As today’s press release announces, FIRE has restored the DePaul University College Republicans to their rights. The CRs ran into problems when they tried to post flyers using University of Colorado Professor Ward Churchill’s own words to protest his then-upcoming appearance at DePaul. Then, quoth the press release:
When the CRs submitted the flyers for approval, administrators responded first by misleading the CRs into thinking that the event was cancelled, then by invoking a policy that stated, “We do not approve propaganda.” The students, who did not believe that quoting a person’s own remarks was “propaganda,” posted the flyers anyway, leading to a formal warning from DePaul and a surreptitious addition to the policy saying that posters could be used only to promote events, not to protest them.
After that, DePaul managed to get itself caught in a web of lies:
[O]n November 23, 2005, FIRE wrote a letter to DePaul President Dennis Holtschneider, pointing out that the vague and constantly shifting ban on “propaganda” gave administrators the unfettered power to censor student speech at will. Holtschneider replied on December 12, incorrectly asserting that no DePaul policies mentioned the word “propaganda” and stating that the policy prohibits the denunciation of any speaker appearing at DePaul. Yet FIRE’s research shows that not only did the “propaganda” ban exist, but the stipulation that flyers may only “promote events” appeared in the policy after the College Republicans’ flyers were denied approval.
Mere hours after we took this deception public, the “propaganda” ban and the other nefarious policy clause were both removed and DePaul’s president reaffirmed in writing “DePaul’s respect for freedom of speech and role in providing outlets for conversations between individuals with a variety of viewpoints.” Another quick and important victory, thanks to FIRE.
This morning’s release has all the rest of the details. And so does Fox News Channel: FIRE’s own Greg Lukianoff will appear on the Hannity & Colmes tonight at approximately 9:30 p.m. ET to discuss DePaul. Please tune in!