ISU was accused of limiting free speech through its code of conduct. (photo by B Corbin/WJBC)
By WJBC Staff
NORMAL - Illinois State University’s Code of Student Conduct has been singled out by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for violations of students’ free speech.
FIRE points to a section in the student conduct code stating that if a student's expression or behavior deviates from the university's definition of what it means to appreciate diversity or be socially responsible, the student can be kicked out of the university. The web-based watchdog calls the list of non-negotiable values that students must follow an infringement on students’ First Amendment rights.
ISU spokesman Jay Groves said the website is misinterpretating the university’s policies.
"They're looking at the value statement in the Student Code of Conduct and substituting it for the university's regulations, that which is enforcible," Groves said.
Groves said the code not a strict set of rules.
"The university does not interrupt anyone's rights of free speech," Groves said. "The only thing enforced are those regulations, and most of them are based in laws regarding safety, such as damage, theft, or harassment."
Groves said the misinformation comes out of the section called "To be an Illinois State University student." The section represents the way students should ideally treat each other, both on campus and in life.