U Of North Dakota Must Reaffirm Free Speech, Other Rights

Monday, January 7, 2013

Look on the bright side: At least UND didn’t get scorched by FIRE as having the Speech Code of the Year.

Last week, FIRE — the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education — awarded that "honor" to two other schools, including Oakland University in Michigan. There, the school’s policy prohibits offending or disturbing anyone via phone or computer, "nor shall any person" use "immoral or insulting language" over those devices.

Oakland’s policy "illustrates perfectly the mock-Victorian sensibility that seems to underlie so many university speech codes, a sensibility according to which adult college students must not be exposed to anything ‘insulting’ or (gasp) ‘immoral,’" FIRE notes.

But in December, UND did get singed when FIRE identified the university as having the Speech Code of the Month. It’s a distinction that should make lovers of academic freedom burn with shame.

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