FIRE’s Petition to Washington University, St. Louis

By on October 14, 2002

We the undersigned strongly protest the decision of the Washington University Student Bar Association (SBA)—which by University choice controls both recognition of student organizations and the disbursal of the University’s mandatory student fee—to deny, twice, recognition to Law Students Pro-Life. This action restricts freedom of conscience, freedom of association, and freedom of speech, and it demonstrates an unbearable double standard.

Law Students Pro-Life has met all the criteria currently listed in the SBA by-laws as necessary for recognition. The SBA’s objection to “the narrowness of [Law Students Pro-Life’s] interests and goals” is not a valid argument against official recognition. The SBA has already rightly recognized freedom of association by its approval of several organizations that might be defined by others as “narrow,” from group-identity organizations to a Golf Club. This double standard strikes at the heart of liberty and violates the moral principles of legal equality and dignity.

The SBA’s suggestion that “[Law Students Pro-Life] was not touching on all possible Pro Life issues”—telling the group to adopt an “anti-death penalty” stance—violates the group’s right to organize according to its own principles. For Washington University, Law Students Pro-Life has the wrong conscience, and the University seeks to coerce them to espouse beliefs that may violate their deepest convictions. No institution seriously committed to open discourse would tell students what issues they cannot address, let alone what issues they must address.

We request that the administration simply recognize the right of campus groups to advocate particular positions, making possible a diversity of vital voluntary associations. Protecting freedom of speech does not compel agreement with the uses that individuals make of that freedom. Neither “pro-choice” nor “pro-life” proponents are “too narrow.”

We request that the SBA and the administration work to create clear guidelines for student organization recognition and to put in place safeguards to protect freedom of conscience, freedom of association, and freedom of speech on the Washington University campus. The University itself collects the mandatory student fee, and the University itself owns and controls the campus facilities made available by recognition. Washington University in Saint Louis presents itself as a place of freedom and open debate. The administration is responsible for fair use of its fees and facilities.

We petition the SBA to fulfill its duty and to vote in favor of the recognition of Law Students Pro-Life at the October 14, 2002 SBA meeting.

Should SBA vote against freedom of conscience, we request the Washington University administration to act immediately to recognize Law Students Pro-Life as an official student organization, with all attendant benefits. We also request that the administration ensure that the future status of Law Students Pro-Life be clearly safeguarded from similar assaults from the SBA or any other university agency.

The Washington University administration, given its promise of freedom of religion and freedom of speech, should recognize that it and its agents, including the SBA, lack the moral authority to dictate the political and moral views of students and student organizations.

Finally, we call on the Washington University administration to take a strong stand to protect freedom of conscience on the Washington University campus. A great university does not impose a dreary uniformity of beliefs.

[Organized by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education]

 


Signatories:*

*Partial listing as of noon, October 14, 2002

Dr. Abraham H. Miller
Professor Emeritus
University of Cincinnati

Dr. Adam F. Scrupski
Professor Emeritus
Rutgers University

Dr. Adrian R. Morrison
Professor of Behavioral and Neuroscience
University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Alan Charles Kors
President, Foundation for Individual Rights of Education
Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania

Mr. Alan Cramer
Student
Washington University School of Law

Mr. Albert Himoe

Dr. Aldo S. Bernardo
Professor Emeritus
Binghamton University

Dr. Allan B. Mandelstamm
Professor Emeritus
Virginia Tech

Mr. Allen N. Chisholm

Ms. Allison Deppe

Mr. Andrew Gomes

Mr. Andrew Roberts

Mr. Andrew Spring
Washington University alumnus

Mr. Andy Robertson

Mr. Angie Koutrotsios

Dr. Anne Pym
Professor
California State University, Hayward

Mr. Arthur J. Katz

Dr. Arthur T. White
Professor of Mathematics
Western Michigan University

Ms. Belynn Whatley

Dr. Benjamin F. Hammond
Research Professor of Periodontal Microbiology
Temple University

Mr. Bradley Hurt

Mr. Brendan Kenny 1L UC Hastings

Mr. Brett Harris
University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Brian L. O’Connor
Professor Emeritus
Indiana University School of Medicine

