DePaul University: Shutdown of Affirmative Action Bake Sale Protest

Category: Free Speech
Schools: DePaul University

DePaul University acquitted a conservative student group that was charged with harassment for holding an event that satirized affirmative action. Until FIRE intervened, DePaul administrators had been investigating the DePaul Conservative Alliance (DCA) for holding an “affirmative action bake sale” protest. The DCA members were found not guilty of violating the harassment policy, but were found guilty of failing to disclose in advance that the bake sale would be used to protest affirmative action.

  • University presidents battle for honors in spinelessness

    May 1, 2006

    It’s time for this column to announce its Sheldon Award, given annually to the university president who does the most to look the other way when free speech is under assault on campus. As all Sheldon fans know, the prize is a statuette that looks something like the Oscar, except that the Oscar shows a man with no face looking straight ahead, whereas the Sheldon shows a man with no spine looking the other way. The award is named for Sheldon Hackney, former president of the University of Pennsylvania and a modern legend in looking the other way. College presidents, […]

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  • Update: DePaul Censures Anti-Affirmative Action Group

    February 24, 2006

    A conservative student group has been acquitted of a charge that it violated DePaul University’s anti-harassment policy when it conducted a protest against affirmative action, the school announced Monday. However, the DePaul Conservative Alliance (DCA) was found guilty of violating the Code of Student Responsibility and censured. In January, the DCA held an “affirmative action bake sale” to mock affirmative action policies in higher education. The protests, which have occurred on other college and university campuses, involve white and Asian students being charged more for baked goods than blacks and Hispanics. The mock bake sales are designed to criticize affirmative […]

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  • DePaul Investigates Mock Bake Sale for Possible ‘Harassment’

    February 14, 2006

    by Nathan Burchfiel Cybercast News Service A DePaul University bake sale, mocking affirmative action, has exposed the student who organized the sale to an investigation on the grounds that he discriminated against and harassed other students. The Chicago-based school is investigating whether senior Michael O’Shea may have violated the school’s anti-discriminatory harassment policy with an “affirmative action bake sale” he organized with the DePaul Conservative Alliance (DCA). Affirmative action bake sales, in which white and Asian students are charged more for baked goods than blacks and Hispanics, are popular among conservative activists on college campuses. They are designed to criticize […]

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  • Conservative ‘bake sale’ causes controversy

    January 20, 2006

    A newly-founded student organization called the DePaul Conservative Alliance (DCA) held an event dubbed as a bake sale on Tuesday in the Student Center. However, there was the anti-affirmative action message that lay under all the cake and cookies. Michael O’Shea, a senior political science and history student, is one of the founding fathers of the DCA, a member of DePaul College Republicans and organized the event that eventually drew up to 50 people. “It was a protest to spark discourse and have people engage in the topic,” said O’Shea. The group set up a table in the Lincoln Park […]

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  • Is DePaul America’s Worst School for Free Speech?

    September 9, 2016

    Every year when FIRE publishes its “Worst Colleges for Free Speech” list, we remind readers that it is not a ranked list, but rather a compilation—in no particular order—of the year’s worst free speech offenders. Occasionally, however, we do wonder which college or university would deserve a spot at the top of a ranked list. Yesterday provided such an occasion, as we sent a letter to DePaul University outlining several months of free speech violations spanning multiple incidents and contemplated the university’s history of violating its community’s expressive rights. DePaul’s most recent series of missteps began in April, when students […]

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  • How Did DePaul University Get on FIRE’s ‘Worst 12’ List?

    January 28, 2011

    Hopefully by now you’ve seen FIRE’s picks for “The 12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech” at The Huffington Post. Six of them were relatively obvious choices—those being the six schools currently on FIRE’s Red Alert list, the “worst of the worst,” as we often say. Given the hundreds of other schools out there, many with one or more red-light speech codes as rated in FIRE’s Spotlight database, what went into deciding which others made our “dirty dozen”? Well, repeat run-ins with FIRE, repeated free speech offenses over the years, and having incredibly bad speech codes that violate clear promises of free […]

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  • Partial Victory for Free Speech at DePaul

    February 20, 2006

    CHICAGO, February 20, 2006—DePaul University has acquitted a conservative student group that was charged with harassment for holding an event that satirized affirmative action. Until the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) intervened, DePaul administrators had been investigating the DePaul Conservative Alliance (DCA) for holding an “affirmative action bake sale” protest. “It’s about time DePaul realized that dissenting opinions are not the same thing as harassment,” stated FIRE Interim President Greg Lukianoff. “FIRE has had to intervene in case after case of viewpoint discrimination at DePaul. The university’s record of repression is shameful.” On January 17, the DCA held […]

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  • DePaul University Calls Affirmative Action Protest ‘Harassment’

    January 30, 2006

    CHICAGO, January 30, 2006—Earlier this month, DePaul University shut down an “affirmative action bake sale” protest, and is now investigating a student organizer for “harassment.” DePaul’s latest offense against liberty follows its 2005 dismissal of a professor for arguing with pro-Palestinian students and its censorship of students’ peaceful protest of controversial professor Ward Churchill. With this incident, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is intervening at DePaul for the third time in less than a year. “DePaul cannot seem to resist punishing its students and professors for expressing their political viewpoints,” stated Greg Lukianoff, FIRE’s interim president. “Fighting […]

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