Northern Virginia Community College: Discrimination Against Political and Religious Student Groups
In February 2012, the Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy was told that NOVA was “unable to fund any student organizations with a political agenda.” NOVA policies additionally prohibited any student group “with a political or religious affiliation” from receiving funding from student activity fees. FIRE reminded NOVA in May 2012 of its obligation to ensure viewpoint neutrality in distributing student group funding, as decided by the Supreme Court in Rosenberger v. Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia (1995) and Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System v. Southworth (2000). On June 1, the Virginia Community College System informed FIRE that NOVA will reform its “outdated” policies to comply with the First Amendment.
June 27, 2012
When it comes to ending viewpoint discrimination against political and religious student organizations, we’re happy to report that sometimes history repeats itself. FIRE supporters may remember our 2010 case at Northern Illinois University (NIU), when the student group Students for Sensible Drug Policy was subjected to discriminatory funding rules that prevented the group, by nature of its mission, from being eligible for student activity funding. If not, here’s a quick summary: SSDP was first considered for recognition on October 24, 2010, as a “Social Justice, Advocacy, and Support” group because it advocates “that the War on Drugs is failing our […]» Read More