University of Oregon: Derecognition of Student Group for ‘Offensive’ Publication
The Oregon Commentator, a conservative student magazine, won a three-month long battle for press freedom from the University of Oregon student government. When a transgendered student senator complained of being offended after being mocked in the magazine, the student government finance committee rejected the Commentator's mission statement, which had remained unchanged for the past 21 years. The finance committee publicly denied their constitutional obligation to distribute student fees on a viewpoint-neutral basis. FIRE wrote to UO President Dave Frohnmayer, who declared he didn't want to intervene in the funding process. It was not until FIRE sent an open letter to the student government, reminding them that the First Amendment undoubtedly applies to public universities, that the Commentator's mission statement was approved.
- "Victory for Freedom of the Press at University of Oregon," March 3, 2005: A conservative student magazine has won a three-month-long battle for press freedom against the University of Oregon student government. The Oregon Commentator had been derecognized and denied funding after it published items satirizing a transgendered student senator. After FIRE intervened, the student government reversed its unconstitutional actions and re-recognized the Commentator.
- "An Open Letter from FIRE to the Associated Students of the University of Oregon, February 21, 2005," February 21, 2005
- "Letter from University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer to FIRE, February 15, 2005," February 15, 2005
- "FIRE Letter to University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer, February 11, 2005," February 11, 2005
- "Commentator's mission denied, again," Oregon Daily Emerald, February 2, 2005: The Programs Finance Committee rejected the Oregon Commentator's mission statement again Tuesday night in a fierce budget hearing that ended with PFC member Mason Quiroz announcing his resignation.