University of South Alabama: Student Directed to Remove Pro-Trump Sign

Category: Cases, Free Speech
Schools: University of South Alabama

Months after Donald Trump was elected president, a University of South Alabama student was ordered by a campus administrator to remove a “Trump/Pence 2016” sign from his dorm room window. The administrator cited the university’s tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status, which prohibits the university from endorsing or opposing a political candidate. The student refused, citing the First Amendment. FIRE wrote to the university explaining—for the third time—that 501(c)(3) did not require or permit the university to censor student political speech that no reasonable person would believe to constitute action by the university itself. The university dropped the charges against the student.