University of North Carolina System: State of the First Amendment

Category: Free Speech, Freedom of Conscience, Religious Liberty
Schools: University of North Carolina School of the Arts Winston Salem State University Western Carolina University University of North Carolina – Wilmington University of North Carolina – Pembroke University of North Carolina – Greensboro University of North Carolina – Charlotte University of North Carolina – Asheville North Carolina Central University North Carolina A&T State University Fayetteville State University Elizabeth City State University East Carolina University Appalachian State University University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill North Carolina State University – Raleigh

FIRE teamed up with the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy to release the Report on the State of the First Amendment in the University of North Carolina System. The Report notes that UNC System’s many speech codes and illiberal restrictions on religious groups would likely not survive a legal challenge. It also reveals that “13 out of the 16 schools in the UNC System have at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech.”

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  • A right not to be nice

    August 9, 2013

    by Barry Smith Times-News (Burlington, N.C.)   Attached Files A right not to be nice, PDF, 109.5 KB , Times-News (Burlington, N.C.)

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  • NCSA, UNC accused of restricting free speech

    July 2, 2007

    A report published recently by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) criticized the UNC system, including the North Carolina School of the Arts, of violating the right to free speech guaranteed in the first amendment. In the report dated January 10, 2006, FIRE called the UNC system “…one of the most likely places to find rules and regulations that restrict expression or dictate matters of conscience….” The report, entitled The State of the First Amendment in the University of North Carolina System, identifies policies stated in the UNC Board of Governors handbook, as well as in 13 of […]

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  • Republicans and Libertarians, unite!

    January 24, 2006

    Dear George: First of all, I want to thank you and the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy for sponsoring my recent speech at Wake Forest University. I also want to apologize for wasting the students’ time by giving them some advice they really didn’t need. Please allow me to explain. One of the points I emphasized in my speech was the need for College Republican groups to form coalitions with other political groups – groups that do not necessarily share their political views – to combat First Amendment abuses at colleges and universities in North Carolina. I didn’t know […]

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  • Are colleges trying to be too nice?

    January 24, 2006

    RALEIGH – Can niceness be codified? Can you actually make a policy requiring politeness and only politeness? Apparently a number of colleges and universities across the nation, including some in North Carolina, think you can. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, an organization monitoring First Amendment practices on college campuses throughout the nation, believes that a number of the state’s public universities go overboard in trying to mandate niceness. In fact, a report that FIRE recently issued says that policies at many schools in the University of North Carolina system are overbroad and likely unconstitutional. “Disproportionately, we are finding […]

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  • UNC-G loses ground in free speech battle

    January 19, 2006

    Two UNC-Greensboro students recently charged with violating the university’s free speech policy are no longer in jeopardy of facing legal action. Administrators reprimanded Allison Jaynes and Robert Sinnott on Nov. 16 during their protest of the university’s free speech zones. Officials asked the students to move their demonstration to one of the two free speech zones on campus. The students refused, citing the First Amendment. UNC-G’s free speech zones were challenged again in December with the release of a report by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. Robert Shibley, FIRE’s program manager, said the group has successfully challenged restrictions […]

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  • NC university system under fire

    January 12, 2006

    [To view the television broadcast of this story, please visit WWAYtv3.com.] WILMINGTON — North Carolina’s University system is coming under fire tonight for violating the constitution. A new study says the state system has serious first amendment violations at each state school. The report’s called [sic] Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, and that’s just what the author is looking to create. The report was done by conservative group, the Pope Center for Higher Education. The group comes down hardest on the larger state schools but found plenty of fault right here in Wilmington. They say UNCW’s biggest […]

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  • City & State Briefs

    January 11, 2006

    A report released Tuesday says some campuses in the University of North Carolina system impose unconstitutional limits on freedom of speech. The report cited examples such as Fayetteville State University’s ban on vulgar language and UNC Greensboro’s prohibition on “disrespect for persons.” The report suggested the UNC system pay more attention to First Amendment freedoms. It was issued by the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

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  • First Amendment covers campuses, too

