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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

FIRE names 10 worst college for free speech

It’s been 52 years since Berkeley students launched the Free Speech Movement.

The 10 Worst Colleges For Free Speech include Harvard, Georgetown, the University of Oregon and University of South Carolina, according to the the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).

Since FIRE’s first “worst of the worst” list was released in 2011, the number of colleges and universities with the most restrictive speech codes has declined. However, 92 percent of American colleges still maintain speech codes that either clearly restrict — or could too easily be used to restrict — free speech. Students still find themselves corralled into absurdly-named “free speech zones,” taxed when they invite speakers deemed “controversial” by administrators, or even anonymously reported on by their fellow students when their speech is subjectively perceived to be “biased.” The average person muzzled on a college campus is often an everyday college student or faculty member: someone who wants to chat about politics, a student who confides in a friend about their own mental health concerns, or a group of students that simply want to discuss free speech controversies with their peers.

Public colleges and universities are bound by the First Amendment, while private colleges on this list have pledged to respect student and faculty speech rights, writes FIRE CEO Greg Lukianoff.

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