FIRE Names the Top 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech in 2018

Elijah Nouvelage/Getty
Elijah Nouvelage/Getty

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) released their annual list of the worst colleges for free speech on Monday.

Ten schools were included on the list. The list was presented in no particular order and it included both public and private institutions. Here are the schools included in this year’s list: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, N.Y.), Drexel University (Philadelphia, Pa.), Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass.), Los Angeles Community College District (Los Angeles, Calif.), Fordham University (New York, N.Y.), Evergreen State College (Olympia, Wash.), Albion College (Albion, Mich.), Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.), University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, Calif.), and Texas State University (San Marcos, Texas).

FIRE awarded DePaul University the Lifetime Censorship Award for their history of censoring guest speaker events and student activism efforts.

Included amongst those schools on the list was Drexel University, for its botched handling of the George Ciccariello-Maher debacle. Ciccariello-Maher, who is perhaps most famous for his satirical “white genocide” tweet, was suspended from his classroom as a result of online backlash. Ciccarello-Maher’s provocative Twitter account earned his the rage of several online mobs that convinced Drexel University to reduce his status to that of an online course lecturer.

Ciccarello-Maher ultimately resigned from his position following his demotion to online teaching. “We are all a single outrage campaign away from having no rights at all, as my case and many others make clear,” he said when he resigned.

Harvard University was included in the list for their recently adopted policy that sanctions student members of single-sex social organizations. Breitbart News has extensively covered this new policy. Recently, the Crimson suggested that the new policy should apply only to male students. As written, the current policy provides female Harvard students with a five-year “grace period” before sanctions will be implemented.

Evergreen State College was included in the list as a result of the spring 2017 chaos that forced Professor Bret Weinstein to relocate his class sessions away from campus.

Bari Weiss of the New York Times called Evergreen State College’s “Day of Absence” exercise “a day of racial segregation,” but when Biology Professor Bret Weinstein objected to it in an email to fellow faculty members, a hoard of students descended upon one of his class sessions and demanded his resignation. Weinstein and his wife, also a professor at Evergreen, ultimately resigned from their positions as part of a settlement with the college.



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