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Boise State to revise speech and event policies

Boise State to revise speech and event policies

Geoffrey Talmon
September 17, 2014
September 17, 2014

In July I blogged on multiple occasions about the First Amendment issues that Young Americans for Liberty at Boise State University (“YAL”) faced when it brought Dick Heller to campus to talk about his landmark Second Amendment case.

I also blogged about our letter to the university expressing our concern about certain Boise State policies and the chilling effect that those policies could have on speech on campus.

I am very happy that after discussions with the university, Boise State is voluntarily suspending a number of its policies regarding speech and events on campus, and has also committed to working with the Center for Defense of Liberty and the ACLU of Idaho to revise not only the suspended policies, but also a number of other policies that could have a chilling effect on speech on campus.

This result validates the work that we do at the Center for Defense of Liberty and is also a testament to the power of coalition building. In addition to the Center getting involved, the ACLU of Idaho and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education also expressed their concerns to the university, calling attention to the problem policies, and also demonstrating the power and the importance of the First Amendment.

We are continuing to work closely with the ACLU of Idaho in helping the university develop better policies. Our vision at IFF is “Restoring Liberty, Improving Lives,” and we will be happy to work with anybody who helps us achieve that vision.

Today is Constitution Day. It is appropriate to celebrate that YAL is now free to distribute pocket copies of the United States Constitution in and around the buildings on campus, as long as it is done in a non-disruptive manner. We are excited to be receiving the cooperation of the university and its administration in this process, and we are very hopeful that the policies that we develop will serve as a model for other colleges and universities in Idaho and throughout the nation.

Freedom of speech is one of our most fundamental liberties. Protecting it not only enriches the educational experience of students on Boise State’s campus, but also makes the campus a more inviting place for students and visitors alike.

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