The review states. the colleges’ policies restrict speech in various ways, including “vague proscriptions, the creations of so-called ‘free speech zones’ and prior restraints.”
“Students across the country are made to parrot the accepted orthodoxy by school administrators or else are badgered into silence,” the report states. “Of the tools used by school administrators to stifle free speech, speech codes figure prominently.”
The review rated universities and colleges using a system created by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. The rating system uses a “traffic light” approach, where each color of a stoplight represents how that particular college ranks.
After the most severe rating, red, comes yellow ratings. A yellow rating means the college “is one whose policies restrict a more limited amount of protected expression or, by virtue of their vague working, could too easily be used to restrict protected expression.” A green rating means the college’s “policies do no seriously imperil speech.”
In addition, there is a blue rating set for a private college that “clearly and consistently states that it holds a certain set of values above a commitment to freedom of speech.”
Overall, 53% of private colleges in Wisconsin are rated “red.”
Among Marquette, private four-year institutions including Alverno College, Concordia University, Edgewood College, Mount Mary University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Northland College, Ripon College, Silver Lake College of the Holy Family, St. Norbert College and Viterbo University all ranked red.
“Although these private institutions are not bound by the First Amendment and have much wider latitude in adopting policies, they very often ‘promise debate and freedom’ to their students,” the review states.