University of California at San Diego: Censorship of Student Satire Magazine

Category: Free Speech
Schools: University of California, San Diego

The University of California at San Diego (UCSD) announced that it had dropped its charge of "disruption" against a student humor publication, The Koala. The Koala faced charges after publishing satirical photos of a student member of a campus Chicano organization. FIRE wrote UCSD to remind it of a 1995 case when another UCSD student publication, Voz Fronteriza, celebrated the death of a Latino Immigration and Naturalization Service officer and called for the murder of other such "race traitors." In that case, UCSD-including Vice Chancellor Joseph W. Watson, whose office oversaw this year’s trial of The Koala-vigorously affirmed Voz Fronteriza’s "right to publish their views without adverse administrative action, "because" student newspapers are protected by the first amendment of the U.S. constitution." The charges against The Koala were dropped shortly after FIRE brought the case public. This case is a reminder that public universities cannot censor student papers and/or apply double standards. 

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    March 3, 2017

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  • Court Denies Preliminary Injunction for Defunded Satirical Newspaper at UC San Diego

    November 14, 2016

    Earlier this month, a federal district court in California denied a preliminary injunction request and dismissed the First Amendment claims of a satirical student newspaper at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) that was stripped of funding last year after publishing a controversial article. The newspaper, The Koala, is represented by the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties, and filed suit in May 2016 after seeing its funding cut in a vote by the UCSD student government that eliminated student activity fee funding for all student print outlets. As FIRE reported last year, the November 18, 2015, defunding […]

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  • FIRE’s letter to UCSD

    May 22, 2002

    May 22, 2002 Chancellor Robert C. Dynes University of California, San Diego 9500 Gilman Drive, MC 0005 La Jolla, California 92093-0005 URGENT Re: Disciplinary Charges against The Koala. Dear Chancellor Dynes: As you can see from the list of our Directors and Board of Advisors, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) unites leaders in the fields of civil rights and civil liberties, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of liberty, legal equality, freedom of religion, academic freedom, due process, and freedom of speech and expression on America’s college campuses. Our web […]

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