The University of California–Los Angeles (UCLA) has reversed a decision that forced a student organization to cancel an immigration debate in response to threatened protests after it could not pay a $15,000 security fee. After UCLA’s Objectivist group was forced to pay the security fee or cancel the event, they turned to FIRE for help, who wrote Acting Chancellor Norman Abrams to remind him that UCLA was legally bound to uphold the First Amendment, and that forcing a club to pay excessive security fees because of the threat of an unruly mob was also unconstitutional. As a result, UCLA changed its position, emphasizing in a letter to FIRE that the Objectivist group could host the event without paying the security fee. The unconstitutional “heckler’s veto” has been dealt another blow on college campuses.
April 9, 2007
It’s well known that you don’t have the right to yell “fire” in a crowded theater when there is none. But yelling “FIRE!” is precisely what one must do when one’s free speech rights are in danger on a college campus. FIRE is the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education—a Philadelphia-based legal advocacy group that goes to bat for students whose rights to free speech and association are curtailed illegally by college administrators and policies gone horribly awry. FIRE’s list of accomplishments is ever-growing, but here are just a couple of the latest: – At Central Michigan University, liberal opponents […]» Read More
March 30, 2007
When most people think of college campuses, they think of robust debate, intense discussion, and the occasional emotional rant. It’s college, and students are paying a steep price tag to have their beliefs challenged and their minds exercised. With such an understanding in mind, a student group at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) thought it would be informative and entertaining to host an immigration debate on campus. The thought was not wild, as the kids at UCLA were merely mimicking the 67 percent of American people that told CNN they believe the number of immigrants must be reduced […]» Read More
March 29, 2007
LOS ANGELES, March 29, 2007—The University of California–Los Angeles (UCLA) has reversed a decision that forced a student organization to cancel an immigration debate in response to threatened protests. UCLA had planned to charge the student group sponsoring the debate up to $15,000 in security costs after other students threatened to protest the debate. Unable to pay this prohibitively large sum of money, the group was forced to cancel the debate, and contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. “A public university cannot penalize students financially for hosting a controversial event,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. […]» Read More