Victory for Freedom of the Press at UC San Diego
SAN DIEGO, March 11, 2010—In a victory for freedom of the press on campus, the student government of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) voted last night to end an ongoing moratorium on funding for student media. The vote restores funding for student media organizations and makes no changes to the current policy governing student media. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has been working with student media to end the funding freeze.
"It took far too long, but with last night's vote, UCSD's student government has finally overruled its president's grievous disregard for the First Amendment," said FIRE Vice President Robert Shibley. "As FIRE and other civil liberties organizations have repeatedly pointed out during the past two weeks, eliminating outlets for student dialogue at precisely the time they are most needed was a terrible—and unconstitutional—mistake."
The unconstitutional funding freeze was unilaterally enacted on February 18 by Utsav Gupta, President of the Associated Students of UCSD (UCSD's student government), in the wake of controversy over a party invitation for an off-campus event called the "Compton Cookout." Gupta had argued that his repressive actions were necessary to combat "fracturing of the student body on an issue" and "hateful speech."
Thanks to the many FIRE supporters who wrote to remind UCSD that even the most unpopular speech on campus demands the full protection of the First Amendment. Learn more about FIRE's defense of the First Amendment at UCSD here.