ON-Lion Letter
Boston College (BC) promises that all of its students have the right "to learn, which includes the right of access to ideas, the right of access to facts and opinions, the right to express ideas, and the right to discuss those ideas with others."  At the same time, BC undercuts those promises with other restrictive policies, and it has taken several actions to interfere with these rights.  It thus misleads students who count on its promises of fundamental intellectual rights, restricting speech that would be protected on a public campus.

Although BC is a private college dedicated both to "intellectual excellence" and its "Jesuit, Catholic heritage," misleading students in this way is a serious problem that has now earned it the worst, "red light" rating from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) in Philadelphia. Unless BC openly admits that it is not truly dedicated to free expression (which is its right as a private college) or removes its speech restrictions, BC will keep its "red light" rating so that prospective students know that it will not honor its stated commitments to freedom of expression should they choose to attend.

To see how FIRE rates your school, visit its national speech-code database, "Spotlight," or read its annual speech-code report, Spotlight on Speech Codes 2009:  The State of Free Speech on Our Nation's Campuses.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports FIRE, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
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