What attending a “green light” university taught me about free speech

Source: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by Julian Kothmann

“The number of schools abandoning restrictive speech codes is growing — FIRE granted ‘green light’ ratings to East Carolina University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte last month, bringing the number of institutions earning FIRE’s highest rating for free speech to 33 nationwide. While it remains crucial to analyze and reform illiberal speech codes, examining schools that protect students’ First Amendment rights is equally valuable. Doing so sharpens the distinction between tolerant and repressive policies, provides a goal toward which advocates can work, and illuminates the benefits free and open debate can provide students and university communities. My school, the University of Virginia, earned FIRE’s green light rating in 2010. Now, seven years later, a year at the university has provided me with insight into how UVA upholds its commitment to free speech and the impact this commitment has on students.” (07/10/17)