Ohio University dorms are no longer censoring students’ political speech, freeing students to make their voices heard in the final weeks before Election Day. After student Jillyann Burns was ordered to remove a flyer criticizing both President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney from her residence hall door, she turned to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help.
“Our society has long recognized that not only does political expression deserve the strongest protections against censorship, but that the college campus is of particular importance to our national dialogue,” said FIRE Senior Vice President Robert Shibley. “Thankfully, Ohio University saw the light before doing even more damage to the First Amendment.”
In early September 2012, Burns, a member of the student group Ohio University Students for Liberty, taped a flyer to her residence hall door in James Hall, criticizing Obama and Romney and suggesting that the two would govern similarly on a range of political issues. On September 6, a resident advisor informedstudents via email that “NO political posters/flyers should be hung in the hallways or on you[r] door until 14 days before an election.”
And what did you do today?