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U. Illinois Settles Lawsuit With Free Speech Advocacy Group

U. Illinois Settles Lawsuit With Free Speech Advocacy Group

“Several students, the group argued, felt uncomfortable either supporting President Trump or engaging in civil discourse that the university might consider biased or offensive”

Why is free speech an ongoing problem on American college campuses? Shouldn’t that be one of the places where it’s never a problem?

FOX News reports:

University of Illinois settles suit with free speech group

The University of Illinois has settled in a lawsuit brought by a free speech group claiming that the Urbana-Champaign campus was violating the First Amendment with rules surrounding political and other forms of speech.

Fox News previously reported on the lawsuit, which was filed in 2019 and targeted three particular aspects of the university’s practices: the bias response team (BART), restrictions on posting flyers for political candidates, and “no contact directives” (NCT) that effectively function as restraining orders.

Speech First brought the case on behalf of member students attending the university. Several students, the group argued, felt uncomfortable either supporting President Trump or engaging in civil discourse that the university might consider biased or offensive — a charge the group says could result in punishment including possible expulsion from university housing.

The settlement, obtained by Fox News and filed on Tuesday, includes an agreement that the university wouldn’t reinstate a requirement — repealed in July of 2019 — for prior approval of “promotional materials of candidates for non-campus elections.”

It also clarified that the BART and “Bias Incident Protocol” (BIP) “have no authority to impose any form of discipline on any student.”

“These policy changes clarify that the university administration may not intimidate students into silence by accusing them of ‘bias,’” said Speech First president and founder Nicole Neily.

“As an alumna, I was particularly dismayed to see an institution that I once loved employing draconian, unconstitutional policies to muzzle speech with which they disagreed – my fellow Illini deserve better, and we are proud that this settlement makes clearer where the school’s authority ends.”

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Comments

The fact that my Alma mater would suppress free speech is terrible. I am glad that this group has forced the U of I to stop keeping free speech not free. I am an alum who used to like the U of I. Now I don’t and do not give any money to such a place.

    Hollymon in reply to celsius1939. | February 5, 2021 at 1:17 pm

    You’re disappointed? Try being an Oberlin alumnus. Oberlin grads passed the “disappointed” phase a long time ago. We are fully at the “ashamed” and “sick to my stomach” stages now.

I have been disappointed in the hard left turn of the U of I–I am also an alum, and I refuse to give any money to them as well. Now they need to work on the Draconian student disciplinary system, especially with regard to charges of sexual misconduct which should be turned over to the police for investigation rather than some random dean.

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