UM housing staff leaves dorm doors alone in protecting free speech

When a group of black University of Michigan students had name tags on their dorm room doors vandalized with racist language in fall 2017, it was labeled by many during campus protests as hate speech.

Despite many finding the language offensive, a UM policy wouldn’t allow university or student housing staff to erase or remove the language – and it still doesn’t.

Yet, UM has been under scrutiny since a lawsuit was filed against it by Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group Speech First alleging the university’s disciplinary codes prohibiting harassment and bullying limit “staggering amounts of protected speech and expression.”

A federal judge denied Speech First’s effort to immediately end UM’s use of a Bias Response Team that it claimed hindered free speech on campus.

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