Montclair State University: Pro-Palestinian Group Fined for ‘Political’ Expression

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Montclair State University

On September 25, 2014, Montclair State University (MSU) Student Government Association (SGA) Attorney General Demi Washington penalized the Montclair Students for Justice in Palestine (MSJP) organization five percent of its semester budget and ordered the group to cease all political activity after receiving complaints that the group had handed out “political” and “offensive” pamphlets. Washington also admonished the group that it was only to focus on Palestinian culture and not to take positions on political issues. On October 3, FIRE sent a letter to MSU demanding that the SGA rescind its sanctions against MSJP and respect its student groups’ ability to distribute literature of a political nature. On October 8, SGA President Kristen Bunk reversed the sanctions and reassured MSJP members that students and organizations have a right to express political views on campus.