Statement on Incident at Transylvania University


For more information contact:

Kai Fox, Chief Executive Officer

Washington, DC - May 3, 2019 - On Thursday, May 2, 2019, at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, student representatives of Young Americans for Freedom, the College Republicans, and Students for Free Expression, in an effort to highlight the institution’s problematic free speech policies confining students to “free speech zones,” were shut down by university administrators two minutes after setting up a recruiting table on campus. The same behavior by members of the Democratic Socialists, in the same space, was routinely permitted.

While all organizations did not fully comply with university policy, the policy is the problem. Private universities like Transylvania are not strictly bound by constitutional doctrine, but it is the sense of their student body, the sense of Students for Free Expression, and the sense of members of Congress that “free speech zones” are inherently unconstitutional. That’s why they’re gradually being done away with.

Students for Free Expression, joined by Transylvania’s representatives from the College Republicans and Young Americans for Freedom, urge Transylvania and universities and colleges across America to adopt “Chicago principles” of free expression and abolish the fundamentally unconstitutional practice of “free speech zones.”

Kailash Fox