Wichita State University: Student Senate Delays Vote on Recognition of TPUSA Chapter Over Gadsden Flag


Wichita State University

Search all Cases

Case Overview

FIRE Victory closed

In October 2021, the Wichita State University student government delayed voting on whether to recognize a Turning Point USA campus chapter. On Oct. 13, a student senator criticized the group for displaying the Gadsden flag, and — although a committee had determined that the group met “each and every requirement” to be recognized — the Student Senate voted to table the issue until it could determine whether denying recognition would violate the First Amendment. On Oct. 19, FIRE wrote to the Senate to explain that the First Amendment does not permit it to deny recognition based on the views or expression of the organization.

On October 20, the Senate voted to deny the chapter recognition due to the group’s political viewpoints. After the group appealed the Senate’s viewpoint-discriminatory rejection to the student government judicial branch, FIRE wrote to the judicial branch requesting a reversal of the Senate’s decision. The judicial branch reversed the decision and granted recognition to the group on October 28.