Lindenwood University: Proposed College Republicans Chapter Told it Cannot Endorse Candidates


Lindenwood University

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Case Overview

FIRE Victory closed

On November 8, 2022, Lindenwood University told a potential College Republicans chapter that it must remove from its proposed constitution a clause stating the group would endorse candidates, citing the university’s non-partisanship policy. On November 15, FIRE wrote LU explaining that because it promises students free expression, it cannot prevent them from engaging in core political expression, like endorsing candidates. We further explained that although the university itself may not endorse candidates as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, students can endorse candidates in their individual capacities, which are not attributable to their school. LU responded the next day but failed to address FIRE’s concerns, offering instead an oblique assurance that the student government would follow its policies in recognizing the group. On November 22, FIRE again wrote LU, asking it to confirm that student groups may endorse candidates for office. On December 5, LU clarified that student groups are not prohibited from endorsing candidates.