Ohio University: Ban on Student Group Gatherings and Social Media Communications

Category: Cases, Free Speech
Schools: Ohio University

In response to hazing allegations in the fall of 2019, Ohio University sent cease and desist letters to 14 student groups, instructing group members not to “meet in any capacity, officially or unofficially” or “communicat[e] with and among the group via any social media platform or application.” OU also told the fraternities and sororities members of the groups that they may only “communicate with your friends on a 1:1 basis but should reduce conversations to personal topics as opposed to sorority/fraternity operations and updates.” Some of the restrictions were rescinded for a few of the groups as OU completed its investigations. On November 12, 2019, FIRE wrote to OU, calling on the public university to rescind these restrictions on expressive and associational rights.