“Whether this speech is protected by the First Amendment is of little or no concern to many colleges and universities”

Rob Shimshock:

“On a regular basis, the University of Illinois sends a clear message to students who wish to engage in political and religious speech: there are some views that are welcome, and others that are not,” Speech First President Nicole Neily said in the press release. “Students deserve to be able to express themselves and voice their opinions without fear of investigation or punishment – which is why these policies must be reformed.”

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Speech First took issue with UIUC’s leafleting policy, which says that students cannot “post and distribute leaflets, handbills, and other types of materials” that are “promotional materials of candidates for noncampus elections” without approval in advance from the school. The nonprofit also cites UIUC’s 2017-2018 Bias Assessment Response Team report, which asserts that the university received 265 bias reports of 128 separate bias incidents for FY 2018.