JUNE 5, 2013

Alliance Defending Freedom prompts big changes at universities in 15 states

30 universities nationwide change unconstitutional policies, effort continues
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LEAWOOD, Kan. — A legal effort Alliance Defending Freedom launched last year to change unconstitutional policies at America’s public universities and colleges has resulted in policy changes at 30 universities across the country, according to the most recent data compiled this week.

The ongoing effort seeks to change policies that violate the First-Amendment-protected freedoms of students at hundreds of public universities and colleges nationwide.

“Public universities should encourage, not censor, the free exchange of ideas,” said Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot. “This effort has given public universities and colleges the opportunity to respect the constitutionally protected freedoms of their students without any costly litigation. The objective has been to inform officials of how their policies conflict with the Constitution, as reinforced by numerous federal court rulings, so that the schools can make changes.”

“The success of this effort so far means we will continue pressing forward to help schools protect their students as well as help students who often end up the victims of unconstitutional policies,” Theriot added.

Among the problematic policies are various speech codes and zones that place unconstitutional restrictions on student speech, policies that force student clubs to accept voting members and officers that don’t agree with the clubs’ beliefs, and policies that allow non-religious student groups to use student activity fees but exclude religious student groups even though the students in those groups have contributed to the fees.

Kevin Theriot serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom at its Kansas City Regional Service Center in Kansas, where he heads litigation efforts to restore the marketplace of ideas to university campuses nationwide. Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.

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