San Francisco State University: Riley Gaines Event Disrupted by Protestors


San Francisco State University

Search all Cases

Case Overview

FIRE Victory closed

On April 6, 2023, San Francisco State University’s Turning Point USA chapter hosted an event with former NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines. Protestors caused a substantial disruption by screaming, chanting, stomping, and interrupting her presentation, then following the event accosted her in a hallway to the point she could not be safely escorted out until hours later. On April 11, FIRE wrote SFSU urging it to investigate the response of the administration and police to the incident, as the First Amendment guarantees students the right to hold expressive events without substantial disruptions. On April 27, the university responded, confirming that an investigation into the disruption was underway and the administration would pursue punishment for anyone engaged in unlawful behavior. SFSU also affirmed its commitment to free speech, and stated it was reviewing its policies and procedures to ensure such incidents would not happen in the future. The school further shared that it planned to work with student groups and strengthen its efforts to teach students about free speech and the First Amendment.