SAN FRANCISCO, March 20, 2007—In a crucial victory for free expression, San Francisco State University (SFSU) announced yesterday that its College Republicans will face no punishment for hosting an anti-terrorism rally at which participants stepped on makeshift Hezbollah and Hamas flags. SFSU’s decision comes after months of pressure from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), national and local media, and the public—all of which called on the school to uphold the students’ constitutionally guaranteed right to free expression.
“We are relieved that SFSU has come to its senses and recognized that it cannot punish students for constitutionally protected expression,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “But the fact remains that the university should never have investigated or tried them in the first place. This was a protected act of political protest and it is impossible to believe the university did not know that from the start.”
Of course they knew it from the start. They just wanted to "send a message" to students that if you're right-leaning, you'd better watch yourself at San Francisco State or you will be harassed by the administration.
“SFSU has finally done what it should have done months ago,” FIRE Director of Legal and Public Advocacy Samantha Harris said. “The College Republicans should never have been dragged through an investigation and hearing for their protected political expression, and it is an outrage that SFSU carried on with this for so long when it had the power to dismiss the charges informally. We hope that SFSU will make whatever policy changes are necessary to ensure that this does not happen again.”
Previous posts I've written about this particular situation are here and here.