California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly): Use of Disruption Claim to Suppress Free Speech


California Polytechnic State University

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Case Overview

FIRE Victory closed

In a major victory for free speech on campus, California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) abandoned its attempt to punish a student for posting a flier on a public bulletin board. The flier merely announced a campus speech, but some students at the campus Multicultural Center found the flier "offensive." Cal Poly agreed to expunge student Steve Hinkle's disciplinary record relating to the incident, to cease interfering with his right to post fliers, and to pay significant attorney's fees. The settlement of the lawsuit ends a victorious year-long campaign organized by FIRE and the Center for Individual Rights to restore fundamental rights and liberties to this public university.