UPDATE: University drops security fees after free speech group challenged the charges
Campus Reform obtained the July 14 letter confirming that Pennsylvania State University would drop the charges.
Uncensored America’s founder, Sean Semanko, told Campus Reform he is 'very happy that Penn State has listened to our concerns and has discharged the security bill.'
A campus group just won its fight against a university over security fees for a political debate.
The university had no specific security requirements for the event, and no reported incidents took place.
On July 14, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), an organization that has supported Uncensored America during the controversy, received a letter from PSU confirming that it would drop the fees.
Campus Reform obtained the July 14 letter, which refers to the fees as “reasonable” and claims that Uncensored America misunderstood prior communications with PSU.
The letter reads:
For the April 27, 2022 event, Uncensored America initially requested the presence of at least four security officers. As the debate date approached, the group modified its request from four officers to two. Although it requested security for its event, the group also opted not to request funding support from UPAC and was informed on February 14, 2022 that as a result they may need to consider security and other costs.
Because the communications on this point may not have been fully understood by Uncensored America, the University will fairly address the matter by discharging the sum billed to the group.
Uncensored America’s founder, Sean Semanko, told Campus Reform he is “very happy that Penn State has listened to our concerns and has discharged the security bill.”
Citing the discharged fees as a win for conservatives, Semanko also clarified that “[f]ree speech has been preserved for everyone on campus.”
"Free speech is more important now than ever before in these very complicated and historic times. We will keep fighting for everyone's right to speak freely and continue to host open and honest conversations with real human beings," he continued.
Likewise,PSU student Orlando Clark believes that while dropping the fees is a “step in the right direction,” the university is only doing so because of recent reporting on the issue.
"While the university made the right call, the reason for dropping the fees was due to recent reports. The university will do whatever they can do to protect their reputation,” Orlando told Campus Reform.
PSU student Calvin Murphy told Campus Reform that “taking the fee off…shows that they realize they made a mistake by putting in hidden fees.”
Semanko concluded by thanking “the great people at FIRE and Campus Reform for their tremendous help; we couldn’t have resolved this issue without them.”
Campus Reform reached out to Penn State University and FIRE. This article will be updated accordingly.
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