No free speech allowed at Lake Superior State University
The modern dark age: In June Lake Superior State University earned the Speech Code of the Month award from the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) for having a vague and oppressive policy towards the placement of posters on campus.
Students wishing to put up posters on campus at Lake Superior State University better choose their words carefully, as the public university’s posting policy threatens “disciplinary sanctioning” over material deemed “offensive, sexist, vulgar, discriminatory or suggestive.” The trouble with this policy is that anyone, for just about any reason, can claim that someone else’s speech is “offensive” or “suggestive.”
Every month, FIRE highlights a university policy that hinders students’ free expression, and we’ve made Lake Superior State’s “Posting Policy” FIRE’s Speech Code of the Month for June.
FIRE’s main complaint about the college’s poster policy is that it is “overbroad” and “vague,” and could be abused to ban almost any speech. Students are thus forced to self-censor out of fear that any proposed poster he or she wishes to post could be deemed “offensive” and not only be banned, but cause the school to impose sanctions against the student.