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.