by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Over 90 percent of the America’s top colleges maintain policies regulating campus free speech, with one third employing severely restrictive policies, according to a study released Tuesday.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) reported in its annual end-of-year analysis on campus speech and harassment policies—what FIRE terms “speech codes”—found that over half of the 461 schools included in FIRE’s study continue to use methods that have some “chilling effect” on expression.
One in nine campuses continue to preserve “free speech zones,” or limited strips of campus to which administrators at public institutions restrict demonstrations, pamphleting, and other public expressions of views, according to the report. These zones can make up less than 1 percent of a campus, according to FIRE.
Samantha Harris, vice president of policy research at FIRE, said such policy is “blatantly unconstitutional.”