- ACLU AND SIGMA ALPHA MU CHALLENGE CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY
- CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST RIDER U. OFFICIALS
- SUMMARY OF SCHEDULES AND FILING PROFILE June 14, 2007
- DRAFT REVISED FORM 990 ISSUED
- FILING REQUIREMENTS FOR EXEMPT ENTITIES NOT CURRENTLY REQUIRED TO FILE FORM 990
- SECOND CIRCUIT REVERSES FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION CASE
Newsletter > November 2007 > "ACLU AND SIGMA ALPHA MU CHALLENGE CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY"
ACLU AND SIGMA ALPHA MU CHALLENGE CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY
Tim Burke, Manley Burke, email@example.com
According to an October 2, 2007, letter from the ACLU of Southern California to the President of Chapman University, Chapman has restricted the free speech and association rights of students desiring to affiliate with Sigma Alpha Mu. Banning the group’s events from campus, the University has extended the prohibition to the wearing of Greek letters or advertising Sigma Alpha Mu on the facebook website.
While citing to numerous federal court decisions comparing university campuses to public forums, the ACLU principally relies upon the California Constitution and, particularly, the California Code, which provides that “no private post-secondary educational institution shall make or enforce any rule subjecting any student to disciplinary sanctions solely on the basis of conduct that is speech or other communication that when engaged in outside the campus, or facility of a private secondary institution, is protected from governmental restriction by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution or Section 2 of Article I of the California Constitution.”1
The effort to form a Sigma Alpha Mu Chapter at Chapman has been underway for several years, sparked by the desire of several students led by Pascal De Maria, a senior, who argued that “all the group wanted to do was have a positive Jewish fraternal experience.” De Maria was willing to accept non-recognition by the University, but wants the same rights to “have a table on campus like the other groups and advertise on campus.”
Hector O. Villagra, Director of the Orange County Office of the ACLU of Southern California, concluded his letter to Chapman’s President by asking the President “provide immediate written confirmation that the restrictions on the free-speech rights of students from Sigma Alpha Mu … have been rescinded and that the penalties for their violation, if any, have been rescinded as well.”
California’s State Constitution, particularly combined with the statutory protection adopted by the State Legislature, goes farther than that of any other state in protecting the free speech rights of students on both public and private campuses.
1 Cal. Educ. Section 94637(a).