University of South Carolina: University Reverses Course, Recognizes Free Speech Student Group


University of South Carolina Columbia

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Case Overview

FIRE Victory closed

In January 2023, administrators at the University of South Carolina rejected a student application to form a campus chapter of the free speech group Uncensored America, ostensibly because the group was too similar to an existing group on campus. FIRE wrote the university on March 1 explaining that the university recognized a multiplicity of other student organizations that shared similar missions, and the university’s rejection of Uncensored America suggested impermissible viewpoint discrimination. The university claimed the denial resulted from a miscommunication and approved the group’s application in late March. Following the incident, USC updated its policies to include a “returned for revision” status to clarify to prospective student groups that applications deficient in ways not warranting denial can be corrected and/or supplemented then resubmitted.