‘It is deeply hypocritical’: UVA student who challenged school's 1A policy speaks out

'Campus Reform' spoke with Emma Camp, the University of Virginia student who had a copy of the First Amendment removed from her dorm door by a school official.

Camp was challenging administrators’ recent free speech regulations, which 'Campus Reform' previously covered.

One student at the University of Virginia decided to defy the "hypocritical" free speech policy set by the administration by placing a poster with the text of the First Amendment on her dorm door.

As Campus Reform reported earlier this year, several University of Virginia student leaders living on the Lawn — a courtyard at the center of the school’s grounds — placed signs in their windows to lambast administrators for failing to enact social justice measures. After the incident, the university restricted the type of content that can be placed outside of dorms.

In response, University of Virginia undergraduate and Lawn resident Emma Camp affixed a large sign containing the full text of the First Amendment to her door on September 17, what was the 234th anniversary of the Constitution’s signing. 

[RELATED: UVA restricts signage allowed on students’ doors to restrict speech it doesn't like]

Shen then informed the Office of the Dean of Students that she would be adding the display to her door in defiance of the signage policy, The Cavalier Daily reported.

On September 22, staff members from the university removed the poster, which the student, Emma Camp, called a "very pro-free speech move."

“It is deeply hypocritical that a school which so openly embraces principles of free expression would enact this policy in retaliation to students’ use of that very same freedom of expression,” Camp told Campus Reform.

Camp, who previously interned with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, said that she selected the First Amendment itself as a challenge to the University of Virginia’s sign policy because she “wanted to use a message whose truth I believed in deeply.”

“Without an essential freedom of speech, democracy cannot function,” said Camp. “When faced with a policy which seeks to limit student speech, I couldn’t think of anything better to show my disagreement than the law which represents the very notion of freedom of speech in the first place.”

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Beyond the sign policy, Camp noted that “the greatest challenge to student’s freedom of expression comes from a general lack of appreciation for ideological diversity within the student body." 

“I would hope that UVA would show itself capable of standing by those principles in more than name only," Camp said. "For the time being, UVA’s ‘unequivocal’ support of free expression remains merely in words, not actions." 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft