Northeastern Illinois University: Suppression of Affirmative Action Bake Sale
At Northeastern Illinois University, administrators had warned the members of the College Republicans that both the students and the group would be punished if they held a campus protest against affirmative action. NEIU Dean of Students Michael Kelly e-mailed the student organization informing them that the protest would violate the school's nondiscrimination policy. Dean Kelly wrote that "[v]iolating University rules can and will result in charges being filed," and that "any disruption of university activities that would be caused by this event is also actionable...." FIRE wrote the school, demanding the group be allowed to stage their protest as it is within their First Amendment rights to do so. The university soon relented, and the College Republicans were allowed to hold the bake sale with "no preconditions."
- "Bake Sale Battles Continue: FIRE Gains Victory at NEIU, Turns Sights on Grand Valley State University," April 8, 2005: In a victory for free speech on campus, Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) has decided to allow the College Republicans to hold an affirmative action bake sale protest on campus with “no preconditions.” FIRE received written confirmation of the change on Wednesday afternoon, less than 36 hours after publicizing the university's unconstitutional threat to punish the group if they held the protest. At the same time that NEIU changed course, however, FIRE learned that Grand Valley State University in Michigan was proceeding with plans to try its College Republicans on “discrimination” charges related to their bake sale protest.
- "E-mail from NEIU Dean of Students Michael Kelly to Brian Geier, April 6, 2005," April 6, 2005
- "Northeastern Illinois University Bans Affirmative Action Bake Sale, Threatens Protestors with Punishment," April 5, 2005: Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) has warned the members of the College Republicans that both the students and the group will be punished if they hold a campus protest against affirmative action. The student group canceled its planned “affirmative action bake sale” protest after NEIU’s dean of students warned them in an e-mail that to hold such a sale would violate NEIU’s “nondiscrimination” policy. NEIU, which allowed a feminist group to hold a similar “pay equity bake sale” protest on campus, is the latest in a string of schools nationwide that have attempted to shut down these protests against affirmative action.
- "Letter from NEIU Legal Adviser Mark Dunn to FIRE, March 29, 2005," March 29, 2005
- "FIRE Letter to NEIU Legal Adviser Mark Dunn, March 25, 2005," March 25, 2005
- "Letter from NEIU Legal Adviser Mark Dunn to FIRE, March 17, 2005," March 17, 2005
- "FIRE Letter to NEIU President Salme Steinberg, March 8, 2005," March 8, 2005
- "E-mail from NEIU Dean of Students Michael Kelly to John Tait, February 18, 2005," February 18, 2005