College campuses would seem to be ripe environments for intellectual diversity to flourish. But rather than celebrate free speech, academic institutions across America routinely censor student publications and individuals. Such was the case recently at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.
Professor James Miller came under attack from the campus administration when he posted a picture and quote from the science-fiction show “Firefly” outside his office door. It was removed by campus police because it was perceived to be a threat to others. When Miller fought back by posting another sign condemning fascism, it was also removed.
The university defended its actions — that is until the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education took up the case. FIRE’s advocacy campaign inspired author Neil Gaiman to get involved, along with “Firefly” actors Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin. Suddenly, millions knew about the university’s censorship and flooded the campus with messages defending the professor’s free speech. This attention prompted the University of Wisconsin-Stout to back down.
FIRE produced a video documenting the case, a must-watch episode that documents the censorship challenges that happen routinely on college campuses today.