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UMass Gets Sued for Limiting Free Speech to an Hour a Day

UMass Gets Sued for Limiting Free Speech to an Hour a Day

“Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) issued a press release Monday”

UMass is basically telling students that free speech in the form of demonstrations is only allowed at a certain time and place.

Campus Reform reports:

UMass-Amherst sued for limiting free speech to 1 hour per day

A conservative student group is suing the University of Massachusetts-Amherst for limiting “speeches and rallies” to a tiny portion of campus for just one hour per day.

Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) issued a press release Monday announcing that it had filed the lawsuit with help from attorneys at the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), saying the school’s policies “create a chilling effect on speech, deterring students from engaging in their First Amendment rights.”

Specifically, the groups are objecting to a provision of the UMass-Amherst land use policy, which stipulates that “outdoor speeches and rallies during class hours may be held only on the -west side (main entrance) of the Student Union Building, and shall be limited to one (1) hour in length, from noon to 1:00 P.M.”

In addition, the lawsuit notes that the university does not define what it means by “speeches and rallies,” leaving administrators with “the discretion to determine when expression becomes a ‘speech’ or ‘rally’ and when it does not.”

Although UMass-Amherst does allow “university units and student organizations” to request other spaces on campus, this option is not available to individual students, and YAL member Nicholas Consolini argues that this prevents him from giving speeches or holding rallies on campus in his individual capacity “on topics that may differ from speeches or rallies hosted by YAL.”


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“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Sounds like the school is doing a dandy job of abridging the freedom of speech. Does UMass receive federal funding?

    Geologist in reply to MikeyParks. | January 11, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    Mikey, the First Amendment also applies to the state and local governments. UMass is a STATE university, and is a state actor for Constitutional purposes.