Emerson College: TPUSA Prevented From Holding, Advertising Documentary Screenings


Emerson College

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Case Overview


In October 2022, Emerson College administrators denied approval for a screening by Turning Point USA of a CBS News documentary about free speech on campus that detailed the experience of an Emerson Turning Point USA student leader who had subsequently left the college. An administrator denied the approval for the screening based on alleged factual inaccuracies and accusations about college staff’s conduct in the promotional material for the screening. In November, administrators also prevented the group from posting promotional material for a screening of the documentary “What Is a Woman?” because the flyers used emojis of pregnant men and women, which an administrator said would provoke “negative responses.” FIRE wrote the college on November 18 explaining that Emerson’s promises of free expression protect student groups’ right to advertise and hold the documentary screenings. After the college did not respond to our letter, FIRE filed a complaint on December 7 with the New England Commission of Higher Education, Emerson’s accreditor.