The University of Central Florida is under fire this week for a series of behavioral policies and response measures that conservative interests argue are “chilling student speech.”
In a fiery public statement released Tuesday, Speech First, a nonprofit focused on college students’ free speech rights, announced it had filed suit against the Orlando university on behalf of three unnamed students who allege they have seen their First Amendment pursuits inhibited by vague computer use, bias response and discriminatory harassment policies.
Intended to combat “hostile” student environments, those sets of guidelines give university administrators the authority to intervene and investigate any “bias-related incidents” or statements “that reasonably could be perceived as being harassing, invasive, or unwanted.”
The policies also extend to cover online and off-campus incidents, but they fail to outline even one example, leaving students in the dark as to what constitutes a violation.
Liability in such a case can