Regis University: Regis Shuts Down Student’s Bake Sale Event, Accuses Him of Violating Federal Law

Category: Cases, Free Speech
Schools: Regis University

In March of 2017, Regis University shut down student Alexander Beck’s previously approved bake sale event, which offered different prices for baked goods depending on students’ gender, race, sexuality, or religion. The university’s rationale was that the bake sale was a “demonstration” requiring special permission — because Beck explained that his event was critical of the university’s “Social Justice Week.” In other words, because the display had a critical message, rather than a message that agreed with the university, it was now a “demonstration” requiring different permission. Regis failed to respond to FIRE’s March 22, 2016 letter to president John P. Fitzgibbons raising our concerns. Instead, the university made repeated public comments suggesting that Beck’s bake sale was a “crystal clear” violation of federal law. On April 14, FIRE again wrote to Fitzgibbons to ask that Regis abandon its spurious justifications for censoring Beck’s event and recommit itself to the free speech promises it makes to students.