University of California, Davis: Administrators Reverse Decision to Punish Student Club That Used University Name

Category: Free Speech
Schools: University of California, Davis

On November 26, 2014, UC Davis’ Center for Student Involvement (CSI) emailed the Ayn Rand Society at UC Davis informing the group that the website address for its Facebook page violated UC Davis’ trademark policy, as it contained “UCD” in the website URL. CSI demanded ARS take down its Facebook page or lose its “good standing” status, including its listing on UC Davis’ student-organization search page, as well as its ability to reserve campus meeting rooms and apply for funding and grants. ARS refused to comply with CSI’s request and on December 8, 2014 was notified that sanctions were being imposed against it. FIRE wrote UC Davis asking university officials to review and retract the punishment because it violated the students’ First Amendment rights and constituted an unreasonable restriction on the use of the college’s trademark. In August, 2015, CSI Director Anne Reynolds Myler wrote FIRE and ARS President Hong Phuc Ho Chung informing them UC Davis determined the club’s use of “UCD” did not violate the university’s trademark policy and that ARS’s status would be restored.

  • UC-Davis Backs Down from Threatening Ayn Rand Club with ‘Criminal Punishment’

    August 27, 2015

    By Greg Piper at The College Fix A little-known way for colleges to threaten students and faculty is by claiming their writing or activism violates the school’s trademarks. This happened to a pro-marijuana club at Iowa State and a faculty blog critical of the Chicago State administration, as The College Fix has noted. Several months after the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education wrote to the University of California-Davis to protest its punishment of a student club on trademark grounds, the school has backed down, FIRE said today. What was the cardinal sin of the Ayn Rand Society at UC Davis? […]

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  • UC Davis Reverses Punishment of Student Club That Used University Name

    August 27, 2015

    DAVIS, Calif., August 27, 2015—The University of California, Davis (UC Davis) has reversed its punishment of a student club, concluding that the Ayn Rand Society at UC Davis (ARS) did not violate the university’s trademark policy by using the university’s name in its club title and Facebook page Web address. The about-face comes after the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) wrote to UC Davis last year, asking university officials to review and retract the punishment because it violated the students’ First Amendment rights. “FIRE is pleased that UC Davis took this opportunity to examine its policies and develop […]

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