CCAC free speech update

CCAC has responded to FIRE’s allegations that CCAC trampled a student’s free speech rights when she tried to form a gun-rights student organization. CCAC’s response is here, and FIRE’s subsequent press release is here. (CCAC earlier admitted that they did not reply to FIRE in a timely fashion.)

CCAC’s response falls quite a bit short of what might be hoped. It proclaims their support for free speech and claims that the student has not been disciplined. However, it reiterates its position that any mention of CCAC in a student’s literature, even with an explicit disclaimer of any affiliation, constitutes a claim of endorsement by CCAC that they must suppress. This argument is hardly defensible. Moreover, as FIRE points out, what then can be made of all the other organizations (such as the College Democrats) that CCAC does permit to use its name?

More troublingly, CCAC fails to rebut the two most serious allegations: First, the student was threatened with charges of academic misconduct. Second, CCAC’s dean said “You may want to discuss this topic but the college does not, and you cannot make us,” making clear the college’s desire to suppress the student’s speech.

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