Stand Up For Speech At Your School!
FIRE is always looking for students who are willing to stand up for speech.
Students have the power to put an end to unconstitutional campus speech codes. After all, it’s your voices that are being silenced and your First Amendment rights that are being violated. To protect freedom of speech on campuses nationwide, we need courageous, principled students willing to challenge their universities’ speech codes—and we want you to be one of them!
FIRE has already done the hard work of identifying unconstitutional speech codes—hundreds can be found in FIRE’s Spotlight database. Take a minute to search for your college or university. If you attend a public university that has a restrictive speech code and you want to join FIRE in standing up for both your free speech rights and those of your fellow students nationwide, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you! And being a plaintiff wouldn’t cost you a dime: FIRE is pleased to provide legal assistance to Stand Up For Speech plaintiffs free of charge.
“I have met many students who knew our policies were unfair, who knew the policies harmed their education, and who wanted those policies repealed but simply lacked the means and knowhow to challenge them. The First Amendment belongs to and protects those students just as much as it protects students like me, and they should benefit from the same rigorous educational environment of free and open inquiry that the First Amendment guarantees.”
William Jergins, Dixie State University
“As a student, I envision college campuses that take pride in upholding free speech, by not only allowing free speech, but encouraging it and using the campus as a means for students to be heard and express what they are most passionate about.”
Nicolas Tomas, Cal Poly Pomona
“I held an educational event for students to learn about their free speech rights. Apparently it was my school’s administrators that needed the lesson. Now, with FIRE’s help, we’re going to give it to them.”
Ross Abbott, University of South Carolina
“Our school’s free speech zone had very little pedestrian traffic and when it rains (and it always rains in Hilo) the free speech zone floods resulting in a muddy pit of saddening and soggy student activism. When Anthony and I tried to point out that the free speech zone wasn’t an ideal place for student protests the administrator replied, “This isn’t the 60’s anymore, people can’t protest like that, times have really changed since the movement back then.”
Merritt Burch, University of Hawaii (Hilo)
“What is perhaps most unfortunate is that the arduous process of litigation seemed even easier and more attractive than attempting to fix things through university committees, where student efforts are often postponed and administrators rely on the fact that the campus is entirely different every four or five years. … Litigation … ensure[s] the change with a guarantee that things [will] stay in the right.”
Isaac Smith (pictured with Mary Beth Tinker), Ohio University