Central Michigan University: Student Group’s Freedom of Association Under Attack

Category: Freedom of Conscience
Schools: Central Michigan University

In an important victory for free association, Central Michigan University (CMU) has revised a policy that absurdly banned ideological and political groups from “discriminating” on the basis of “political persuasion.” FIRE urged CMU to change this policy after students hostile to the mission of the Young Americans for Freedom student group attempted to become members of the group in order to destroy it from the inside. FIRE informed CMU that freedom of association includes the right to exclude members who do not subscribe to a group’s mission. Thanks to FIRE’s intervention, CMU has rewritten its policy, informed student groups of the change, and vows to have the new policy on the books by the start of next semester.

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    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 […]

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  • This Month in FIRE History: Victory for Freedom of Association at Central Michigan University

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    In April 2007, FIRE won an important victory when Central Michigan University (CMU) reversed a policy banning ideological and political groups from “discriminating” on the basis of “political persuasion.” The case holds important lessons for freedom of association on campus that remain particularly relevant in light of last year’s 5-4 Supreme Court decision in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez. The controversy at CMU began with a student effort to derecognize the school’s chapter of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) because of the group’s unpopular views. When this effort failed, students began to disrupt YAF meetings and created a Facebook group […]

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    April 3, 2007

    MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich., April 3, 2007—In an important victory for free association, Central Michigan University (CMU) has revised a policy that banned ideological and political groups from “discriminating” on the basis of “political persuasion.” The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) urged CMU to change this policy after students who disagreed with the mission of the Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) student organization attempted to become members of the group in order to destroy it from the inside. “Central Michigan University should be commended for quickly fixing its constitutionally unsound ‘anti-discrimination’ policy,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “Freedom of […]

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