In September 2016, Maria Church, president of Wichita State University’s (WSU’s) Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) chapter, informed WSU Dean of Students Christine Schneikart-Luebbe that YAL would gather signatures on campus. Schneikart-Luebbe warned Church that she was required to inform campus police of her event 72 hours in advance because YAL was not a registered student group at WSU. At an event in October 2016, campus police officers stopped Church and other YAL members who were rolling a “free speech ball” around campus and examined the ball for “hate speech.” Later in October, Church again informed Schneikart-Luebbe of her intention to gather signatures and was again warned that she needed permission from campus police to do so. On November 16, 2016, FIRE wrote to WSU to ask that the university provide its police force with clear definitions of unprotected speech, and reaffirm to students that they do not need permission from campus police before engaging in peaceful expressive activity on public areas of campus.
FIRE Case Files