University of Miami: Refusal to Approve Conservative Student Group
The University of Miami (UM) refused to approve, on four separate occasions, a student organization created for "the exposition and promotion of conservative principles and ideas." The proposed student group, Advocates for Conservative Thought (ACT), tried consistently to gain official recognition through the Committee on Student Organizations (COSO), UM's authorized agent for handling such matters. However, COSO denied the group recognition—which, under UM policy, it needed in order to use vital university facilities and resources, to be listed on the website for approved student groups and in the student handbook, and to promote itself on campus—on the grounds that the College Republicans student organization already offered a conservative voice on campus and that another group, the Council for Democracy, provided a political forum on campus. ACT contacted FIRE, which wrote to UM President Donna E. Shalala criticizing this violation of the right to free association. After FIRE took the case public, Shalala finally overruled COSO, allowing ACT to become officially recognized.
- "Victory for Equality and Free Speech at the University of Miami," May 8, 2003: Last Friday, FIRE launched a national media campaign drawing attention to censorship and double standards at the University of Miami (UM). Within hours, UM retreated. Today, a student group that unfairly had been denied approval is an officially registered organization.
- "Letter from University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala to FIRE, May 5, 2003," May 5, 2003
- "University of Miami Rejects Conservative Student Group," May 2, 2003: The University of Miami (UM) repeatedly has refused to approve a student group dedicated to the promotion of conservative philosophy and ideas. The administration, fully aware of the situation, has permitted an unconscionable double standard.
- "Statement from Donna E. Shalala: Recognition of Student Organizations on Campus," May 2, 2003
- "Letter from University of Miami Committee of Student Organizations Advisor Cynthia Chapel to FIRE, April 21, 2003," April 21, 2003
- "FIRE Letter to University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala, April 7, 2003," April 7, 2003
- "Letter from University of Miami Advocates for Conservative Thought to Committee on Student Organizations, January 20, 2003," January 20, 2003
- "Constitution for Advocates for Conservative Thought at the University of Miami," January 20, 2003
- "Letter from University of Miami Committee on Student Organizations Co-Chair Valerie Figueredo to Andrea Kiser, January 14, 2003," January 14, 2003
- "Philly group takes national lead in fighting campus censorship,"
by JoAnn Loviglio, Associated Press State and Local Wire, August 21, 2005
- "No Myth: Conservatives in Academia Suffer Discrimination,"
by Mark Finkelstein, The Cornell Daily Sun, October 15, 2004
- "Fire on American Campuses,"
by Richard Cravatts, The Washington Dispatch, May 7, 2003
- "Campus lifts limits on conservative clubs,"
by Joyce Howard Price, The Washington Times, May 3, 2003
- "UM club's admission urged to be reviewed,"
by Erik Schelzig, Tallahassee Democrat, May 3, 2003
- "Students push for conservative club,"
by Charles Rabin, The Miami Herald, May 2, 2003
- "UM students say club blocked,"
by Erik Schelzig, The Miami Herald, May 1, 2003