In a move that may shock many Cincinnatians, but not many students, UC has been ranked by Huffington Post as the worst college in America for freedom of speech.
The University of Cincinnati maintains a shockingly restrictive free speech zone comprising just 0.1% of the school’s 137-acre campus. The policy, which was named FIRE’s Speech Code of the Month back in December of 2007, quarantines “demonstrations, pickets, and rallies” to a tiny portion of campus, requires students to request permission to use the zone a full ten working days in advance, and threatens students with criminal prosecution for violations, warning that “[a]nyone violating this policy may be charged with trespassing.”
Because this public university isn’t shy about enforcing its misguided and illiberal policy, it now faces a federal civil rights lawsuit. Last month, a political student group seeking to collect signatures from students across campus in support of a ballot initiative filed a First Amendment challenge against the free speech zone after being told by administrators that they were not even “permitted to walk around.” The administration added, “if we are informed that you are, Public Safety will be contacted.” Threatening to call the cops on civic-minded students who want to talk to their peers about politics sure seems indefensible, and now the University of Cincinnati has to answer for its policy in federal court.
Story taken from Greg Lukianoff