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Student Rights and Freedoms

Campus Free-Speech Legislation: History, Progress, and Problems

Claiming that free speech is “dying” on American campuses, a conservative think tank has led an effort to push states to adopt a model bill that, in the name of defending campus free speech, risks undermining it. This report seeks to understand the context and content of the “campus free-speech” movement, to track its influence within state legislatures, and to draw some conclusions concerning the best ways to respond to it.

Threats to the Independence of Student Media

A report, issued by the AAUP, the College Media Association, the National Coalition Against Censorship, and the Student Press Law Center, that shines light on threats to student media. The report cites multiple cases in which college and university administrations have exerted pressure in attempts to control, edit, or censor student journalistic content. This pressure has been reported in every segment of higher education and every institutional type: public and private, four-year and two-year, religious and secular. The report finds that administrative efforts to subordinate campus journalism to public relations concerns are inconsistent with the mission of higher education to foster intellectual exploration and debate. And while journalism that discusses students’ dissatisfaction with the perceived shortcomings of their institutions can be uncomfortable, it fulfills an important civic function.

Joint Statement on Rights and Freedoms of Students

Joint statement enumerating the essential provisions for students’ freedom to learn, including guidelines related to access to higher education, rights in the classroom, student records, student affairs, and procedural standards in disciplinary proceedings.