E-Mail from Wayne A. Bromfield, Bucknell General Counsel
June 24, 2009
From: Wayne Bromfield <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, Jun 24, 2009
The president has shared with me your recent email regarding the statements made by Fire about Bucknell and asked me to respond on behalf of the University. We appreciate the opportunity to correct misinformation you have received. Fire has conveniently failed to note a few facts. They claim discrimination and at the same time want the Bucknell University Conservatives Club (BUCC) to have special privileges.
A university is required by law not to discriminate in its policies or practices. These standards disallow activities on campus that discriminate based on race, gender, ethnicity, and other characteristics. Contrary to what Fire implies, there is no "just kidding" defense to discriminatory practices. The BUCC wanted to hold a discriminatory sale. They filled out an application to use the campus space misrepresenting the sale and not specifying their prices would be discriminatory. When the University then halted the sale, the BUCC was repeatedly offered venues and fora to announce and debate their positions. They declined the offers.
The space the BUCC sought to use for their handout distribution and bake sale is transited every day by some 3,000 students who live on campus, as that space is directly outside the student dining halls. Bucknell only permits campus groups to use the space for distribution of material, after registration of their event. If the BUCC alone can use that space without permission, hand out materials wherever and however they want in a highly trafficked area, or carry out discriminatory sales, the university will not have upheld its obligation to be fair, let alone to provide a safe environment. The BUCC is well aware of the requirements for using this space, having followed the requirements before and having been asked if they wished to register the event in order to continue the distribution. They declined that opportunity.
Despite Fire's and the BUCC's claims otherwise, these matters were not questions of free speech. Instead, in these matters, one student group expected special privileges above every other student organization and wanted to discriminate against their fellow students based on race in doing so.
Wayne A. Bromfield
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Wayne A. Bromfield
201 Judd House
Lewisburg, PA 17837