Skip to comments.Central Michigan University Bills Students for Horowitz Security
Posted on 10/28/2008 11:05:05 AM PDT by walford
The Central Michigan University (CMU) administration charged the CMU Campus Conservatives hundreds of dollars for security the school provided to the lecture attendees and conservative author and activist David Horowitz, whom the group invited to speak on campus, despite threat of legal action from a national, legal advocacy group.
CMU Campus Conservatives, an independent club, was founded with assistance from the Leadership Institute (LI) of Arlington, Virginia. LI helped the group to obtain a donor-supported speaker grant to bring Horowitz to CMU on Tuesday, October 14 in honor of Islamofascism Awareness Week.
Horowitz delivered his speech, Stop the Jihad on Campus, to an audience of approximately 200 students. The administration, under pressure from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), agreed to provide two armed officers for the event but informed Campus Conservatives they might be billed for security fees. CMU had provided security to other student groups under similar circumstances without charge.
Dennis Lennox, a spokesman for Campus Conservatives, said, Students should be able to come together to discuss critical issues without having to pay hundreds of dollars to be safe from hooligans. He continued, Instead of admitting a mistake, CMU is figuring out ways to bully conservative students for hosting events.
Horowitz requires security detail at his speaking engagements due to the controversial subject matter of his lectures, which have resulted in death threats and physical attacks against him by angry, leftist spectators at past events.
Student leaders of CMU Campus Conservatives enlisted help from FIRE when Keith Voeks, the assistant director of university events, informed Lennox that his group would be invoiced for the security costs. FIRE then notified CMU President Michael Rao and other university administrators via email that refusal to provide protection and event security for the speaker was unconstitutional and opened the school up to federal litigation.
In 1992, the Supreme Court declared in Forsyth County v. Nationalist Movement: "[l]isteners' reaction to speech is not a content-neutral basis for regulation ... speech cannot be financially burdened, any more than it can be punished or banned, simply because it might offend a hostile mob."
Rao responded in an email to FIRE that CMU will continue to review its history of whether sponsoring organizations were charged for security provided in similar situations.
According to Campus Conservatives, CMUs position conflicts with its own past practices, as administration has routinely provided campus police officers free of charge for security at comparable events for other campus clubs.
"Forcing students to pay for the right to have a discussion on campus gives a veto to hecklers and thugs who would disrupt events in the university community," said Lennox.
The CMU Police Department contracted two security officers for the event at a rate of $55 per hour. For the two-hour public lecture, the security fees invoiced to the Campus Conservatives totaled at $220.
Horowitzs speech proceeded without incident, but it took the university more than a week to decide formally to charge the conservative, student group for the right to exercise their freedom of speech without intimidation or threat of physical harm.
The administrations wholesale rejection of FIREs warnings has subjected CMU to possible legal action. It remains unclear how FIRE will respond to the universitys decision to maintain an unconstitutional monetary burden on student speech.
Adam Weinberg, a Leadership Institute field representative, said, It's ironic that this unconstitutional burden from the administration would come as the Campus Conservatives host David Horowitz, one of the foremost advocates for academic freedom in the nation.
He continued, The de facto suppression of conservative ideas in our university system must end if we want to preserve a free society for our future.
In 2007, the Central Michigan University administration changed an unconstitutional school policy as a result of FIREs intervention on behalf of students rights.
The ACLU doesn’t care about the civil rights of conservatives.
If you would like to be added or dropped from the Michigan ping list, please freepmail me.
They can't give groups the administration likes while charging those they don't.
However, if the University decides not to provide security for any group or require groups to pay for security if needed, I don't think that is unreasonable.
Otherwise the University and therefore students and taxpayers will get stuck with the security bill for any crackpot rabble-rouser that chooses to use the university as a forum.
Back in the early 80's, CMU paid for Timoty Leary and Abbie Hoffman to present their garbage to us students (at seperate events). Leary told us that we're smarter then our parents and we need to throw away all the teachings of previous generations (after we hit them up for room and board). He also said he did 10 experimental drugs in the last month. I don't remember what Hoffman said since I got with Leary after the lecture and he hooked me up... (just kidding).
I'll never give a single cent to this POS left-wing "liberal arts" college even though they hound me where ever I move to.
Send Dennis Lennox the bill....
Hi Grellis... Long time no talk to... You remember Dennis Lennox, don’t you??? He was the CMU student against Gary Peters for being a endowed chair of a political department @ CMU... Dennis was the guy who posting his own articles on FR and calling it news... I think he is doing it again... Thanks for all your pings... I check them often...
CMU had provided security to other student groups under similar circumstances without charge.Figures. Still, I like the sound of "Islamofascism Awareness Week".
In 1992, the Supreme Court declared in Forsyth County v. Nationalist Movement: "[l]isteners' reaction to speech is not a content-neutral basis for regulation ... speech cannot be financially burdened, any more than it can be punished or banned, simply because it might offend a hostile mob."AFAIC, the CMU policy is a consequence of having Jenny Grandstand in the governor's mansion.
I have tremendous respect for just about every FReeper (don't sell yourself short :)
I went in the fall of '68 for one year (on a baseball scholarship) and the only thing controversial at CMU was the MC5 concert (Motor City 5..."kick out the jams MFer").
Thanks for the ping, grellis. Disturbing.
Or maybe his mommy!
“maybe his mommy”.... I think so... LOL
The FR handle back then was MIGuy...
oops... the name was Michiganguy and he hasn’t been back to FR since... now that is funny...
“...Dennis was the guy who posting his own articles on FR and calling it news... I think he is doing it again...”
If you’re implying that I am Dennis Lennox or affiliated with him, I had never even heard of him until a link to this article was e-mailed to me by the Leadership Institute [I am on their listserv].
If he is a discreditable source, perhaps you should contact them.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.