Dartmouth Sticks with Speech Code, Loses FIRE’s “Green Light” Rating


Each year FIRE rates the speech code policies of over 400 of the nation’s top colleges and universities, assigning them a colored traffic light— red, yellow, green, or gray — to rate the extent to which they protect free speech (check out the guide to our database here).

I am sad to report that after failing to heed FIRE’s warnings that its “Bias Incident Reporting” protocol impermissibly threatens free speech on campus, Dartmouth College has lost the “green light” rating it has held since 2005.

As FIRE’s Samantha Harris writes on The Torch:

Examples of bias incidents, according to Dartmouth’s Office of Pluralism and Leadership, include “telling jokes” and “stereotyping.” This policy is inconsistent with Dartmouth’s claim to be an institution that “prizes and defends the right of free speech.” If every joke or provocative remark about politics, religion, or culture is potentially subject to a formal investigation, Dartmouth students are not truly free to speak their minds.

Dartmouth’s refusal to back down from its bias incident reporting policy means that we can no longer give the college our best rating for free speech. You can read more about why Dartmouth has been downgraded over at The Torch.

You can read more about why Dartmouth has been downgraded over at FIRE’s website, and if you want to share your thoughts on this with Dartmouth directly, you can reach out to the school on TwitterFacebook, or via email.

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  1. The Crooked Timber Member
    The Crooked Timber

    I’m not sure what’s worse: that bias incident reporting exists on an American campus; that students would feel the need to avail themselves of such a mechanism; or that administrators have become so perpetually indentured to the zeitgeist of the Progressive student body that such bureaucratic mechanisms would be defended.

    • #1
  2. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty


    • #2
  3. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne

    What’s worst are the students wanting anti-speech codes. It would be better if it had come from some crazy communist College President. But a hatred of freedom and Western Civilization is now common among the students. That’s the sad part.

    • #3
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