War Free Speech.

The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression and College Pulse released the fourth annual College Free Speech Rankings, ranking the free speech cultures of 248 of America's largest and most prestigious campuses in order from best (Michigan Technological University) to worst (Harvard University) on Tuesday.

Auburn won the free speech Iron Bowl in 2023, ranking second in the nation for the best colleges for free speech. The rankings rely heavily on student responses and on how schools responded to de-platforming attempts, which seek to prevent speakers from expressing themselves. Each school's speech code rating was also factored into the scoring. Most schools without any policies that imperil free speech rose in the rankings, while those with restrictive speech codes fell, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression.

The University of Alabama finished with a "slightly below average" ranking of 154, mainly for its low score on students' "comfort expressing ideas" subcategory ranking. The University of Alabama at Birmingham finished with a "slightly above average" ranking of 43. The University of Alabama in Huntsville received an "average" score of 72.

"Each year, the climate on college campuses grows more inhospitable to free speech," FIRE director of polling and analytics Sean Stevens said in a statement. "Some of the most prestigious universities in our country have the most repressive administrations. Students should know that a college degree at certain schools may come at the expense of their free speech rights."

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