Saturday, October 25, 2008

Philadelphia SFL Conference Begins

The Philadelphia SFL Conference has just begun. Alex Witkes, SFL's Northeast Director, gave an introductory speech highlighting the value of coming together as students for causes like this. Greg Lukianoff, President of FIRE, gave the opening speech, "Unlearning Liberty: How Campus Censorship Threatens our Democracy".

Greg has covered a number of issues, but here are some frightening limits of free speech that FIRE has dealt with:
  • A student janitor was nearly expelled for racial harrassment because he read a book on how Notre Dame students beat the Klan, simply because there were pictures of the KKK on the cover of the book.
  • Valdosta State University #1- A student was kicked out of school for making a collage protesting a parking garage for ecological reasons that the administration said presented a "clear and present danger". FIRE made a video about this case.
  • Valdosta State University #2- A second big problem at Valdosta was the presence of one of the worst free speech zones in the country, which was only open from noon to 1pm and 5pm to 6pm with 48 hour notice for 11,000 students.
  • University of Oklahoma- Students and faculty are not allowed to forward political satire emails through their school email accounts.

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