like the College Democrats or College Republi-cans, Students or Liberty or Young Americansor Liberty, pro-lie or pro-choice organizations,or any number o religious or political groups.Work with those organizations toget your message out and resist anyattempts to silence your speech.
Freedom o speech is a undamental right. Everypublic college must respect it, andmost private colleges guarantee it aswell. I your college tries to silenceyou, ght back! Don’t simply acceptadministrators’ claims that someideas are too “oensive” or campus.I your speech is oensive, your peers will letyou know. The existence o civil discourse doesnot depend on college administrators being ableto punish you or jokes on Facebook, despitewhat they might like you to believe.Colleges are doing their students no avors byteaching them that they are too weak to livewith ree speech, but the unortunate act is thatmany are set on this line o thinking. However,this presents an opportunity or students whowant to experience what it’s like to work ora cause, to engage in activism, and make a realdierence in their ellow students’ lives. I theculture o campus to change, students have todo their part—and FIRE is here to help makeit happen. Together, we will win the battle orreedom on campus.
t’s all, and with students headed back (oror the rst time) to college, too many will beunwittingly arriving at what some have called“islands o repression in a sea o reedom.” Forthose students unortunate enoughto run aoul o administrators actingas the campus speech and thoughtpolice, the perceived reedom o be-ing on one’s own or the rst timewill come to a sudden and shockingcollision with reality.It could be worse—in act, it has beenworse. Six years ago, 75% o the 400largest and most prestigious collegesin America had speech codes restrict-ing expression that, o campus, would never bepunished. Today, that number is 62%. This is realprogress, and it’s evidence that FIRE’s eorts toconvince universities to abandon illiberal speechcodes are working.But there’s much more to be done. FIRE willcontinue its ght until that number reacheszero. To make that happen, we need the help andawareness o students. I you have children, grand-children, nieces or nephews, or amily riends incollege, give them this list o important tips:
Look up your school’s speechcode on FIRE’s Spotlight database at there.org/spotlight. Learn what speech might get you introuble on your campus. Read FIRE’s
toStudent Rights on Campus, available at there.org/guides.
Join FIRE’s Student Networkat there.org/students. Sign up or a group onyour campus that engages in expressive activity,
the Senior Vice President