Can Universities Charge Security Fees to Campus Groups for Hosting Controversial Speakers?
When University of Washington College Republicans invited conservative activist Joey Gibson to speak on campus, they did not expect to be charged with a $17,000 security fee to ensure that the rally would not get out of hand. The College Republicans sued to proceed with the event which led to clashes, counter protests and several arrests. A letter penned by Professor Eric Schnapper and endorsed by 22 others makes a First Amendment case to protect the right of the College Republicans and other similar groups. University of Washington law professor and Concurring Opinions writer Ronald K.L. Collins states, "the UW Law letter provides an informative guide to much of the existing law concerning free speech rights and security fees. In that regard, it should be useful to college administrators, lawyers representing colleges, lawyers representing students and speakers, and to student organizations in general, among others."