NOTE: The article excerpted on this page is from an outside publication and is posted on FIRE's website because it references FIRE's work. The viewpoints expressed in this article do not necessarily represent FIRE's positions.
By Bob Kellogg at OneNewsNow
A university in Missouri demanded that a conservative student group take its event featuring a conservative political figure off campus.
Last fall, the College Republicans at Saint Louis University invited former U.S. Senator Scott Brown to speak. But Azhar Majeed of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education says the university claimed that would threaten the school’s tax-exempt status.
Majeed explains that colleges and universities use the flimsy concern over tax-exempt status to suppress political dialogue on campus.
Saint Louis claimed that allowing Brown on campus would be seen “as an activity of the university, as an institution, and that it would be somehow endorsing Scott Brown as a political candidate,” Majeed explains.
On the F.I.R.E. website, the organization reported that it wrote to SLU officials last fall pointing out that IRS regulations allow Scott to speak, even if he was a potential candidate for public office at the time. F.I.R.E. fired off a second letter of protest in January after the university defended its decision.
Majeed says F.I.R.E. has pointed out to the university that they have had political figures on campus in the past without any real controversy.
Students groups at other public colleges and universities have invited political figures “without any type of problems,” he tells OneNewsNow.
Schools: Saint Louis University