Emerson College: Conservative Student Group Investigated for Distributing “China Kinda Sus” Stickers


Emerson College

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Case Overview


On September 29, 2021, Emerson College’s Turning Point USA chapter passed out stickers reading “China Kinda Sus” with an image of a hammer and sickle to criticize China’s government. Under pressure from other student groups, the university initiated an investigation and suspended the group. On October 5, FIRE wrote to Emerson explaining that the stickers were political expression protected by the principles of free expression that Emerson pledges to uphold. Although Emerson conceded that the stickers were critical of China’s government, not its people, it found the group responsible for violating Emerson’s “Bias Related Behavior” policy and issued a formal warning. Over FIRE’s objections, Emerson rejected the group’s appeal and, the following January, withdrew recognition of the group because no full-time faculty member would agree to advise the chapter. In December 2022, FIRE filed with Emerson’s accreditor, the New England Commission of Higher Education, a complaint regarding Emerson’s treatment of TPUSA and the general state of free expression on campus.