Button Hullabaloo Brewing At U of I
By Marcus Gilmer in News on Sep 24, 2008 6:25PM
Feel like expressing your political choice on the campus of the University of Illinois? Well, if you're an employee of the university, you can't. According to Inside Higher Ed:
The university system’s ethics office sent a notice to all employees, including faculty members, telling them that they could not wear political buttons on campus or feature bumper stickers on cars parked in campus lots unless the messages on those buttons and stickers were strictly nonpartisan. In addition, professors were told that they could not attend political rallies on campuses if those rallies express support for a candidate or political party.Professors at the University are circulating a draft of a response to the memo, including the following statement.
Although these rules are not at present being enforced, the AAUP [American Association of University Professors] deplores their chilling effect on speech, their interference with the educational process, and their implicit castigation of normal practice during political campaigns.A spokesman for the university said he was unaware of a particular incident that inspired the decision.