Dr. Bruce P. Frohnen
Professor
Ave Maria School of Law

Mr. C.V. Compton Shaw

Miss Cailin N. Chrismer

Dr. Candace de Russy
Trustee
SUNY

Dr. Carey E. Stronach
Professor of Physics
Virginia State University

Mr. Carl Olson

Mr. Carl Walter
Law Student
Washburn University School of Law

Ms. Carolyn B. Spence
Director of Financial Affairs, Marketing
Clovis Connections

Mr. Charles Conrad

Mr. Charles Hardy Student
Stanford University

Mr. Christopher Martin

Mr. Christopher Moritz
Student
Santa Monica High School

Ms. Claire Kittle
Georgetown University

Mr. Cliff Bamford

Mr. Cortes DeRussy

Mr. Craig Monett

Mr. Craig Rolle
Intern
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

Mr. Craig Sands

Mr. Curtis Crawford
Educator and Clergyman (retired)

Mrs. Cynthia Pica Nunez
Staff Accountant
Solar Turbines, Inc.

Mr. Dale Crawford

Mr. Damon Walker
University of California Berkeley

Mr. Dan L. Kennedy
CEO
Human Life of Washington

Mr. Daniel Rah

Mr. Daniel Schmutter

Dr. Daniel Shapiro
Professor
West Virginia University

Dr. Daniel Steele
Associate Professor
University of South Carolina

Mr. Dave Fobare

Mr. Dave Huber
Teacher
Brandywine School District, DE

1LT David B. Thayer
Platoon Leader
U.S. Army

Mr. David C. LaPlante
2L
St. Louis University School of Law

Dr. David Churchman
Professor
California State University

Dr. David Clemens
Professor
Monterey Peninsula College

Dr. David Deming
Associate Professor
University of Oklahoma

Mr. David J. Cattie, Esq.

Mr. David Leefe
Founder, CEO
Baptists Against Abortion

Mr. David M. Lipton

Dr. David Nance

Dr. David Seidemann
Professor
Brooklyn College

Mr. Dirk Van Alstyne, PhD.
Northwestern University

Mr. Dominic J. Anderson
2L
Washburn University School of Law

Mr. Dominick Lombardo

Dr. Donn Taylor
Professor of English Literature (retired)

Ms. Dorothy Timbs
Student
Regent Students for Life

Dr. Douglas Kahn
Professor
University of Michigan Law School

Mr. Duane T. Schmidt

Mr. Edwin Austin

Dr. Elizabeth Fox-Genovese
Eleonore Raoul Professor
Emory University

Ms. Elizabeth Maier
Undergraduate
University of California Berkeley

Mr. Elliott Ward

Dr. Eugene D. Genovese

Ms. Eva St. Clair
President
Stanford Students for Life

Dr. Evelyn Avery
Professor of Literature
Towson University

Dr. Gary M. Sasso
Professor and Chair, Department of Curriculum and Instruction
University of Iowa

Mr. Gary Waltrip
CPA

Mr. George Roper

Dr. George W. Dent, Jr.
Professor
Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Dr. Gerald Betty

Dr. Gerard Harbison
Professor of Chemistry
University of Nebraska

Mr. Glenn Keenon

Miss Grace Sun
Student
Stanford University

Miss Gracie Sorbello
Student

Mr. Gregory J. Sullivan
Lawyer
Hartsough Kenny & Chase

Mr. H. Paul Moon J.D. ’99

Mr. Harry E. Teasley, Jr.
Reason Foundation

Mr. Harvey A. Silverglate
Vice-President, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
Partner, Silverglate & Good

Dr. Harvey Shulman
Professor
Concordia University

Dr. Howard S. Schwartz
Professor
Oakland University

Dr. Ian Maitland
Professor
University of Minnesota

Mr. Ilya Mafter
President
IMC Associates Corp.

