Harvard University: Administration Threatened to Cancel ‘Barely Legal’ Party Due to Event’s Name
Harvard University threatened to cancel a party planned by two Harvard student groups simply because of the party's name: "Barely Legal." The Latino Men's Collective (LMC) and Fuerza Latina proposed that a party be held in the Adams House Dining Hall. Adams House administrators agreed to host the party, but once the party was publicized using the "Barely Legal" name, several students complained to the House masters. The student leadership of both LMC and Fuerza Latina publicly stated that they meant no offense by the party's name and did not intend to glorify or encourage illegal activity. Nevertheless, Adams House administrators told LMC and Fuerza Latina they would not be allowed to hold the party unless the name was changed. FIRE wrote to Harvard explaining that threatening to cancel a student group's party because some people found its name offensive was a clear violation of Harvard's own binding promises of freedom of expression. The school responded claiming that Adams House has complete discretion over allowing student groups to organize events there.
- "Letter to FIRE from Harvard University Vice President Robert W. Iuliano," July 3, 2008
- "FIRE Letter to Harvard President Drew Faust," June 9, 2008
- "Censorship at Harvard University: Administration Threatened to Cancel ‘Barely Legal’ Party Due to Event’s Name," June 5, 2008: Harvard University threatened to cancel a party planned by two Harvard student groups simply because of the party's name: "Barely Legal." FIRE has asked Harvard to reaffirm its commitment to its students' right to freedom of expression.
- "Letter from Harvard University Attorney Bradley E. Abruzzi, May 30, 2008," May 30, 2008
- "FIRE Letter to Harvard Adams House Resident Dean Sharon Howell, May 8, 2008," May 8, 2008
- "Harvard Persists in Supporting Censorship of ‘Barely Legal’ Party," by Adam Kissel, July 7, 2008
- "Harvard’s Weak Response Fails to Address Censorship of Party Name," by William Creeley, June 11, 2008
- "Harvard Censors Student Groups because of Party’s Name," June 5, 2008
- "Maybe Harvard Thought It Was The ‘Manifestly Illegal’ Party?,"
by Greg Lukianoff, The Huffington Post, June 24, 2008