The University of Pittsburgh has demanded that conservative students pay $18,734 in security and damage fees following a mob of left-wing protesters causing chaos at their event. Despite adhering to university policies, the event was almost jeopardized by the school’s refusal to recognize their right to free speech.
On April 18, a debate titled “Should Transgenderism Be Regulated by Law?” was held at the University of Pittsburgh. Student groups Intercollegiate Studies Institute and University of Pittsburgh’s College Republicans had organized the event, which featured a debate between Michael Knowles from the Daily Wire and Brad Polumbo, co-founder of BASED Politics. Despite following all university policies and procedures, the university demanded that the groups pay over $18,000 in security fees.
According to the legal firm Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), university officials encouraged students to protest against the debate, leading to its staff and faculty lobbying to have the event canceled. Ultimately, the protest caused considerable disorder in the area surrounding the debate.
ADF Senior Counsel Philip A. Sechler called the security fee “prohibitively expensive speech, not free speech.” He pointed out that the First Amendment prohibits any attempt to suppress freedom of speech and that the university should be working to protect every student’s right to express their opinions.
This shocking incident demonstrates the urgent need for universities to uphold the principles of freedom of speech for everyone, regardless of political leanings. Only by doing so can we achieve a truly