Free Speech at UVA

Congratulations to FIRE for inducing the University of Virginia to drop four policies that restricted the speech of students and faculty. One policy had prohibited Internet messages that are “inappropriate” or “vilify” others. The campus women’s center backed down from two unusually preposterous policies that listed “teasing,” “jokes of a sexual nature” and “innuendo” as examples of sexual harassment and warned that simple flirting or causing a woman to feel disrespected could be harassment as well. The university also reformed “Just Report It!” a “bias reporting” system, promising that protected speech will not be subject to University disciplinary action or formal investigation. FIRE praised University president Teresa Sullivan for making these changes within three months of taking office.

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