Hampton University: Gay and Lesbian Student Group Denied Recognition Without Explanation

Category: Freedom of Conscience
Schools: Hampton University

For the second time in two years, Hampton University inexplicably denied official recognition to students seeking to start a gay and lesbian group on campus. The group, Students Promoting Equality, Action and Knowledge (SPEAK), contacted FIRE, which wrote a letter to Hampton on urging the university to recognize SPEAK or provide an adequate explanation for effectively banning the group from campus for the next two years.  However, Hampton remains silent on the issue.

  • Hampton’s philosophy: ‘Don’t speak’

    February 26, 2007

    by Michael Paul Williams Richmond Times-Dispatch   When it comes to its students, Hampton University’s philosophy can be described as “don’t speak.” Continuing its assault on the First Amendment, the university has denied recognition to a gay and lesbian student group for the second year in a row. The group Students Promoting Equality, Action & Knowledge goes by the acronym SPEAK. Its stated mission is to serve as a bridge between the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and straight communities at HU. But without university recognition, it can’t officially meet or post fliers at the seaside campus. The Foundation for Individual […]

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  • No room for a gay group

    February 26, 2007

    Jessica Smith is tired of the phrase “unofficial status.” The Hampton University junior wants to post fliers, instead of relying on word of mouth, when planning events for Students Promoting Equality, Action & Knowledge, a group whose stated mission is to “serve as a bridge between the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and straight communities.” But for now, Smith has to settle for the status quo. Hampton has denied official recognition to the group, called SPEAK. The news caused members to question the university’s motives. “Everyone is disappointed, but we’ve all become accustomed to the system here and our hopes weren’t […]

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  • Hampton University Denies Recognition to Gay and Lesbian Student Group Without Explanation

    February 22, 2007

    HAMPTON, Va., February 22, 2007—For the second time in two years, Hampton University has inexplicably denied official recognition to students seeking to start a gay and lesbian group on campus. The group, Students Promoting Equality, Action and Knowledge (SPEAK), contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which is calling on Hampton to either explain or reverse its decision. “Denying students the right to form an organization is a serious action, and warrants a serious explanation,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “Hampton’s silence on the decision has left students, alumni, and the public wondering whether the denial was legitimate […]

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