As you read this story, ponder why there’s a need for "free speech zones" on college campuses. Does that mean free speech is not allowed outside of those zones?
Officials at Marquette University have ordered a Ph.D. student to remove a quotation critical of the federal government from his office door, because the hallway the door faces is not a "free speech zone."
In August, Stuart Distler, a doctoral student teacher, posted a quotation from humor columnist Dave Barry on his office door. "As Americans, we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless," the sign stated. "I refer, of course, to the federal government."
On Sept. 5, Philosophy Department Chairman James South informed Distler via email that the sign had been taken down because it was "patently offensive."
"While I’m a strong supporter of academic freedom," South wrote, "I’m afraid that hallways and office doors are not ‘free-speech zones.’ If material is patently offensive and has no obvious academic import or university sanction, I have little choice but to take note."
So now Dave Barry is considered subversive. Very scary. Besides, the quote in question is not offensive, but largely accurate.