Student leaders demand protection for free speech as UT-Austin fights First Amendment lawsuit

The University of Texas-Austin student government took a step toward protecting free speech on campus last month, asking the administration to support principles pioneered by the University of Chicago.

By adopting the so-called Chicago Statement on freedom of expression, UT would make a “broad and internationally-recognized statement” in favor of students’ rights and “create a specific impetus for resolving many critiques levied against” the university, according to the resolution, approved Feb. 19.

It cites the public university’s “red light” rating from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which means UT has policies that are a “clear” threat to freedom of expression, regardless of “how the policy is applied.”

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