2 California Colleges Settle Claims for Protest Restrictions

August 10, 2015

By The Associated Press at KSL.com

POMONA, Calif. (AP) — Two California colleges have settled complaints over restrictions on student protests, and other campuses may come under similar scrutiny.

California State Polytechnic University in Pomona and Citrus College in Glendora, both east of Los Angeles, have in the last eight months settled cases brought against them by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, also known as FIRE.

Citrus paid $110,000 and agreed to make campus protests easier.

Cal Poly paid $35,000 for attorney fees and court costs for Nicolas Tomas, a student who was handing out brochures supporting a vegan lifestyle and attacking treatment of farm animals.

Tomas, who was standing on a sidewalk near a parking garage, was told by administrators and campus police to move to a patch of grass that was designated a “free speech zone.” He was also told he had to wear a badge, signed by an administrator, saying he had permission to be there.

Katie Barrow, a FIRE spokeswoman told the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (http://bit.ly/1ITnBFA ) the group was also looking at possible problems on two dozen other campuses.

The California State University system’s Free Speech Handbook argues against free-speech zones to restrict free speech on campus, except for compelling reasons.

“Our entire campus is a free-speech campus,” said San Diego State spokeswoman Beth Downing Chee.

The Cal Poly settlement has not led to a system-wide review of CSU policies, according to a spokeswoman for the chancellor’s office.

“All campuses have free-speech policies and support free speech,” Laurie Weidner said. “The chancellor’s office has no plans to review campus free-speech policies.”

 

Schools: Citrus College California State Polytechnic University – Pomona Cases: California State Polytechnic University, Pomona – Stand Up For Speech Lawsuit Citrus College – Stand Up For Speech Lawsuit