spacer_image About PAH
spacer_image
spacer_image About Hate Crimes
spacer_image
spacer_image For Community and Business Leaders
spacer_image
spacer_image For Educators
spacer_image
spacer_image For Law Enforcement
spacer_image
spacer_image For Parents and Families
spacer_image
spacer_image For Youth
spacer_image
spacer_image For Trainers
spacer_image
spacer_image Hate Response Network
spacer_image
spacer_image Hate Crimes Database
spacer_image
spacer_image Promising Programs
spacer_image
spacer_image PAH Publications
spacer_image
spacer_image Newsletter
spacer_image
spacer_image Site Index
spacer_image
spacer_image
spacer_image Trainers Intranet
spacer_image
Partner Organizations

Anti-Defamation League


Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence


The Leadership Conference Education Fund

Funded By

Office of Juvenile Deliquency Prevention U.S. Department of Justice


Safe and Drug Free Schools Program U.S. Department of Education

Funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Education, Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program.

Issue/Question:
Can universities prevent the use of their computer services for the promotion of extremist views?

Suggested Response:

Because private universities are not agents of the government, they may forbid users from engaging in offensive speech using university equipment or university services; however, public universities, as agents of the government, must follow the First Amendment's prohibition against speech restrictions based on content or viewpoint. Nonetheless, public universities may promulgate content-neutral regulations that effectively prevent the use of school facilities or services by extremists. For example, a university may limit use of its computers and server to academic activities only. This would likely prevent a student from creating a racist Web site for propaganda purposes or from sending racist e-mail from his or her student e-mail account. One such policy -- at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana -- stipulates that its computer services are "provided in support of the educational, research and public service missions of the University and its use must be limited to those purposes." Universities depend on an atmosphere of academic freedom and uninhibited expression. Any decision to limit speech on a university campus -- even speech in cyberspace -- will inevitably affect this ideal. College administrators should confer with representatives from both the faculty and student body when implementing such policies.
© 2003 The Leadership Conference Education Fund
Contact Us Privacy Statement
Powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software