California State University, Fullerton: Unconstitutional Investigation and Punishment of Sorority Over ‘Inappropriate’ Theme Party

Category: Free Speech
Schools: California State University – Fullerton

On August 19, 2014, the Alpha Delta Pi (ADP) sorority at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) held a “Taco Tuesday”-themed recruitment event, at which many of its members wore Mexican clothing items and costumes. CSUF opened a disciplinary investigation of the sorority due to the perceived insensitivity of its members’ attire at the event. As part of a “Voluntary Administrative Review” process, CSUF declared ADP guilty of disrupting university operations, “[d]isorderly, lewd, [indecent], or obscene behavior,” and “[c]onduct that threaten[s] or endangers the health or safety” of CSUF community members, among other violations. CSUF’s sanctions included requirements that ADP “coordinate a mandatory workshop on cultural competencies and diversity” and the “development of a ‘we are a culture not a costume’ campaign.” FIRE wrote to CSUF on September 26, 2014, calling the conduct charges and sanctions against ADP entirely without merit and unconstitutional, and demanded their complete and immediate dismissal.