Villanova University: Administrator Tells Student She Can’t Advocate Off Campus for Contraceptive Use


Villanova University

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Case Overview

FIRE Victory closed

On February 7, 2023, Villanova University told student Elisa Carroll she could not distribute and advocate the use of condoms and dental dams, even though she planned to do so from an off-campus sidewalk. On February 21, FIRE wrote Villanova explaining that although it’s a private institution not bound by the First Amendment, it must respect its commitment to encourage “the open exchange of ideas on a variety of subjects, including those that are controversial.” We explained this means the university cannot censor students’ advocacy, especially from off-campus locations where the university has no jurisdiction over students’ protected speech. On March 7, Villanova responded that there was a misunderstanding when Carroll met with administrators, and she may advocate for contraceptives off campus.