Photo Courtesy of CSU Archives

The above image from CSU's archives shows a snapshot of history of the university's demonstrations linked to free speech expression. This photo shows students and faculty protesting Gulf War military intervention in Kuwait in the early 90s.

 

February 28, 2017

CSU free speech vow receives recognition

The latest report from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) rated Cleveland State University one of 24 out of 400 American schools to have earned a green light rating regarding its commitment to free speech. Cleveland State is the only Ohio school to receive the prestigious rating.

The foundation, founded by a University of Pennsylvania professor and a Boston civil rights attorney, works to defend and sustain individual rights at American colleges and universities. It identifies itself as a watchdog group to support freedom of speech, legal equality, due process, religious liberty and sanctity of conscience.

To determine a school’s ranking FIRE looks at policies including protest and demonstration, tolerance, respect, civility, bias and hate speech, bullying, harassment, internet usage, posting.

In 2015 Cleveland State updated its Expressive Activity Policy to clarify the university’s stance on expression, stating, “Use of the general access areas may include speaking, non-verbal expression, distributing literature, displaying signage and circulating petitions.”

The policy gives students, faculty, staff and the general public the right to demonstrate an unlimited amount of times in any outdoor area with exception of parking lots, driveways or garages without prior notification. Demonstration can include speaking, non-verbal expression, distributing literature, displaying signage and circulating petitions.

Students who have questions on what is allowed or prohibited on campus can refer to the Office of General Counsel for guidance.



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