According to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s campus free speech rating system, the University Of Alabama has a “Yellow Speech Rating.”
Universities and colleges with a yellow speech rating are ones that have “at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application.” according to the University of Alabama’s website. The University has violated students first right amendments with three of their policies concerning free speech.
According to the University, students may only use university space to start events if “in accordance with the priorities of the designated area.” The administration also strictly states that all advertisements must be approved by the University and must be in “good taste”.
Zach Warren, president of the University of Alabama’s Young Americans for Liberty chapter has stated that “Things like ground use restrictions really damage the ability of students to share ideas freely and openly.” and that “On our campus any handouts must be approved so when we hand out pocket constitutions those technically have to be submitted weeks in advance for approval.”
Freedom of speech?
The university constantly violates students free speech rights with these policies as well as their event planning regulations which require students to submit an event form 7-10 days before the event itself to validate its approval from the administration. According to the university, such policies are in place to avoid schedule conflicts and to use and place resources properly.
“Ensure the safety of our students and campus community and offers all campus-affiliated parties the same opportunities without disrupting the University’s ability to provide its essential services of teaching and learning,” said Taylor Bryant, University of Alabama’s director of communications.
Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to appear at the university before they violated student rights by imposing a $7000 security fee which they only continued to increase as the event neared its date. After significant complaints from students, the university retracted its fees and allowed the event to go on.