Dartmouth's Daily Blog
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College Given FIRE Red Light Rating
Just when you thought that the Hanlon administration could not find a new way to outrage donors and other people who love Dartmouth, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has announced that that it has dropped the College down to its red light rating — the lowest one — for restrictive speech policies:
In 2005, following efforts by the College’s petition trustees, FIRE raised our speech rating from red to green, the highest rating — a level held in the Ivies at the time only by Penn. However, in March of 2016 our rating dropped to yellow due to the blanket nature of the College’s bias reporting policies.
Our red light rating stems from the Information, Technology and Consulting office’s new Acceptable Use Policy. You don’t have to have taken a course in constitutional law to see that this overbroad policy could be used to stifle all sorts of protected speech:
Who the heck approved this set of rules? Was it our new College Counsel, Sandhya Iyer, or one of the nine other people working in the Counsel’s office? Did anyone even think of this policy in terms of its potential to limit free speech?
I bet that tomorrow you could gin up a case against each and every member of the College community for transmitting messages that are “harmful, offensive, obscene, abusive.” After all, who is to decide? A Dean? Certainly a person would leave themselves open for prosecution if they sent a Dartblog permalink on the College’s system.
Yet another embarrassment.
Addendum: Fire defines a red light rating as follows:
A “red light” institution has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech. A “clear” restriction is one that unambiguously infringes on what is or should be protected expression. In other words, the threat to free speech at a red light institution is obvious on the face of the policy and does not depend on how the policy is applied.
Addendum: A former member of the faculty writes in:
Saw this AM’s note about the Fire rating. Man… what’s astonishing is how much damage can be done in such a short time. If Hanlon manages to purge the College of private organizations, ban “offensive” speech, and follow Harvard in restraining rights of free association, Dartmouth as envisioned by folks like Daniel Webster is doomed.
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…
- The Dartmouth College Case
- 2007 Trustee Election
- Dartmouth Constitution
- Sunday Morning Sinatra
- The Indian Wars
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