FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, rates Williams as yellow light, meaning as being among “those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application.”

Is that a fair rating?

Note that FIRE seems to be an honestly non-partisan organization. When a college has no speech code, then FIRE recognizes that fact, as it did recently for Dartmouth.

Recall the Queer Bash Email controversy (more here, here) of 2 years ago in which two Williams students sent out “abusive” e-mails in response to an all-campus e-mail about the annual Queer Bash party. What was the result of that case? I don’t think that the administration ever took any action.

Regardless, I would like to see FIRE give Williams a green light. Does Williams deserve one? I think that doing so would only require a forthright statement from the Administration to the fact that free speech does not end at the top of Spring Street.

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