Pennsylvania State University: Administrators Levy Excessive Security Fees on Student Group After It Holds Political Debate on Campus

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Pennsylvania State University – University Park

Uncensored America, a student group at Penn State, held an on-campus debate in April 2022 between two political commentators that proceeded without disruption. After the debate, the university sent the group an invoice for more than $1,800 for the cost of five police officers to attend, despite the university’s lack of specific security requirements ahead of the event. FIRE wrote Penn State on June 30 informing the university that charging excessive security fees is a viewpoint-based violation of the group’s First Amendment rights because it impermissibly allows the anticipated reaction of the audience to determine the event’s cost to the student group. On July 14, Penn State responded that it will rescind the imposition of the excessive fees, paving the way for Uncensored America to hold future events on campus.