Read the story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By FIRE-Foundation for Individual Rights In Education
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:

Skidmore College tanks in FIRE’s College Free Speech Rankings

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

Last week, FIRE released our third annual College Free Speech Rankings, which use survey data from nearly 45,000 students to assess the climate for free speech at 203 of the country’s top colleges and universities. 

Skidmore College landed all the way down in 199th place.

The College Free Speech Rankings are determined using ten different sub-components, including surveyed students’ openness to discuss controversial topics, and their perception of administrative support for free speech. But one factor I’d like to highlight, which contributed to Skidmore’s bottom-of-the-barrel rating, is the college’s speech code rating from FIRE.

Skidmore earns FIRE’s worst, “red light” rating, which usually means a school has at least one policy that clearly and substantially restricts free speech. However, we also give schools an overall red light rating when they password protect policies that regulate expression. Skidmore password protects its guidelines for organizing a campus protest or demonstration (linked on this page), so we’re making it FIRE’s Speech Code of the Month for September.

That might seem a bit harsh — after all, the hidden policy could be great and speech-protective, for all we know. But password protection means that only users with a college username and password are able to see the policies. If prospective students can’t review a college’s policies before deciding to enroll, they won’t know what they’re signing up for. This is especially important at a private school like Skidmore, as it isn’t bound by the First Amendment (though it does promise students free speech rights in other, publicly accessible policies). 

High school students look forward to exercising their free speech rights once they graduate, given how much more expansive those rights are in college than in the high school context. But those looking into attending Skidmore have no idea whether the school’s locked-down policy will restrict expressive activities that are protected under First Amendment standards. Those hidden guidelines could say students can only protest in a small, out of the way area on campus, or that they need to get permission far in advance before conducting a protest. 

College administrators may not be aware of the impact of password protecting policies. When FIRE made Barnard College Speech Code of the Month for March of last year for password protecting some of its policies, the school admirably responded by quickly adjusting its policy website to ensure the public could access those critical documents, showing it was not the intent of the school to hide the ball.

However, when we contacted Skidmore last year to ask about the password protection, the college didn’t respond. We’re hoping this Speech Code of the Month designation will get its attention.

FIRE’s College Free Speech Rankings are designed to help prospective students compare the sort of experience they may have at various colleges. Skidmore can improve its rank — and help prospective students make an informed choice — by eliminating its restrictions.

The post Skidmore College tanks in FIRE’s College Free Speech Rankings appeared first on FIRE.


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation.

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)

Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen!

Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.

Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%! (See Video).

Report abuse


    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    Load more ...




    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.