Mr. Jack Hallett

Mrs. Jacqueline Kulp

Mr. James Ettwein
Director
i-One Consulting LLC

Mrs. Janice Kulp

Mr. Jared Danzinger
1L
Northwestern University

Mr. Jason Crawford
Graduate Student
Harvard University

Mr. Jason Roberts
Law Student
Texas Tech School of Law

Mr. Jason Smith
Student
Washington University School of Law

Mr. Jeffrey Greenspan

Dr. Jeffrey Poelvoorde
Professor
Converse College

Mr. Jeffrey R. Smith
Gonzaga School of Law

Ms. Jennifer Pelphrey

Mrs. Jianbo Zhao

Mr. Jim Kulp

Mrs. JoAnn Anders

Mr. Joel Margolis

Mr. Joel Smith

Mr. John B. Brunati

Dr. John C. Wenger
Professor of Mathematics (retired)
Harold Washington College

Dr. John L. Hubisz
North Carolina State University

Mr. John S. Baltutis

Dr. Jon Reisman
Associate Professor of Economics and Public Policy
University of Maine at Macias

Dr. Jonathan Bean
Associate Professor of History
Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Dr. Jonathan Chaves
Professor of Chinese
The George Washington University

Dr. Jonathan Katz
Professor of Physics
Washington University, St. Louis

Dr. Joseph M. Skelly
Assistant Professor of History
College of Mount Saint Vincent

Mr. Joseph Miller

Mr. Joseph S. Collins

Mr. Josiah Neely
Notre Dame School of Law

Dr. Judith Kleinfeld
Professor of Psychology

Ms. Julia Devall

Dr. K.R. Nair
Professor Emeritus of Economics
West Virginia Wesleyan College

Dr. K.W. O’Connor, M.D.

Ms. Kathleen Lafferty
Conference Director
American Collegians for Life

Mrs. Kathleen Lubin

Ms. Kathy Luger
Graduate Student

Ms. Kellie J. Miller
Student
Ave Maria School of Law

Dr. Ken Masugi
Director, Center for Local Government
Claremont Institute

Mr. Kenneth Fukuda
Campus Crusade for Christ

Mr. Kent D. Johnson
President
Information, Technology & Education, LLC

Dr. Kevin D. Hoover
Professor
University of California Davis

Ms. Kimberly R. Sweidy
JD, MBA
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Mr. Kris Mauren
Executive Director
Acton Institute

Miss Kristina Twitty
Collegians Director
Eagle Forum

Dr. L. David Ormerod

Miss Lana Wright
Law Student

Dr. Larry C. Bernard
Professor
Loyola Marymount University

Ms. Laura Drexler

Ms. Laura Kulp
Program Officer
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

Mr. Leon H. Yancey
Cavalryman
U.S. Military (retired)

Ms. Linda Kuester
University of California Berkeley

Dr. Linda S. Gottfredson
Professor
University of Delaware

Ms. Lisa Pinto
Attorney

Mr. Lloyd Buchanan

Dr. Louis Chandler
Associate Professor
University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Lucy E. Moye
Associate Professor of History
Hillsdale College

Ms. M. B. Baumeister

Ms. Maggie Diamantidis

Ms. Maria Thornhill

Mrs. Marilyn R. Scull

Mrs. Marjorie Peters

Mr. Mark Silinsky

Mr. Mark Zugelder

Dr. Martin Trow
Professor Emeritus
Goldman School of Public Policy

Mr. Mathew Kawecki
Student
Duke University

Mr. Matthew Gifford

Ms. Megan Sands
Billing Manager

Ms. Melissa Lynn Riegert

Mr. Melvin Pyatt

Mr. Michael Bellafiore, S.J.
President
LifeMatters at G.T.U.

