Nancy Gish wrote:
> In American English "broad" is extremely sexist and offensive. I
> wonder if you realize that. In any case, it is not ok.
Not ok? I've enclosed some news items I've received from an association
that I am not a member of, about another I am not a member of. (I say
this in the spirit of full disclosure.) Those interested in a quick
read might search for the word "girl."
CASNET, a free, moderated email list with daily postings, is a project
of the California Association of Scholars (www.calscholars.org). Thomas
E. Wood, Executive Director and Moderator
----- Original Message -----
From: "Thor L. Halvorssen" <[log in to unmask]>
To: "Tom Wood" <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2003 1:49 PM
Subject: FIRE News: Texas Tech Loosens Speech Restrictions, But Some
Repressive Policies Remain
Dear Mr. Wood,
In response to the pressure of a lawsuit coordinated by FIRE, Texas Tech
University -- a public university with 28,000 students -- has gone from
one 280-square-foot "Free Speech Gazebo" to acres of free speech zones.
While the legal pressure on the university continues, students have held
events like a "funeral for free speech" to protest the death of free
speech on their campus.
We are encouraged by this remarkable shift at this major university and
by the growing student support. We will continue to work on other
aspects of the case (their speech code has not yet been defeated).
Thor L. Halvorssen Chief Executive Officer Foundation for Individual
Rights in Education (FIRE) 210 West Washington Square Philadelphia, PA
19106 mailto:[log in to unmask] tel (215) 717-3473 fax (215) 717-3440
www.thefire.org www.thefireguides.org www.speechcodes.org
Texas Tech Loosens Speech Restrictions Following FIRE Lawsuit, But
Campus Still Suffers Under Censorship Regime; FIRE's National Speech
Codes Litigation Project Continues
LUBBOCK, TX -- In response to the pressure of a free-speech lawsuit and
student demands for constitutional rights, Texas Tech University is
backing away from at least some of its severe restrictions upon free
expression. In July, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
(FIRE) coordinated a lawsuit to force Texas Tech -- a public university
with 28,000 students -- to eliminate a speech code that had designated
only one 280-square-foot gazebo for free speech. In response, the
university has greatly expanded the number of free speech zones from one
small area to six substantially larger areas.
"We are heartened that the suit and student activism have prompted Texas
Tech to move in the direction of greater freedom of speech. Students
are now granted free speech areas that can be measured in acres instead
of feet," said Greg Lukianoff, FIRE's director of legal and public
advocacy. "However, the university's speech policies are still far too
restrictive. Texas Tech should not be fighting for every possible bit of
repression it might be allowed under the law. Its students deserve to
be educated in an atmosphere that celebrates -- rather than quarantines
-- freedom." The federal lawsuit was filed by the Alliance Defense Fund
and the Liberty Legal Institute as part of FIRE's Speech Codes
Litigation Project, which aims to overturn public university speech
codes in every federal circuit.
Texas Tech originally required students to obtain a permit six days in
advance for any activity on campus outside of the tiny Free Speech
Gazebo. The revised code provides for five additional, larger free
speech zones, for a total of nine acres, and it reduces the permit delay
to two business days. Restrictions on what may be said at Texas Tech,
however, remain unchanged. Ominously for political and controversial
speech, the university's speech codes still define "harassment" as
communications "intended to intimidate or humiliate any person." Such
an overbroad and vague speech restriction could suppress pro-choice and
pro-life rallies, pro-war and anti-war demonstrations, and almost any
other student speech about a divisive political issue. Texas Tech's
speech codes give as examples of sexual harassment the use of the terms
"boy," "girl," and "honey" for adults. Further, Texas Tech also forbids
advertisements that do not meet the hazy standard of "good taste."
Joining FIRE's battle for free speech rights on Texas Tech's campus is a
new campus group, Students for Free Speech (SFS). SFS pressured the
Texas Tech administration throughout the fall semester, organizing a
campus-wide petition drive that attracted more than 900 student
signatures in support of free speech. When administrators failed to
respond, SFS members organized a creative protest event: a "funeral
procession for free speech," complete with eulogies, a clergyman, and a
full-size wooden coffin. SFS is also conducting a public information
campaign that places accurate information about Texas Tech's speech code
in the hands of students, the public, and the local media. FIRE also
has publicly exposed Texas Tech's repressive policies in both local and
national media and in testimony before the United States Senate.
FIRE's lawsuit continues, with both parties having filed motions for
summary judgment. A court decision on the constitutionality of Texas
Tech's speech code is expected soon. Stay tuned for further developments.
Speech Codes Litigation Project Update
This year saw the birth of FIRE's Speech Codes Litigation Project -- a
national effort to overturn speech codes at public universities once and
for all. FIRE's nationwide effort has already brought two other
important victories for free speech on campus:
* Shippensburg University (PA) -- FIRE Legal Network attorneys David A.
French and William Adair Bonner sued Shippensburg in April over its
speech codes. In September, a federal judge granted a preliminary
injunction against the university to prevent it from enforcing its
speech code while the suit was in progress. The parties now have until
December 17 to settle or the case will proceed to final judgment.
* Citrus College (CA) -- Citrus College was sued in May for a speech
code that quarantined free speech to three small areas of campus. When
sued by FIRE Legal Network attorney Carol Sobel, Citrus College quickly
abolished its free speech zones and revoked a frightening policy banning
"offensive...expression or language" which could have been used to make
virtually any controversial speech illegal.
FIRE will file suit against unconstitutional speech codes in every
federal judicial circuit and will coordinate additional suits in its
Speech Codes Litigation Project in the near future.
FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation that unites civil rights and
civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals
from across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of
individual rights, due process, freedom of expression, academic freedom,
and rights of conscience at our nation's colleges and universities.
FIRE's efforts to preserve liberty on campuses across America can be
seen by visiting www.thefire.org.
Greg Lukianoff, Director of Legal and Public Advocacy, FIRE:
215-717-3473; [log in to unmask]
Rich Jefferson, Director of Media Relations, Alliance Defense Fund:
480-444-0020; [log in to unmask]