University of Arizona: Unconstitutional Security Fee Charged for Speech by University Critic
In April 2009, the University of Arizona College Republicans planned to host an event featuring conservative writer and activist David Horowitz. Shortly before the event, however, the group was informed that it was necessary to host two officers at the event for security, due to Horowitz's controversial views. The College Republicans agreed to host the officers, and the presentation was given without incident. Soon after, however, the UA Police Department sent the College Republicans a bill for $384.72 to pay for the security. On June 10, 2009, FIRE wrote University of Arizona President Robert N. Shelton to point out that any requirement that student organizations hosting controversial events pay for extra security is unconstitutional because it affixes a price tag to events on the basis of their expressive content. On July 1, the police department informed the College Republicans that the university would absorb the full cost of the security.
- "Victory for Freedom of Speech at University of Arizona: Refund of Security Fee for Controversial Speaker Marks First Victory Posted on New FIRE Website," July 6, 2009: The University of Arizona has rescinded its unconstitutional security fee for an event featuring author and conservative activist David Horowitz. After the university billed the College Republicans student group $384.72 for security that it did not request, the club came to FIRE for help.
- "University of Arizona Letter to College Republicans," July 1, 2009
- "FIRE Letter to Arizona President Robert N. Shelton," June 10, 2009
- "E-Mail to College Republicans from Anjelica Yrigoyen," June 8, 2009
- "Invoice to the College Republicans from University of Arizona Police Department," April 19, 2009
- "Victory for Freedom of Speech at University of Arizona: Refund of Security Fee for Controversial Speaker," by Peter Bonilla, July 6, 2009