NIU Student Government Concedes That Even Controversial Groups Have First Amendment Rights

Last December I noted that Northern Illinois University President John R. Jones III had officially recognized the NIU chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, overriding the Student Association Senate's determination that SSDP was too "political" to use campus facilities or receive activity fee funding. Jones was responding to a letter from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which pointed out the First Amendment problems with refusing to recognize SSDP because of its advocacy. That decison was based on a vague, inconsistently applied policy of barring "political" and "religious" groups, lest they offend the students whose fees provide funding for campus organizations. This week, having taken a crash course on the constitutional obligations of public universities, the Senate approved a new, viewpoint-neutral policy regarding student groups. Adam Kissel, FIRE's vice president of programs, comments:

No student government at a public university may reduce or deny student activity fee funding to a student group because its expression might trouble, offend, or embarrass the student government, The student government may not base recognition or funding decisions on a group's political or religious views. FIRE will be watching to ensure that NIU maintains viewpoint neutrality and meets its constitutional obligations.

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  • Doc S||

    In unelated events the NIU chapter of the KKK will be holding its first annual spring kick off event this weekend.

  • robc||

    I hate Illinois Nazis.

    Oh wait, different group.

    And? Yes, the KKK should be allowed, whats the problem?

  • Doc S||

    agreed... my initial post said nothing about the ruling or my opinions on the matter, but feel free to project.

  • ||

    Right. Got anything else stupid to say?

  • robc||

    Doc S isnt nearly as interesting as joe or MNG (before I finally incifed minge away).

  • ||

    Yeah, he's pretty milquetoast. We have enough shitty trolls already.

  • Ice Nine||

    Ya gotta love FIRE - a finely-tuned machine for producing Libtard ulcers.

  • Trespassers W||

    This "NIU" is an actual university? Huh.

  • ||

    Yes it's the second largest in Illinois. Its continued to go downhill since I graduated. It's gone the route of the tragically too politically left, kinda like the rest of the state.

  • Paul||

    NIU would be a good name for a gangsta rap group.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Not rap, acapella: ... In Unison.

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