FIRE’s 2017 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech

 

Unfortunately, it isn’t an easy undertaking deciding which schools belong on FIRE’s “10 worst colleges for free speech” list every year. This year was no exception.

This morning, we at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) published our annual “worst of the worst” list, which can be read with detailed descriptions of each school’s misdeeds at The Huffington Post.

Here’s a list of the schools:

  • Northern Michigan University
  • California State University, Los Angeles
  • Fordham University
  • University of Oregon
  • California State University, Long Beach
  • Harvard University
  • University of South Carolina
  • Williams College
  • Georgetown University
  • DePaul University

The examples of the speech being censored at the schools on the list run the political gamut: Sometimes conservatives find themselves censored, other times it’s liberals, libertarians, or even socialists. Sometimes it’s students, and sometimes it’s faculty. Sometimes the censorship—like that which took place at Northern Michigan University—is better explained by fear of lawsuits than any political bias. However, as I write in my introduction:

The average person muzzled on a college campus is often an everyday college student or faculty member: someone who wants to chat about politics, a student who confides in a friend about their own mental health concerns, or a group of students that simply want to discuss free speech controversies with their peers.

FIRE’s list is unranked, so what school do you think deserves the title of being the absolute worst for free speech? Let us know in the comments and fill out the poll on FIRE’s website.

There are 8 comments.

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  1. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    I’m just sad that Georgetown is in the top 10.

    When I was at Georgetown, what was (in retrospect, at least) so thrilling about it was that it was a relatively conservative campus with a vigorous YAF club and RTL club and whatnot…and this made us (the lefty-“radical” womyn) (really just Democrats who didn’t shave our armpits) sharper and smarter.

    Oh, Father Healy! Hoya Saxa?!?

    • #1
  2. Trinity Waters Inactive
    Trinity Waters
    @TrinityWaters

    As a long time denizen of Oregon, not surprised that U of O is #4, but am surprised that OSU isn’t on the list.  Maybe because it doesn’t have a law school, but rather a notable engineering school.

    • #2
  3. Eb Snider Member
    Eb Snider
    @EbSnider

    FIRE has more than a hand full of work to do. But I’m thankful the organization exists. My surprise is that South Carolina made the list. I had no idea. And Harvard beat out Yale. No sure have much differentiation there is among schools or whether they tend to ride in the standings like a cycling peloton.

    • #3
  4. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    California is well represented, which I guess is no surprise. Then,  three Catholic universities in the top ten, I wouldn’t have expected that.

    • #4
  5. FightinInPhilly Coolidge
    FightinInPhilly
    @FightinInPhilly

    I guess my alma mater NYU felt left out and made their case for next year’s list.

    • #5
  6. Justin Hertog Inactive
    Justin Hertog
    @RooseveltGuck

    Fordham did the right thing. Go Fordham!

    • #6
  7. dittoheadadt Inactive
    dittoheadadt
    @dittoheadadt

    Trinity Waters (View Comment):
    As a long time denizen of Oregon, not surprised that U of O is #4, but am surprised that OSU isn’t on the list. Maybe because it doesn’t have a law school, but rather a notable engineering school.

    Aha – it may be better than that.  U of O could very well be #1.  The list isn’t ranked.

    • #7
  8. dittoheadadt Inactive
    dittoheadadt
    @dittoheadadt

    Vance Richards (View Comment):
    California is well represented, which I guess is no surprise. Then, three Catholic universities in the top ten, I wouldn’t have expected that.

    Yeah, apparently “catholic” doesn’t mean what they think it means.

    • #8

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