DePaul University: DePaul Continues to Impose ‘Speech Tax’ on Student Expression


DePaul University

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Case Overview


In September 2016, the DePaul Socialists, a registered student group, was forced to pay hundreds of dollars for security guards to be present at their informational student meeting. Despite the DePaul Socialists not wanting security officers present, DePaul administrators deemed the event “potentially controversial” and told the students that if they would not agree to pay for the security guards, the event would be canceled. This was the third time in a few months that the university had imposed exorbitant security fees on student organizations perceived to engage in “controversial” expression. After DePaul failed to substantively reply to FIRE’s September 8 letter, FIRE wrote to DePaul again on September 23, demanding, for the second time, that the university live up to its promises of free speech and cease charging student organizations for security based on the content of their expression. DePaul did not respond to FIRE’s letter.