Montclair State University: Student Group Threatened with Unconstitutional Security Fee
Two days before it was scheduled to host a speaking event with former education professor and activist Bill Ayers, MSU student group Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was informed by MSU's Center for Student Involvement that it would be charged extra security fees for an unspecified number of extra security officers to handle possible protesters against the event. FIRE wrote to MSU President Susan A. Cole before the event to remind MSU that it may not burden the group by affixing a price tag to such events on the basis of their expressive content. MSU did not directly respond to FIRE, but SDS confirmed that MSU did not charge it for the extra security officers present at the event.
- "First Amendment Victory at Montclair State: Ayers Speech Escapes 'Heckler's Veto'," April 21, 2011: Montclair State University has averted a First Amendment crisis on campus by backing down from an unconstitutional plan to levy extra fees on a student group that had invited education theorist and former Weatherman Bill Ayers to lecture on campus. After the university told Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) that it would be responsible to pay for an unspecified number of extra security officers because of the possibility of hostile protesters, the students came to FIRE for help.
- "FIRE Second Letter to Montclair State University President Susan A. Cole, April 20, 2011," April 20, 2011
- "FIRE Letter to Montclair State University President Susan A. Cole, March 24, 2011," March 24, 2011
- "Email Messages Between Students for a Democratic Society and the Center for Student Involvement, March 22, 2011," March 22, 2011
- "Education and the New Activism Event Registration Form, February 14, 2011," February 14, 2011
- "This Week in FIRE News: Victory at Montclair State," by Jordan Fischetti, April 22, 2011
- "First Amendment Victory at Montclair State: Ayers Speech Escapes 'Heckler's Veto'," by Adam Kissel, April 21, 2011