Indiana University Bloomington: SexFest Event Canceled After Video Causes Controversy

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Indiana University – Bloomington

In February 2020, student organization Sexual Health Awareness Group at Indiana University, Bloomington put on its annual SexFest, an event aimed at “providing information about and promoting safe sexual practice.” After a video taken at a SexFest demonstration on BDSM sparked controversy online, university administrators unilaterally canceled the last day of SexFest. While officials cited “credible information about a planned disruption” and concerns for safety as reasons for the cancellation, this claim was undercut by a statement from IUB Provost Lauren Robel, in which she announced an investigation into SexFest, called the event “inappropriate, disturbing, and offensive,” and indicated that it would not have been approved by the administration. FIRE wrote to IUB on February 13, 2020, explaining that regardless of whether the university cut short SexFest as an effectuation of a heckler’s veto or because others found it offensive, the cancellation raised First Amendment concerns.

There is currently no commentary for this case.