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.
August 24, 2017
Earlier this summer, we suggested that Regis University was not living up to its free speech promises by turning to censorship and investigation after a student hosted a controversial “Social Justice Bake Sale.” In doing so, the university offered an instructive example of how universities should not respond to campus controversies. But Regis’ recent decision to end its investigation against the student at the heart of the bake sale controversy suggests that Regis may be attempting to plot a new course. In case you missed the months-long debacle, here’s a short recap: On March 16, Regis student Alex Beck earned […]» Read More
June 1, 2017
If you attend Regis University or are considering applying, be warned: Regis University leads students to believe their free speech rights are protected, and then investigates students for exercising those rights. Such is the case for student Alexander Beck, who is now under investigation for “harassment” and “discrimination” for expression protected by the First Amendment, which he also believed would be protected at Regis, a private school that promises its students free speech rights. A new letter from FIRE — the third FIRE has sent to Regis in three months about Beck’s “Social Justice Bake Sale” — asks Regis to […]» Read More
Regis University claims it didn’t censor bake sale event, then boasts about how quickly it censored the event
April 17, 2017
In less than a month, FIRE has written two letters to Regis University contesting its decision to shut down a student’s “Social Justice Bake Sale” event, a dean’s refusal to admit the university censored the bake sale, Regis’ president’s shift to boasting that the university quickly censored the bake sale, and Regis’ repeated statements that the student’s bake sale violated federal law. The controversy over the bake sale at the Denver, Colorado university first began March 16, when student Alexander Beck set up a “Social Justice Bake Sale” as a response to the university’s “Social Justice Week” programming. Beck had […]» Read More