“student government is playing favorites and stifling free speech”
Students for Life recently sent us a copy of their press release announcing the suit.
Here’s an excerpt:
Students for Life of America Announces Lawsuit against Indiana’s Ball State University for denying funds to Pro-Life Students
Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins announced the filing of a federal lawsuit, Students for Life at Ball State University v. Hall,regarding events that began in February of this year. BSU Students for Life asked for $300 from the mandatory student activity fees to cover the costs of Pregnant on Campus materials designed for pregnant and parenting students. The program offers students support and assistance as well as spelling out their Title IX rights. Alliance Defending Freedomattorneys who filed the casereported that the monies were denied because of the students’ pro-life views while other organizations with viewpoints received support. In their announcement of the case, ADF noted, “Student Activity Fee Committee distributed funding from the same pool to organizations that advocate for viewpoints administrators prefer, including Feminists for Action, Secular Student Alliance, and Spectrum.”
“Ball State University says it pledges to ‘value the intrinsic worth of every member of the community,’ but its student government is playing favorites and stifling free speech,” said Hawkins. “If BSU wants to respect every member of its community, it will give Students for Life, along with other groups, equal footing. We support the free speech rights of all students, encourage the open exchange of ideas, and ask that the rights of pro-life students be respected as their peers’ rights are.”
At Ball State, the university gave the authority for deciding who could receive funds to the Student Activity Fee Committee, which has broad, decision-making authority in choosing which clubs would be permitted or funded. In turning down BSU Students for Life request, the student government said they could not support “(a)ny Organization which engages in activities, advocacy, or speech in order to advance a particular political interest, religion, religious faith or ideology.” And yet other organizations with political and ideological views did receive support.
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