Win for Free Speech on College Campuses

Olivia Offner
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Posted: Jul 07, 2009 10:46 AM
The University of Arizona has rescinded its unconstitutional security fee for a David Horowitz event hosted by the College Republicans. The University forced the student group to have security at the event due to its controversial nature, and then billed the group for the services. The club then went to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. FIRE wrote to the university, saying:
Any requirement that student organizations hosting controversial events pay for extra security is unconstitutional because it affixes a price tag to events on the basis of their expressive content. The Supreme Court addressed precisely this issue in Forsyth County v. Nationalist Movement, 505 U.S. 123, 134-135 (1992).
University of Arizona's decision to absorb the security cost is a victory for free speech on college campuses. Adam Kissel, Director of FIRE's Individual Rights Defense Program, said:
One by one, universities are remembering their duty to protect controversial speech, rather than unduly burdening it or letting it be shouted down. Those who fulfill the important task of bringing dissenting viewpoints to the university must be protected from those who respond to dissent with violence or disruption.
Read more about the case here.