Campus Free Speech

University of Florida Settles Lawsuit With Conservative Student Group

The suit came after the school denied funding to bring Dana Loesch and Andrew Klavan to campus.

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The University of Florida (UF) has agreed to change a campus policy and pay $66,000 to the school's Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapter on campus as part of a settlement with the student organization.

YAF sued the school in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida last December, alleging the school violated students' First and 14th Amendment rights. "The old policy unfairly taxed conservative students to underwrite the expression of leftist speakers on campus," YAF spokesman Spencer Brown wrote in a statement released Thursday.

UF had required all students to pay an annual activity fee, yet failed to give student groups equal access to the funds. Some campus groups automatically received annual money from this fund and could use it to bring speakers to campus, whereas others had to petition the school prior for funds prior to specific events. UF also gave the student government discretion to approve and deny funding, and YAF argued the body was not objective when deciding which groups to fund. 

"This past year, the University of Florida denied UF YAF funding to host Dana Loesch and Andrew Klavan," Brown wrote in a statement last December. "That denial … speaks loudly to the University of Florida's true intention to prevent conservative ideas being heard on campus."

The group's lawsuit argued that UF students "are entitled to the viewpoint-neutral distribution of the Student Activity Fees they have paid and will be required to pay, or to the repayment of fees they have paid and to be exempt from paying such fees in the future."

The school opted to settle with YAF and change its student activity and event policy.

"Thankfully, in response to this lawsuit, the University of Florida recognized the errors embedded within its policies by adopting changes that no longer force YAF members to pay into a system that funds opposing viewpoints and discriminates against their own," Caleb Dalton of Alliance Defending Freedom, who represented YAF, said in a statement.

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  1. “UF” is just “FU” spelled backwards.

    1. Yes, thats spelled backwards. Hehehe

  2. How do they distinguish these student fees from taxes? Because they’re specifically used to pay for speech and not other stuff?

    1. Because, if they were tuition, it would incorrectly make the University look expensive

      1. *incorrectly be tax deductible

    2. Yeah, I was wondering similarly. Did the YAF get exempted from the student activity fees because they couldn’t book Dana Loesch but the Riflery Club still has to pay in and can’t invite her?

    3. Fees that you pay to the school for services rendered aren’t fucking taxes. Schools aren’t a government entity, JFC, you all kinds of fees, dues, and bills to a school that you are attending. WTF are you even talking about?

  3. Better watch out for Klavan. He’s so radical he might write a crime novel!

    1. And that head is just too shiny and bright.

  4. YAF? Is that some kind of furry club?

  5. “Thankfully, in response to this lawsuit, the University of Florida recognized the errors embedded within its policies by adopting changes that no longer force YAF members to pay into a system that funds opposing viewpoints and discriminates against their own,” Caleb Dalton of Alliance Defending Freedom, who represented YAF, said in a statement.

    Such innocence. They’re just going to find another way to fuck you, pal.

  6. There’s probably a substantial number of students who have to pay the activity fee but don’t use any of the services, products, speakers, etc. Galt forbid that users of activities actually pay for the activities they use.

  7. Yeah. Well. One battle in the war won. We have been warned that the war for freedom is never ending. As a youth, I embraced the idea, the struggle. But, then I studied history, and learned that the enemy can never be destroyed. It calls to mind the Ragnarök- the Norse believed that the forces of darkness would eventually win, but fought a rearguard action to keep goodness alive as long as possible.
    Tomorrow is my 50th birthday, and I admit to a certain… lack of vigor and enthusiasm for the fight. I mean, history has already shown, over and over again, ad naseum, that collectivism simply doesn’t work for homosapien homosapiens. We’ve beat the enemy, repeatedly, and shown the falseness of his promises.
    Can’t I just declare victory and have a celebratory shot?

    1. Say not the struggle nought availeth,
      The labour and the wounds are vain,
      The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
      And as things have been they remain.

      If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
      It may be, in yon smoke concealed,
      Your comrades chase e’en now the fliers,
      And, but for you, possess the field.

      For while the tired waves, vainly breaking
      Seem here no painful inch to gain,
      Far back through creeks and inlets making,
      Comes silent, flooding in, the main.

      And not by eastern windows only,
      When daylight comes, comes in the light,
      In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly,
      But westward, look, the land is bright.

      https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43959/say-not-the-struggle-nought-availeth

      1. Arthur Hugh Clough in a live performance:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2H5uWRjFsGc

    2. Funny people, the Germanics, who believed in the gods but also believed the gods were dead.

    3. As long as the forces of evil can use government coercion to enslave people, their eventual victory is certain. Sadly, there is no way to force people to be free.

  8. “…whereas others had to petition the school prior for funds prior to specific events.”

    This seems like one too many “prior”s…

  9. Good news for University of Florida students! I’m HR manager and always looking for fresh resumes. What I noticed – lots of University of Florida students have very strong skills but bad resumes. If they want to get a good job – it’s better to order resume writing at https://resumeget.com/resumes-writing.

  10. Thankfully, in response to this lawsuit, the University of Florida recognized the errors embedded within its policies…

    They recognized that they were going to lose in court.

  11. So, what changes did the university agree to? Will they be changing the way funding is distributed, or are they just giving the YAF students their money back? If it’s the latter, I don’t see much of a victory here for academic freedom.

  12. If you ask me, it would seem UF won here. All the YAF did was get themselves excluded from the group funding in exchange for $66k. Once that $66k dries up, good luck finding more speakers. But when you are a kid, $66k sounds like a giant chunk of change I guess. Shortsighted.

    1. The way I read the article it seems like they don’t have to pay their student activities fees either. Not sure how that works. Join YAF, then you don’t have to pay the fee? Or no one pays the fees now?

      A little more detail would be nice.

  13. Are they going to rename the fee from the misleading “activity fee” to the more accurate “socialist indoctrination fee”?

    1. Why not? The masks are off these days.

      1. Once the speakers hit the auditorium, the ANTIFA dicks will put them back on.

        1. Need to set up an event that will actually be a trap for Antifa thugs and teach them a lesson.

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