December 23, 2011
AUBURN, Ala.—Auburn University has ordered a Ron Paul for President campaign banner removed from the inside of a dorm room window while allowing students to display numerous other banners, stickers, and flags. Student Eric Philips, who was ordered to remove his sign last month, used his cell phone to gather photographic evidence of the double standard  and came to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help.
“An unreasonable and pointless ban on all window displays is bad enough,” said FIRE President Greg Lukianoff. “Yet it’s obvious from the photos that Auburn has actually singled out Eric Philips’ Ron Paul poster for removal. If Auburn is selectively banning only speech it deems controversial—or worse, political speech it simply doesn’t like—freedom of expression is in grave danger at Auburn.”
On November 7, Philips was ordered by his residence hall director to take down the Ron Paul sign he had recently placed in his window. Philips did so. In a conversation with student affairs administrator Nick Wiard about the issue on November 18, Wiard cited the newly adopted Auburn Housing and Residence Life policy 1.4.5, which states: “Hanging or displaying items such as flags, banners, decals, or signs out of or obstructing residence hall windows is prohibited.”