Is Kutztown Slipping?

March 3, 2006

In a February 10 post, Charles lauded administrators at Kutztown University for their reaction to and treatment of the College Republicans’ affirmative action bake sale. Charles wrote, “Not only was the bake sale there not shut down, but university officials told the media that ‘they hope the bake sale promotes healthy debate on campus.’”

Since then, students have pressured the administration to punish the College Republicans for the bake sale. Approximately 100 students protested last week, expressing their dissatisfaction with the administration’s response. On Tuesday, administrators held a “Facts Matter” forum, which they reportedly said would be a conversation about affirmative action. Instead—and one must question the administration’s real motivation—the forum apparently turned into a public shaming which resulted in an apology by one of the College Republicans.

Kutztown should remember its obligation to the First Amendment before it takes further action. However offensive one might consider the bake sale, the College Republicans have a right to hold it, and they also have a right not to be punished for it, which includes not being forced to apologize. FIRE will continue to follow this controversy, and we hope that the administrators will live up to the example they set a few weeks back.

Schools:  Kutztown University of Pennsylvania