One of the things that FIRE has become best known for is Spotlight: The Campus Freedom Resource, our speech code ratings database that covers more than 350 colleges and universities nationwide, with more added every year. FIRE staffers and lawyers annually review policies at these institutions to determine whether the school is a “red light,” meaning it has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech; a “yellow light,” meaning it maintains some policies that could ban or excessively regulate protected speech; or a “green light,” which indicates that FIRE was unable to find any policies that would seriously imperil free speech on campus. Spotlight’s speech code ratings have been repeatedly cited in newspapers from the Wall Street Journal and USA Today to local and campus newspapers across the country.
With today’s introduction of FIRE’s Speech Code Widget, anyone with a blog or website can help promote change at the school of his or her choice. If you send us a link to your site with the widget posted on it and your mail address, we’ll send you a free FIRE t-shirt as well! If you’re a student, professor, or alumnus of one of the 350 universities rated by Spotlight (odds are good you are), and you’re bothered by the fact that your institution might be censoring expression, this widget is for you—and it’s as easy to add to your site as a YouTube video would be.
To add the widget for your school to your website, here’s all you need to do:
1. Visit www.thefire-dev.wp.eresources.ws/spotlight and select your school by state, region, or just by typing it into the search box.
2. When your school’s page comes up, look on the right sidebar to see the widget for that particular school. Below it is a box with some text in it—select it all and copy it to the clipboard.
3. Go to your blog or website, and paste in the text wherever you want the widget to appear (it’s made for a sidebar, but should work anywhere). That’s all!
If you would like to see what it looks like on a website, visit blogger Matt Niemi’s site at http://www.mattniemi.com/ (scroll down a bit and look at the right sidebar). He chose to highlight Georgia Tech, but you can pick the school of your choice. And if a school’s policies change, for better or for worse, the widget will automatically change as well.
Help FIRE defeat speech codes at your favorite school, and get a free t-shirt to boot—add FIRE’s Speech Codes Widget to your website or blog today!