Michigan State University: Funding Rejected for Free-Market Scholar's Speech
In September 2012, the Michigan State University (MSU) College Libertarians, a recognized student organization at MSU, applied to the Associated Students of Michigan State University's (ASMSU's) Funding Board for $4,450 in funding to host a lecture by bestselling author and historian Tom Woods. The Funding Board denied the application, notifying the group that the student government "cannot fund groups with political agendas" as it would "seem like we [ASMSU] are pushing a particular political agenda." FIRE wrote to MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon on October 19, explaining that Supreme Court precedent required the school to ensure that funding be made equally available to student organizations on a content- and viewpoint-neutral basis. Shortly after receiving FIRE's letter, the group's application for funding was re-reviewed and approved by the Funding Board. The ASMSU also stated that it will review its policies to ensure full compliance with the First Amendment.
- "Michigan State Reverses Decision Rejecting Free-Market Scholar’s Speech," November 16, 2012: Michigan State University (MSU) has reaffirmed the First Amendment rights of student organizations this week after it wrongly denied funding to a student group. When the MSU College Libertarians were denied funding to bring bestselling author Tom Woods to speak on campus on the faulty basis that groups with "political agendas" were ineligible to receive student activity fee funding, the group contacted FIRE for help.
- "Response to FIRE from Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Denise Maybank, November 9, 2012," November 9, 2012
- "FIRE letter to Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon, October 19, 2012," October 19, 2012
- "Funding Board emails, September 20 and 26, 2012," September 20, 2012
- "College Libertarians Funding Board Application, September 10, 2012," September 10, 2012
- "Michigan State Reverses Decision Rejecting Free-Market Scholar’s Speech," November 16, 2012