Melissa Brown wrote for AL.com (the online presence of several Alabama newspapers) yesterday to bring local attention to FIRE’s letter to the University of Alabama (UA) about its requirement that students obtain a permit several days in advance of distributing flyers and leaflets. As we reported yesterday, UA has not responded to our letter.
Brown noted that UA students share FIRE’s concerns about the school’s grounds use policy. The editorial board of the The Crimson White, UA’s student newspaper, wrote in February to advocate for policy changes after university police officers halted filming of a Harlem Shake video. The Board’s comments then ring true still:
[T]he last thing UA needs to do ... is stand behind its antiquated policy that stifles free speech and racial, organizational and cultural integration on this campus. This policy needs to change, and students need to press for this change.
At the The Volokh Conspiracy earlier today, UCLA Law professor and First Amendment expert Eugene Volokh also commented on the leafleting policy:
This policy means that student groups aren’t allowed to speak on campus — whether by leafleting or in other organized ways, such as by displaying signs and the like — ...