The Williams Initiative for Israel (WIFI) faced opposition to become an officially-recognized student group at Williams College, a private liberal-arts college in Massachusetts. The student government voted against the group’s official recognition because the group’s representatives did not, in the eyes of student government members, adequately resolve their concerns about anti-Palestinian violence allegedly perpetrated by the Israeli government. Yet, the college administration overruled the student government’s concerns and officially recognized WIFI as a student group on its campus.
But, when the free-speech legal group, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), looked at state law, the group informed the college that they could face a breach-of-contract lawsuit. The college apparently had a parallel recognition procedure for student groups, which created a “separate-but-equal” situation, which is illegal under state law.
In other words, it appears that the college administration was swayed by the information about a potential lawsuit.