- Mar 30, 2013
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- The Land of Sanctuary
No, this isn't another thread about Duck Dynasty, just to get that out of the way. This thread is about the value of free speech. In April of this year, UB Students for Life; a Pro-Life student group at the University of Buffalo was charged $650 in "security fees" to hold a debate on abortion on campus, and are in the midst of a lawsuit against the school for placing unfair burdens on their rights to free speech. So, what is the price of free speech? What is the price of holding on to an ideal or view you hold dear? What is the price of defending what you believe is right and true? If this case is any indication, we're about to find out.
University at Buffalo charged pro-life student group $650 in 'unconstitutional fees,' lawsuit alleges | Fox NewsHow much does free speech cost?
The University at Buffalo charged a pro-life student group nearly $650 in “unconstitutional fees” to exercise its freedom of speech during an event in April, a lawsuit alleges.
UB Students for Life, an official student organization at the school since 2012, held a pro-life abortion debate on April 18 and were instructed by school officials to hire university police to attend the event since it involved “controversial” expression. School officials later charged the group $649.63, or $150 more than the group’s entire annual Student Association funding even though one of the officers sat outside and read the newspaper.
“A public university is commonly known as the ‘marketplace of ideas,’” according to the 33-page lawsuit, which was filed Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York. “That marketplace depends on free and vigorous debate between students — debate that is silenced when university policies regulate speech based on content and viewpoint and vest administrators with unbridled discretion to impose fees for the exercise of speech.”
More than 200 people attended the debate and no major disruptions were reported. At the same time, however, two other student groups — the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and UB Freethinkers — hosted a debate between a Christian and an atheist and were not levied security fees by university officials.