WATCH: The problem with university fees
Alexa Schwerha recently spoke with Tyson Langhofer, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom
Campus Reform Reporter Alexa Schwerha spoke with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Tyson Langhofer about how universities weaponize student fees to deter free speech on campus.
Alexa met up with Tyson at Turning Point USA's 2022 Student Action Summit in Tampa, Florida.
“Maybe [administrators] deny your group funding [from] student fees,” Langhofer proposed. “You’re forced to pay these mandatory fees, [but] they give it to another group because they don’t like your speech.”
Campus Reform has reported on multiple incidents of conservative students losing out on funding because of their political beliefs.
In November, the Stanford University Undergraduate Student Senate voted to deny the College Republicans funding to host Vice President Mike Pence on campus. The tight-knit 7-6 vote rejected the group's proposal on account that Pence could be controversial.
The funding was, eventually, awarded and the event was held during the spring semester.
Additionally, Langhofer warned that university administrators may also charge conservative groups extra in security fees to field potential protests.
The University of Houston attempted to charge the Young Conservatives of Texas chapter over $2,000 in security fees in order to host Ann Coulter in March.
The cost was lowered to $288 for two police officers after the chapter sounded the alarm and pressured legal action.
Denying funding on the basis of political affiliation is unconstitutional as it violates viewpoint neutrality. Langhofer praised ADF for having a 91% victory rate in challenging unconstitutional policies at colleges and universities across the country.
“The First Amendment says you can’t… discriminate against students or student groups because of their viewpoints,” he explained. “So we help advise those student groups, and then if we can’t get a result… we’re happy to sue.”
Watch the full interview above.
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