    January 22, 2006

    The First Amendment creates a free speech and assembly zone from one end of the United States to the other. Except at UNCG. University rules permit outdoor assemblies without prior approval only in two areas on campus. Even then, administrators must be given 48 hours’ notice. Fortunately, that policy is under review — just in time to prevent a legal challenge. Two students, members of College Libertarians, led a peaceful protest in front of Jackson Library in November and were charged with code-of-conduct violations. The proposed disciplinary actions against seniors Allison Jaynes and Robert Sinnott were dismissed Jan. 13. The […]

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  • UNC System Suppressing Free Speech on Campuses, Says FIRE

    January 17, 2006

    A new report finds that 13 out of 16 institutions in the University of North Carolina system have at least one policy that “clearly and substantially” restricts free speech. The report — released by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and the Pope Center for Higher Education — accuses UNC of being especially hostile to Christian students and their religious liberty. The report is entitled “Report on the State of the First Amendment in the University of North Carolina System” — and FIRE’s Greg Lukianoff says what is revealed in the report “ought to outrage everyone” in the […]

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  • Colleges to avoid, Part III

    January 17, 2006

    It probably comes as no surprise that the third university in my “colleges to avoid” series is located in North Carolina. Recently, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy published a report criticizing the UNC system for its blatant in intolerance of free expression. Of the sixteen campuses in the system, only one university – Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) – was not criticized in the report. While students in North Carolina may want to consider attending ECSU, they would do well to avoid The University of North Carolina at Greensboro […]

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  • Speech limits hurt purpose of college

    January 14, 2006

    GREENVILLE, N.C.—One of my funnier stories about college was how I got yelled at by three women the first week of my freshman year. It works better when you see me acting it out, so I’ll just cut to the punch line. My great offense was holding a door open for each of them. In the South. Horrors. It was a textbook example of what everyone had warned me about going to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Of course, all their warnings weren’t true. The seven people sharing my first dormitory suite were members of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. My […]

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  • Report: School limits on free speech illegal

    January 11, 2006

    RALEIGH – Some public universities in North Carolina impose unconstitutional limits on freedom of speech, a report issued Tuesday said. The Pope Center for Higher Education Policy and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education released the report. “It’s a public school system,” Greg Lukianoff, interim president of the foundation, said at a news conference in the Legislative Building. “It’s bound by the First Amendment.” One example cited in the report was a prohibition by Fayetteville State University on vulgar language. Another example was the prohibition on “disrespect for persons” at UNCG. Later this month, UNCG will hold an honor […]

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  • Report outlines limits on free speech

    January 11, 2006

    Some UNC-system school policies of free speech and nondiscrimination violate the U.S. Constitution, according to a report released Tuesday. The report, created by the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, detailed First Amendment violations, including violations in UNC-Chapel Hill’s network acceptable use policy, and cites two examples of religious discrimination against student organizations. In 2002, the University asked the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship to remove from its charter a provision requiring members to be Christians. And in 2003, the UNC-CH refused to recognize Christian fraternity Alpha Iota Omega after it refused to sign […]

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  • Report says state universities illegally limit free speech

    January 10, 2006

    RALEIGH, N.C. — Some public universities in North Carolina system impose unconstitutional limits on freedom of speech, according to a report issued Tuesday. The report was issued by the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. “It’s a public school system,” Greg Lukianoff, interim president of the foundation, said at a news conference in the Legislative Building. “It’s bound by the First Amendment.” One example cited in the report was a prohibition by Fayetteville State University on vulgar language. Another example was the prohibition on “disrespect for persons” at the University of North […]

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  • Report Exposes Extensive Constitutional Violations in University of North Carolina System

    January 10, 2006

    RALEIGH, N.C., January 10, 2006—Today, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy released their Report on the State of the First Amendment in the University of North Carolina System. The Report explains precisely what the First Amendment obligations of the UNC System schools are—and shows that most of them are emphatically not meeting those obligations. “The revelations in our Report ought to outrage everyone in North Carolina,” said FIRE Interim President Greg Lukianoff. “The UNC System is disregarding the First Amendment at public expense, each and every day.” FIRE […]

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  • The State of the First Amendment in the University of North Carolina System

    January 10, 2006

    A Joint Report of the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education Executive Summary If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us. —West Virginia State Bd. of Educ. v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943) U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson’s […]

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