University of Notre Dame: Student Group Supporting Traditional Marriage Policy Denied Recognition

Category: Free Speech
Schools: University of Notre Dame

On April 30, 2014, the prospective organization Students for Child-Oriented Policy (SCOP), a student group advocating for traditional marriage, was denied recognition at the recommendation of Notre Dame’s student-led Club Coordination Council (CCC), on the grounds that SCOP’s mission “closely mirrored” that of other groups on campus. FIRE wrote to Notre Dame on May 23, calling into serious question this claim, showing SCOP’s mission to be demonstrably different from those of the groups as comparable to SCOP, one of which appeared to have been inactive for several years. Noting that several hundred Notre Dame students opposed to SCOP’s mission had petitioned against its recognition, FIRE made clear that using the claim that SCOP “closely mirrored” other organizations as a pretext to deny recognition to SCOP on the basis of its viewpoint violated the group’s rights and betrayed Notre Dame’s promises of free expression for student organizations.