FIRE ranking shouldn’t make us ‘comfortable’

It is disturbing to read that Winston Crisp is comfortable with UNC’s yellow light rating from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

UNC is a state institution and it receives funding from both local and federal governments. If the institution’s policies stand in violation of the Constitution, it doesn’t matter much whether UNC administrators are comfortable with them or not.

The fact of the matter is that UNC has certain policies that have already been declared unconstitutional at other universities. What makes UNC’s complacency with its problematic policies especially frustrating is that the solutions to them are so simple. For example, the Supreme Court has already laid down a clear definition of student-on-student sexual harassment in the educational context. Why not simply borrow the court’s language and ensure that the University’s policies do not violate essential freedoms?

Linda Foulsham of Appalachian State University completely missed the point when she said that instances would only be determined to be sexual harassment after applying the facts of a particular situation and individual review.

The last thing we should want is a policy so vague that it puts the determination of guilt entirely in the hands of administrators. Policies should be as clear as possible, so that individuals know exactly what constitutes a violation.

For more information about the problematic policies, I urge concerned readers to visit FIRE at, and read my open letter to Dean of Students John Sauls at

David Deerson
Vice President
UNC-CH College Libertarians

Thanks for reading.

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