Stanford University: Denial of Funding of College Republicans’ Event Featuring Former Vice President Mike Pence

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Stanford University

In late 2021, Stanford’s undergraduate student government, following a series of closed-door meetings, denied a request for $6,000 in funding for an event to be hosted by the College Republicans featuring former Vice President Mike Pence. All other pending requests for funding were granted. FIRE wrote to the student government on December 7, 2021, asking it to transparently explain the decision and cautioning that funding refusals premised on objections to the speaker’s views violate the expressive rights guaranteed to Stanford students. After further evidence of viewpoint-based discrimination emerged, FIRE wrote a follow-up letter on January 7, 2022, calling on the student government to reverse its decision. After the College Republicans appealed, the Stanford Constitutional Council ruled that the vote to deny the funding violated constitutional procedures without ruling on the question of viewpoint discrimination, and cleared the way for the event to proceed.