FIRE Gives UNH Green Light for Free Speech (Again) Despite Social Media Policy - Granite Grok

FIRE Gives UNH Green Light for Free Speech (Again) Despite Social Media Policy


When it comes to Campus free speech, Dartmouth is the dog in the Granite State. Josiah Bartlett reported last month that New Hampshire’s Ivy League College got a Red Light for creepy community spying and reporting. UNH, on the other hand, got a Green Light, and I’m still not sure why?

In its just-released “Speech Codes 2020” report, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) gave the University of New Hampshire, Plymouth State University and Keene state College “green light” ratings. A green light signifies “that the institution does not maintain any written policies that imperil free expression.”

UNH received a Green Light in 2018, shortly after their new Social Media policy was publicly challenged by then-State Sen. (And UNH Faculty member) Dan Innis. “It’s not enforceable, and secondly, we have no business in that area. To me, it’s speech, and it’s protected by the First Amendment.”

Here we are again with UNH getting another Green Light, but the social media policy is unchanged. And while it does include a lot of references to free speech and rights and discussion and even the First Amendment, it continues to be an area where the University has no business and two pages of policy.

To its credit, UNH has done an excellent job otherwise, in not producing printed material that codifies anti-speech policy (outside the social media arena). But as I have noted before, the infrastructure responsible for speech infringements continues to expand. 

The prevalence of social justice curriculum, race, gender, and queer studies programs, Bias, Diversity, and the Affirmative Action and Equity squads hovers over free speech as a real right like a boot over an ant.

Under that shadow, this green light doesn’t mean nearly as much as it should.

As for Dartmouth, it has a lot of problems. Professors who think it’s a good idea to dox teenagers or engage in violence to suppress opposing political speech. Student’s suffering from social justice indoctrination: Thanksgiving is a holiday tainted by its unethical historical context.”

UNH has its share of the same along with the state college system’s other campuses, which is what has me worried. A slight shift in the winds and the whole system gets a ‘green light” to become oppressive because the indoctrination engines that make Dartmouth a danger are large and fully funded in the State College system.

And it is backed by the dogma of the same experts.

Living under that yoke is itself a means of suppressing speech without actually making it policy.

| Josiah Bartlett