Eugene Volokh explains why one might not have a constitutionally protected right of free speech at a private (as opposed to a public) university. The “state action” requirement is one of those things that some lawyers forget about, and which hardly any lay people know about. A lot of people are under the misconception that the Constitution guarantees freedom of speech. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. It guarantees freedom of speech in certain situations. Well, actually, the First Amendment is where the limited guarantees come from.