Dr. Michael Kellman
Professor of Chemistry
University of Oregon

Dr. Mike S. Adams
Associate Professor
University of North Carolina Wilmington

Dr. Myles J. Kelleher
Professor of Sociology
Bucks County Community College

Mr. Ned Wynn

Dr. Neil W. Hamilton
Professor of Law
University of St. Thomas Law School

Dr. O. Randall Braman
Emeritus Professor of Psychology
University of Guam

Mrs. Patricia Carter

Dr. Paul A. Cantor
Professor of English
University of Virginia

Mr. Paul Driessen

Dr. Paul Lake
Professor of English
Arkansas Tech University

Mr. Paul Maier

Dr. Paul Moreno
Assistant Professor of History
Hillsdale College

Mr. Paul Pica Nunez

Dr. Paul Trummel
Professor (retired)

Mr. Peter Abeln

Mr. Peter F. Buono
Coordinator

Mr. Peter Kovacs
Santa Clara University, School of Law

Dr. Phillip Goggans
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Seattle Pacific University

Mrs. Rachel Fezzie
Graduate Student
University of California Berkeley

Mr. Rafal Konopka

Mr. Rafer Willenberg

Mr. Ralph Wall

Dr. Ramdas Lamb
Graduate Chair, Department of Religion
University of Hawaii

Dr. Raymond Wolters
Keith Professor of History
University of Delaware

Mr. Reed Irvine
Chairman
Accuracy in Media, Inc.

Mrs. Rhonda C. Lutz

Dr. Richard A. Zeller, Ph.D.
Visiting Professor
Kent State University

Mr. Richard Angerer

Dr. Richard G. Stevens
Professor Emeritus
Institute of World Politics

Dr. Richard J. Davis
Professor of History (retired)

Mr. Richard Orodenker
President
Pennsylvania Association of Scholars

Mr. Richard Reinsch

Mr. Richard Stanger

Dr. Richard Weikart
Associate Professor
California State University, Stanislaus

Dr. Robert Finegan
Professor
Drexel University

Mr. Robert Hart
Anglican Priest

Dr. Robert Johnson
Professor
Washington and Lee University

Dr. Robert K. Griffith
Associate Professor
West Virginia University

Dr. Robert K. Griffith
Associate Professor
West Virginia University

Dr. Robert Lawson
Professor
Ohio State University

Mr. Robert M. Hayles

Mr. Ronald Maczka
Student
San Francisco State University

Dr. Russell LaScola
Professor
California Polytechnic State University

Mr. Sage McLaughlin

Mr. Sam Thornhill

Ms. Samantha Kors
Alumnus
University of Pennsylvania Law School

Mr. Samuel Chang
Student
Stanford University

Miss Sarah Kluge
Administrative Associate
Stanford University

Mr. Scott A. Hodges
JD Student
University of Oklahoma

Mr. Scott Garman
University of New Hampshire

Mr. Scott K. Harris
Educational Consultant

Mr. Shane Meling
Graduate Assistant Sports Promotion and Information
Slippery Rock University

Miss Stacie L. Nicholson

Dr. Stanley Rothman
Professor Emeritus
Smith College

Mrs. Stephanie Henry

Mr. Stephen McCants
Computer Programmer

Mr. Steve Hong
Vice President
American Collegians for Life

Mr. Steve Hong
Vice President
American Collegians for Life

Dr. Steven Chernus

Dr. Steven Grosby
Professor
Clemson University

Mr. Steven Schloeder
Graduate Theological Union

Mr. Tadmor Shalon
Washington University alumnus
President, Mta Ltd.

Dr. Ted A. Warfield
Associate Professor of Philosophy
The University of Notre Dame

Dr. Ted J. Smith III
Associate Professor, Mass Communications
Virginia Commonwealth University

Dr. Terry G. Harris
Associate Professor
Louisiana State University, Shreveport

Dr. Thomas F. Piatkowski
Professor of Computer Science
Western Michigan University

Mr. Thor L. Halvorssen
Executive Director
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

Mr. Tom Tweed

Mr. Tony Booth
Coordinator of Library Technology
Danbury Public Library

Ms. Tracey Peake
Information/Communications Specialist
North Carolina State University

Ms. Vicki A. Tucci

Mr. Victor Ranga

Dr. W.M. Schaffer
Professor
University of Arizona

Dr. Walter Block
Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics
Loyola University New Orleans

