Creighton University: Administrators Revoked Approval of Student-Organized Event, Citing Tax-Exempt Status


Creighton University

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Case Overview

FIRE Victory closed

Creighton University revoked approval for an April 9 event organized by Creighton’s Turning Point USA chapter after the group changed the name of the event and added controversial speakers. Creighton justified its decision by claiming those changes threatened the university’s tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3) organization. On April 13, FIRE wrote Creighton explaining the university’s tax-exempt status only prohibits the university itself from advocating for political viewpoints, and that Creighton violated its commitments to free expression by preventing students from engaging in core political expression. FIRE later learned Creighton also opened an investigation into the student group based on its changes to the event, so we wrote Creighton again to explain that it could not investigate or punish the group based on its hosting of a political event. On May 11, Creighton placed TPUSA on probation for not informing the college of changes to the event but found the group not responsible for the charges that implicated its expressive activity.