Conservative And Libertarian Messages Require High ‘Security Fees’ On Campus

June 10, 2015

By Matt Lamb at The College Fix


Restrictions on student speech, such as free speech zones, often hit groups across the ideological spectrum in roughly the same way.

Conservative and libertarian groups, however, sometimes get an odd choice from campus administrators: You can speak, but it’ll cost you.

Messages that could theoretically provoke violence because they stir up such strong emotions seem to be a favorite target of the pay-to-play option on campus.

It’s only when watchdog groups such as the Alliance Defending Freedom and Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) intervene that administrators back down, according to a College Fix review of cases.

“FIRE sees administrators burden speech with security fees far too often,” Ari Cohn, senior program officer for legal and public advocacy, told The Fix in an email.

In Cohn’s opinion, “the motivation is less based on ideology, and more based on the controversial or unpopular nature of the speech or speaker, along with fears of the disruption or hostile reactions that will result.”

‘Struggling’ students might be ‘upset’ to hear people disagree

The most recent pay-to-play situation involved the University of California-Santa Barbara’s Anscombe Society, which promotes sexual purity and the traditional family on campus, inspired by the writings of Catholic moral philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe...

Schools: Boise State University Stanford University State University Of New York – University at Buffalo Cases: FIRE’s Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project