The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) today issued a statement calling on Auburn University to end what it says is selective enforcement of a ban on dorm room window displays. The organization, whose primary focus is fighting what is views as free speech violations on college campuses, was contacted by Auburn senior Eric Philips after Philips was asked to remove a “Ron Paul 2012” sign from the inside of his Tiger Hall window.
Philips, a member and former president of the Auburn chapter of the Paul-affiliated student organization Young Americans for Liberty, sent FIRE photos of the sign along with photos of other apparent—and apparently unaddressed— violations of the newly adopted Auburn Housing and Residence Life policy 1.4.5, which states: “Hanging or displaying items such as flags, banners, decals, or signs out of or obstructing residence hall windows is prohibited.”
He also documented his freedom-fighting crawl through AU bureaucracy with a hidden camera:
After being contacted by Philips, FIRE sent a letter to Auburn University president Jay Gogue on Dec. 9 asking that Auburn “evenly enforce its policies on student expression.”
“Such selective enforcement and viewpoint-based discrimination is untenable at Auburn, a public university bound by the First Amendment.”
A Dec. 13 response from Auburn Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Amy Hecht stated AU’s commitment “to the consistent and nondiscriminatory enforcement” of the residence hall policy.
That apparently wasn’t good enough for FIRE.
“An unreasonable and pointless ban on all window displays is bad enough,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff is quoted as saying in today’s release. “Yet it’s obvious from the photos that Auburn has actually singled out Eric Philips’ Ron Paul poster for removal. If Auburn is selectively banning only speech it deems controversial—or worse, political speech it simply doesn’t like—freedom of expression is in grave danger at Auburn.”
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They only took this down, because they don’t fear being called racists. They wouldn’t have touched it, if it had been an Obama sign.
RACIST! RACIST! RACIST! RACIST! RACIST! RACIST! RACIST!
How do you feel seeing that word? Words are powerful. That word causes good people to be silent and allow tyranny to take root in our Republic. The word, not actual racism, is allowing criminals to destroy our country. They know that by calling you a racist, you’ll cower and allow your liberties and the fruits of your labors to be taken from you without a fight. They know that you’ll learn to resent your own culture. Once that happens, the family falls apart, then the society. We are delicate.
Here we are on the precipice of 2012 with economic depression and broader war looming over the horizon. Drugs are on our borders. There are too many non-Romans in Rome–no assimilation. Banker derivative debt to sink the entire planet has been saddled upon our citizenry. We don’t owe this! The bankers owe it. Let THEM fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put the United States together again.
Vote Ron Paul.
Gail Coleman says
Free speech and freedom to assemble peacefully and freedom to petition our government for redress are all under threat from those now in Washington. When those liberties are gone, what do taxes and social security and war even matter? They are secondary because without those freedoms I listed, we can do nothing to change anything. We are powerless at that point. VOTE RON PAUL!!
Andre Adams says
They probably made him take it down because some of the stuff Ron Paul saids is untrue you ever thought of that while y’all on here campaing for him he dont like y’all he doing it for his self all the money yall donnate he gives it to the women he sleeps with while hes tracking around the u.s running his mouth get a clue and stop being a copy cat ain’t nobody do nothing wrong in the Obama administration you republicans just mad because your party mess up America and we didn’t let y’all try to fix it so yall will destroy it before y’all let the democrats fix it and that’s the only thing wrong with America you racist.
Jay G. says
Great, get the RonPaulbots and their wacky conspiracy theories all worked up. That’s just what this site needs.
Very nice generalization of his supporters, Jay..it takes real cognitive ability to make ad-hominems
So Eric Philips took some pictures of other window decorations, but how does he know those people haven’t been asked to take them down as well?
The point isn’t that others were not also asked to take them down. The point is the rights of free speech for every individual to be allowed to voice his or her opinion are being abused. Everyone should be able to put up a sign, whether it is an Obama, Newt Gingrich, I love candy bars, whatever, etc. Poster. 1st amendment rights. Free speech. People have the right to voice opinions.
Need to leave the political stuff off this site….there are plenty of other places to let the Paulistias talk conspiracy.
This is not about anyone’s freedom of speech. It is about Auburn exercising its right to keep people’s crap out of the windows on university property. It’s not like a dorm room “belongs” to the students who reside there. You have every right to put up a political sign – or any other publicly decent expression of free speech – on your own property. I don’t have a problem with the university’s policy, but it should certainly be applied to everyone.
I live in Tiger Hall where this incident took place…..I’ll have you know that our hall director is a real jerk….I’ve routinely seen him yell at students. Maybe he’ll be fired.
I watched an interview with the guy who is the policy maker. He had blatant discrimination in the fact that he said he had “contracts” with the sororities and they were allowed to hang various political things on there windows were individuals and other clubs who I guess didn’t have “contracts” couldn’t.
On another note, Auburn University is a public university and as such is bound by the constitution to uphold a persons first amendment rights to free speech according the supreme court. In fact the supreme court rules that no other place is the first amendment right more important than a college campus. Tec hnically, free speech “zones” are unconstitutional, because if you have a draft card and can die for your country against your will, you ought to have the right to say whatever you like in public domain.
I say again, Auburn is declared as a PUBLIC UNIVERSITY and the supreme court dictates the constitution say all public universities must adhere to the constitutional right of free speech for all students on a public campus.
Miller Time says
should have just given it another week or so, I’m sure Updyke would have taken care of it
Great, first the Ron Paul crazies come out, then the barely literate Andre Adams comes out and actually validates some of their (Rich’s) points. I could go on, but I don’t want to get into that.
As for the giant Ron Paul sign filling the entire center window directly above the main Tiger Hall entrance.. are you people serious? I walk around those dorms daily, and I can promise you there are no other giant political signs. The university does have the right to say what can go on their dorms, and I promise you that if anyone put up a giant Obama sign over the entrance to any Auburn dorm, or a Gingrich or Romney, etc, sign, they would be taken down also! These people are being ridiculous and just trying to stir up a fight. The so-called “other banners” the he took pictures of to claim “unfair treatment” are non-political and smaller and not directly over an entrance. Looking through his pictures, you will see that his references are an AUBURN sign (??) and a U.S. flag and a few extremely blurry images. None of these are political (please don’t be the arrogant one who tries to say an American flag in America is political) and none of these are in prominent locations.
Roman Berry says
It’s a dorm rule. Don’t like the rules? Don’t live in the dorms.
Eric Philips says
Adams, please copy and pastein url:
Berry, please read my article to hear the full story: http://www2.oanow.com/news/2012/may/06/stop-selective-censorship-auburns-campus-ar-3738270/
where can i watch tv online for free says
What did Ron Paul say to the illegal immigrant?Adios.