University of Michigan – Ann Arbor: Unequal Treatment of Conservative Student Newspaper


University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

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Case Overview


At the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor The Michigan Review, a student-run publication, was threatened with eviction from their office space after an abrupt change in policy by the university without providing notification to the student group. After the Review frequently opposed UM policies, the group was told by University of Michigan League Director Audrey Schwimmer that they were being denied their office space. UM administrators claimed that this was because UM had reclassified the organization such that it was no longer eligible for five-year leases, although no evidence appears in support of this claim. At some point, UM removed the Review from the list of organizations that regularly received e-mail notification of deadlines and other information pertinent to student organizations. Therefore, the group was given no notice prior to the deadline for reapplication, nor in the immediate aftermath of the deadline passing.

UM also failed to notify the Review that UM had decided to remove the Review from its office space at the expiration of the contract, until a meeting between the Review publisher Karen Boore and Schwimmer a month before the contract evidently ended, and over a month after the deadline for reapplication. Boore submitted a request for an appeal of the decision to be heard, but she was denied, the Michigan League Board of Governors claiming it was not responsible for the misinformation provided to the Review. FIRE wrote to UM pointing out the injustice of the situation and the violation of The Michigan Review to freedom of the press.