Michigan State University: Funding Rejected for Free-Market Scholar’s Speech

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Michigan State University

In September 2012, the Michigan State University (MSU) College Libertarians, a recognized student organization at MSU, applied to the Associated Students of Michigan State University’s (ASMSU’s) Funding Board for $4,450 in funding to host a lecture by bestselling author and historian Tom Woods. The Funding Board denied the application, notifying the group that the student government “cannot fund groups with political agendas” as it would “seem like we [ASMSU] are pushing a particular political agenda.” FIRE wrote to MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon on October 19, explaining that Supreme Court precedent required the school to ensure that funding be made equally available to student organizations on a content- and viewpoint-neutral basis. Shortly after receiving FIRE’s letter, the group’s application for funding was re-reviewed and approved by the Funding Board. The ASMSU also stated that it will review its policies to ensure full compliance with the First Amendment.

There is currently no media coverage for this case.
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    November 16, 2012

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  • Michigan State Reverses Decision Rejecting Free-Market Scholar’s Speech

    November 16, 2012

    EAST LANSING, Mich., November 16, 2012—Michigan State University (MSU) has reaffirmed the First Amendment rights of student organizations this week after it wrongly denied funding to a student group. When the MSU College Libertarians were denied funding to bring bestselling author Tom Woods to speak on campus on the faulty basis that groups with “political agendas” were ineligible to receive student activity fee funding, the group contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. “The right to engage in discussion of public affairs is one of the most fundamental freedoms the First Amendment has to offer. Nowhere […]

    » Read More