Campus Free Speech

Boise State U. Charged Libertarian Students Gigantic 'Security Fee' to Host Pro-Gun Speaker

Sadly, Boise State seems like quite the unfree hellhole.

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Boise State
Karthikc123

Boise State University trampled a libertarian student club's free speech rights by forcing the group to pay a large fee before administrators would permit a gun rights activist to speak on campus, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

The Young Americans for Liberty invited Dick Heller, one of the plaintiffs in the landmark Supreme Court Case District of Columbia v. Heller, to discuss his pro-Second Amendment views at an even in May. A mere 24 hours before the event, Boise State told YAL that the group would have to pay a $465 "security fee" or face immediate cancellation of Heller's speech.

After taking criticism for their actions, administrators claimed the security fee was necessary to hire guards to deal with the potential for disorder—a rationale both dubious and unconstitutional, according to FIRE:

Having no other choice, YAL acceded to Boise State's demand. A Boise State spokesperson later justified the fees by citing "concern that a community member had been encouraging folks to open carry" in violation of Boise State policy—an action YAL had explicitly discouraged among attendees. Boise State's event policies claim to give the university the discretionary right to "require uniformed security officers and/or law enforcement officers" at student group events and make clear that "the cost will be passed on to the sponsoring organization."

FIRE wrote to university president Robert Kustra on July 3, calling on Boise State to refund the unconstitutional security fees. As FIRE explained, Boise State's demand that YAL pay extra security fees in response to the university's open carry concerns allows for a "heckler's veto," meaning that opponents of any given event may saddle the event's planners with prohibitive security costs by threatening trouble. FIRE also criticized Boise State's unconstitutional event policies, which give university administrators essentially unchecked discretion to charge security fees as they see fit, in violation of the First Amendment.

As FIRE notes, this is a perfect (and unfortunate) example of the "heckler's veto." If Person A can make threats that prompt a university to limit Person B's rights, then the campus would not be a welcome place for diverse ideas at all.

Sadly, Boise State seems like quite the unfree hellhole. A pro-life student group, Abolitionists4Life, has sued the university for forcing it to conduct its political advocacy in one of several small "free speech zones" on campus. The group's signs were deemed offensive in the eyes of university administrators.

FIRE has asked the university to refund YAL's security fee. If Boise State does not comply, it could find itself the subject of a lawsuit. FIRE recently announced expansive litigation efforts against colleges across the country that abridge their students' First Amendment rights.

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  1. More evidence – as if it were needed – why Smurfs must die.

  2. Jesus Cowslapping Christ. I’m trying to get drunk at the local pub in preparation for trivia night. These posts aren’t helping.

    1. Just drink every time you get punched in the nuts.

      1. Have an ambulance ready.

        1. …either for the alcohol poisoning or for the nut-massage.

  3. A pro-life student group, Abolitionists4Life, has sued the university for forcing it to conduct its political advocacy in one of several small “free speech zones” on campus. The group’s signs were deemed offensive in the eyes of university administrators.

    These are the signs that offended the university administrators? What are they offended by, compound words and sentence fragments?

    http://college.studentsforlife…..-Pic-2.jpg

    1. Here’s a story about their lawsuit:

      http://www.idahostatesman.com/…..state.html

      1. A flap that kept the photo from view had a warning on it, but university officials said separate signs were needed to warn students walking by.

        So the administrators believed redundant warnings were necessary.

        1. A trigger warning for a trigger warning!

          Trigger warnings all the way down!

      2. Here’s a real comment to the article:

        Dianne Piggott ? Top Commenter ? Pride Foundation fellow at ACLU Idaho at Pride Foundation- LGBTQ Community Foundation
        The intense graphic nature of the images is the issue. If there had been images that were equally intense regarding animal cruelty, genocide in Rwanda or accidents caused by drunk drivers it would have been just as contested. It was emotionally exploitative and extremely triggering.

        Is it “trigger” or “trigroe?”

        1. Was it triggering in 2011 when researchers at UNLA had their homes picketed by “animal rights” demonstrators with vivid photos?

          http://www.laactivist.com/2011…..l-testing/

  4. IfWhen Boise State does not comply,

    FIFY, I sadly think.

  5. “Free Speech Zone” If Orwell didn’t invent that expression, he should have.

  6. Good for Boise State. With the way the rest of Idaho is, it’s hard for liberals to find a sanctuary where they can be free to censor viewpoints they disagree with.

  7. You would think that some of these schools would seek to get out ahead of these kinds of cases and get some credit for complying with the First Amendment. For the most part, you would be wrong. They often fight tooth and nail.

    1. Yes, but complying with the 1st Amendment means that controversy could arise on campus, and controversy must be avoided at all costs.

      1. Yes, but complying with the 1st Amendment means that independent thoughts could arise on campus, and thinking must be avoided at all costs.

        FIFY

        1. There are few things more disruptive of college instruction than independent thought.

  8. Robert W. Kustra PhD (born March 21, 1943) is a former Illinois Republican politician and is currently the president of Boise State University.

    Interesting. And Illinois-(ers? Illinis? Help me out here.) have info on this guy? What type of GOPer was he?

    1. The kind with a horn sticking out of his face which, when cut off, is used to make powerful afrodisiacs.

      1. A UNICORN? Wait…that’s not it.

  9. Freedom requires extra security. Always.

    1. Those who trade essential security for temporary liberty usually wind up with neither.

      — Frankmin Benjalin

  10. Here’s the case FIRE cited in its letter to the university – public official had discretion to set a security fee – that was unconstitutional since it allowed a heckler’s veto and arbitrary administration.

    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/…..&invol=123

  11. The Young Americans for Liberty invited Dick Heller, one of the plaintiffs in the landmark Supreme Court Case District of Columbia v. Heller, to discuss his pro-Second Amendment views at an even in May. A mere 24 hours before the event, Boise State told YAL that the group would have to pay a $465 “security fee” or face immediate cancellation of Heller’s speech.

    Too bad it wasn’t Otis McDonald who was going to speak, otherwise we could claim that Boise State was racist.

    Of course, Otis McDonald is dead, so if he were going to speak at Boise State there’d probably be some more important questions to ask.

    1. I thought dead Chicago residents engage in all sorts of political activity?

    2. They could always invite John Edwards to summon his spirit.

      1. I thought John Edwards was acquitted.

  12. They’re only fostering tolerance by not tolerating intolerance.

  13. The pro-gun and anti-abortion students caused a lot of controversy when they staged a “die-in” and threw their inert bodies on the steps of a university building outside the free speech zone…

    Oh, wait, that was “animal rights” protesters at UC-Berkeley, and the article says nothing about them being arrested or charged.

    http://www.dailycal.org/2014/0…..eley-labs/

    1. Why would you want to discourage animal rights protesters from being dead and inert.

  14. Rather than a fee, a fully refundable security deposit would seem like a more reasonable step for the Univ. if they really fear problems. And, of course, provided the demonstrators themselves (not their hecklers) did not cause trouble the deposit should be refunded.

    1. That would ensure trouble.

  15. Academic institutions have truly become the happening scene to find all the hot new trends in fascism.

  16. How does a state univ. get away with this crap in a red state? Just one more reason, as if we needed one, to tell the GOP establishment to take a hike when they come asking for our vote in a close race.

  17. administrators claimed the security fee was necessary to hire guards to deal with the potential for disorder

    Looks like they realize how borderline insane the intellectually inbred left is about these sorts of things and their potential to act like shrieking children rather than adults.

  18. Question: How much of a security fee is Hillary Clinton charged for when she speaks on campus?

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