Ms. Wendy Kaminer
author/columnist

Miss Wendy McMahon
Law Student
University of Oklahoma

Mr. Will Wilkinson
Program Director
Institute for Human Studies

Mr. William E. English

Dr. William E. Garland
Professor of Law
Seton Hall Law School

Dr. William Grosky
Professor and Chair
University of Michigan, Dearborn

Dr. William L. Anderson
Assistant Professor
Frostburg State University

Dr. William Ty Mayton
Simmons Professor of Law
Emory Law School

Dr. Wm A. Phillips
Professor
University of Southern Maine

Mr. Rudy M. Porchivina
Managing Partner
Porchivina & Associates

Mr. Albert Fitzgerald
President
Answers Research, LLP

Mr. Robert L. Freedman
Partner
Dechert

Dr. Donald A. Downs
Professor
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Dr. Kenneth R. Mayer
Professor of Political Science
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Ms. Jennifer E. Powell

Dr. Stephen H. Balch
President
National Association of Scholars

Mr. Gerald E. Nora
Assistant State’s Attorney
Office of the Cook County State’s Attorney

Ms. Anne D. Neal
Executive Director
American Council of Trustees and Alumni

Mr. Jacob Stuebs
Duke Students for Life

Dr. Glenn M. Ricketts
Public Affairs Director
National Association of Scholars

Dr. Brian Akers
Asst. Professor of Biology
St. Andrews Presbyterian College

Mr. Sean M Kedrowski
Duke University

Mr. Gerald Joseph Nora
Predoctoral Fellow
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Dr. Suzana Glavas
Postdoctoral Fellow
University of California, San Francisco

Mr. Brandon Brod

Mr. Erich Wasserman
Director of Development
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

Mr. Herbert L. Weinreb

Dr. Earle Bronson
President
Arizonans for National Security

Dr. Marsha L. Frey
Professor of History
Kansas State University

Dr. William Minto

Dr. Clive Seligman
Professor
University of Western Ontario

Dr. Malcolm J. Sherman
Professor
University at Albany

Dr. Michael Neth
Professor of English
Middle Tennessee State University

Dr. Wilfred M. McClay
SunTrust Chair of Humanities
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Miss Crystal Robinson
Founder
Angels for Life

Dr. Jerome C. Yanoff
Adjunct Professor of Education
National-Louis University

Ms. Jennifer S. Youngblood
Stanford University

Miss Rachel Stenbuck
Meredith College

Dr. Pedro Gutierrez
Stanford University

Dr. Don Racheter
Professor of Political Science
Central College

Mr. Richard M. Esenberg
Vice President & General Counsel
Rite Hite Holding Corporation

Miss Rebekah Taylor

Mrs. Kathleen S. McCreary
Attorney (retired)

Mr. Lawrence Field
Chairman
NSB, inc.

Dr. Paul T. Riel, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist

Mrs. Charmayne Zieziula

Mr. John Korman
Duke Students for Life

Dr. Robert A. Schluter
Professor Emeritus
Northwestern University

Mr. Richard Clifford

Ms. Carlee M. Hobbs

Miss Theresa Berens
Student
Stanford University

Mr. Rex Larson

Dr. Alexander F. C. Webster
Assistant Professorial Lecturer
University Honors Program

Mr. Stuart A. Miller
Virginia Association of Scholars

Mr. Leon Barwick

Mr. Joseph Belk
Respect Life Coordinator
St. John Fisher Parish, Newtown

Mr. Ron Henry

Dr. Mike Allen
Professor of History
University of Washington, Tacoma

Dr. Stephen Bainbridge
Professor of Law
UCLA School of Law

Ms. Molly Bowman
Director of California Students for Life
Berkeley Students for Life

Dr. Gerald L. Rowles

Mr. M. Reed
Law Student
Pepperdine University School of Law

Mr. Stephen Phelan

Ms. Keely Madron

Mr. Charles H. Livingston
Director, Communications Services and Self-Governance (Retired)
Nee Vought Aircraft

Mr. Steven Veenema
Rightsholder Relations Representative
Copyright Clearance Center

Miss Brandi N. Gerringer

Schools: Washington University in St. Louis Cases: Washington University: Mandatory University Viewpoint