The College of Charleston lawsuit began when university administration failed to approve the South Carolina Politics Club as a student organization despite being non-partisan. Without achieving student organization status, the South Carolina Politics Club has no access to political affiliates or school sanctioned resources.
The College of Charleston argued that it did not need to approve the student group because the group was similar to other active organizations and would not bring anything new to the table.
According to The State, the problem was students that have an interest in joining the South Carolina Politics Club, instead of the similar clubs, have no way to exercise their freedom of speech.
The South Carolina Politics Club decided to take it to court.
The lawsuit claimed that the school violated the First Amendment by refusing to officially recognize the South Carolina Politics Club.
The South Carolina Politics Club was backed by the support of Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative group who decided to step up and help out the students. Alliance Defending Freedom defends the freedom of speech for students on campus.
“Public colleges and universities are supposed to be a marketplace of ideas. This policy change ensures that the South Carolina Politics Club and all student organizations can operate in that marketplace on an equal playing field that doesn’t permit discrimination based on viewpoint,” the attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom, Caleb Dalton, said in a press release.
The College of Charleston settled the lawsuit and agreed to recognize South Carolina Politics Group as a student group.
As terms of the settlement, the College of Charleston is to pay the student group’s attorneys $20,000 and change the policies of the school regarding student groups on the basis of freedom of speech.
Dalton continued, saying, “We commend the College of Charleston for agreeing to make policy changes that respect students’ constitutionally protected freedoms.”
This is just one example of the daily fight that students face to have their voice acknowledged on college campuses.
Turning Point USA, an associated student group promoting the freedom of speech, agrees that students have the right to express themselves through the freedom of speech and assembly.
TPUSA holds almost 10 student organization chapters across the state of South Carolina and will continue to work for the rights of students!