Expression has been established as a standing Committee of the University Council. The Committee on Open Expression has as its major tasks: participating in the resolution of conflicts that may arise from incidents or disturbances implicating these Guidelines; mediating among the parties to prevent conflicts and violations of these Guidelines; interpreting these Guidelines; advising administrative officers when appropriate; and recommending policies and procedures for the improvement of all levels of communication.
D. In case of conflict between the principles of the Guidelines on Open Expression and other University policies, the principles of the Guidelines shall take precedence.