DePaul University: Censorship of Student Group Protesting Ward Churchill


DePaul University

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FIRE Victory closed

In 2005, the College Republicans at DePaul University printed flyers to protest a campus appearance by University of Colorado Professor Ward Churchill. DePaul prohibited the College Republicans from posting the flyers, citing a vague policy prohibiting “propaganda.” When the student group posted the flyers anyway, it received a formal warning from DePaul. DePaul also prevented the College Republicans from attending an event with Churchill. FIRE wrote to DePaul on November 23 urging the university to reject its censorship of political opinions and abandon its ban on propaganda. On December 12, DePaul incorrectly responded that no policies at DePaul mention propaganda. When FIRE publicized DePaul’s actions, including its addition of a policy that flyers may only “promote events,” DePaul contacted FIRE, relaying news of a new addendum indicating that flyers promoting “propaganda” will not be accepted, while claiming to affirm “DePaul’s respect for freedom of speech.” On January 6, 2006, however, DePaul revoked its propaganda ban.