Some conservative students on campus are at odds with SIUE’s free speech policies.
The College Republicans of SIUE are suing SIU System President Randy Dunn and other administrators over SIUE’s Speech Zone policies. The organization is represented by the conservative nonprofit group Alliance Defending Freedom.
The student organization claims SIUE’s free speech zone, the 20-foot radius around the Rock in the Stratton Quadrangle, is an insufficiently-sized area to allow freedom of expression on campus.
Additionally, university policy requires a student organization meet certain obligations to hold a public event on campus, pass out flyers or set up a table. The university requires a 48-hour advance notice to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Administration, which the suit alleges is too restrictive of a policy.
The complaint, filed in federal court Wednesday, alleges SIUE’s policies on public demonstration violate both the College Republican’s right to free speech and their right to due process. The lawsuit also requests an acknowledgment of those issues from the university, damages related to the policies and legal fees.
The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Administration referred The Alestle to SIUE’s legal counsel for all questions regarding the suit, but Todd Wakeland, a member of SIU’s Office of General Counsel, said they have not yet been served with the suit, and are unable to discuss the matter with the press.
The university’s official statement, provided to The Alestle via email by University Marketing and Communications, states “The lawsuit has not been served on the university. We have not had the opportunity to review it, and therefore, cannot comment on the allegations.”
The Alestle will continue to update you as this story develops.