Monday, July 03, 2006

First Amendment Rights Restored at the University of Nevada, Reno

Back in April of 2006 I read a very sad story in the Newspaper of my Undergraduate Alma Mater. The University Senate, the students the young idealistic rebels, voted on whether or not to make the entire campus a public forum or to continue limiting free speech to four "free speech" zones. Sadly, only one student voted in favor of making the entire campus a public forum. I was worried about the state of my former school, limiting free speech is a terrible idea especially on a college campus.

Luckily, when the school year ended the University administration, that's right the normally oppressive bureaucrats, reversed the policy expanding the free speech zone to cover the entire campus. The only exception to the rule is the interior of campus buildings, which still have restrictions. Really leaving speech restricted in the only place, on a campus, where such a policy can even be imagined. I can, after all, understand how protests during classes might disrupt students' ability to learn. But even granting that caveat, I hope the new policy allows a great deal of latitude even within buildings. While shouting down professors during lectures might be reasonably restricted, other forms of free expression (like arm bands, T-Shirts, etc.) seem legitimate even in a more restricted forum.

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