Flagler College Retroactively Approved Free Speech Event after the Event was supposed to be held

, Spencer Irvine, 1 Comment

Per FIRE, Flagler College approved a student’s ‘free speech ball’ days after the event was supposed to take place:

AUGUSTINE, Fla., April 4, 2017 — Flagler College has retroactively granted permission to a student to exercise her expressive rights with a “free speech ball” event —  but only days after the event occurred, and only after initially prohibiting her from hosting it at all. Flagler’s decision followed a letter last Friday from FIRE warning the school to uphold the student’s rights.

Last Thursday, Flagler administrators told student Kelli Huck that she would not be allowed to host the free speech event she had planned for that Friday because the event was not sponsored by a recognized student group — despite the fact she had twice attempted to form a Young Americans for Liberty chapter on campus. The Student Government Association denied both of her applications for official student group recognition because members perceived the prospective organization as trending “towards one certain political agenda.” FIRE wrote to Flagler earlier in March, urging the administration to overturn the student government’s viewpoint-discriminatory decisions, and is still awaiting a response.

“We are glad that Flagler College ultimately vindicated Kelli’s expressive right to hold a free speech ball event, but the university should never have placed her in the position of having to risk disciplinary action in order to engage in free expression,” said Ari Cohn, director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program. “The idea that only members of student groups — and not individuals — have a voice on Flagler’s campus is deeply troubling and runs counter to the ideals that Flagler claims to value.”