DePaul University Under Fire For Charging Student Organizations To Pay Up For 'Free Speech'By Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
DePaul University is currently facing backlash for charging political student groups with fees for hosting discussion and lecture events. It has been referred to as "free speech tax," which is the unusual amount of money that the school has subjected student organizations during the planning of said events.
Breitbart reported that administrators at DePaul University are under fire for the "free speech tax" that it imposed on political student organizations for discussion and lecture events. Some see this as a way to stifle freedom of expression.
This is not the first time that DePaul University was involved in a controversy for one of its event. Earlier this year, it was noted that the school also gained criticisms for refusing to let security remove protesters who rushed onstage and derailed an event featuring Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos.
According to Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), the school's promises to protect free expression are "meaningless." "Matters of social and political importance are often highly controversial," FIRE senior program officer Ari Cohn said. "If DePaul requires students to pay extra for the right to explore those ideas, DePaul's promises of free expression are utterly meaningless."
Cohn added that it's already disturbing that the school requires a student organization to accept the presence of the university's security officers at an informational meeting. He noted that "forcing them to pay for it is simply beyond the pale."
Student organization The DePaul Socialists has also been affected by the school's event policies. "What this has resulted in is free speech for the administration, and 'fee speech' for student organizers," Samuel Peiffer, a member of the DePaul Socialists, said.
Michigan Journal noted that DePaul University has denied tenure to Israel critic Norman Finkelstein back in 2007. Free speech has become a nuisance for school administrators and officials nationwide. Trigger warnings and safe spaces are expected to become a staple in schools in an attempt to protect students, which can also be used to "disintegrate he free and fair exchange of discourse that encourages intellectual growth, diversity and freedom."