by David Hacker
Last fall, I wrote about Non-Discrimination Gone Wild, a decision by Evergreen State College to allow a man to use the girls locker room. Well it seems my law school alma mater, Washington University in St. Louis, wanted to one-up Evergreen, and hosted a "porn star" panel earlier this month. The panel was part of the university's "sex week," a series of events designed to address "sexual health, sexuality, and societal views of sex." The event was hosted in the university chapel and paid for with mandatory student fees.
Wash U's event follows similar week-long Dionysian festivals at the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois, and Yale. Often these events are paid for with mandatory student fees. In fact, CampusReform reports that at Wash U over $10,000 in student fees paid for "sex week." You would think that university administrators would question student decisions to spend their parents' money or student loans on these events, but CampusReform quotes one university official as saying, "The administration is very supportive of any choice the students make when it comes to funding." Yet, I'm sure if the event had been "religion week," the university would have refused to provide any student fee funding.
Most people think student fees pay things like services in the student union, the gym, and occasional funding of student groups conducting a service project. But universities have turned these mandatory fees in campus slush funds for the left. What results is student groups like "Sex Out Loud" at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that receive over $100,000 a year in student fee funding to hand out condoms and pamphlets from Planned Parenthood, but groups like Badger Catholic are denied funding to provide free student counseling from a religious perspective.
What can you do? It's unlikely mandatory student fees will go away anytime soon. But the best answer to bad speech is good speech. If you're part of a student group on campus, apply to get student fees for your own events that promote decency and respect life. (And if you need help, contact us.) If you're an alumnus of a college that hands out student fees to these types of events, tell your alumni office you're not giving this year in protest. Don't let the left dominate the conversation.
This is the first in a series of blog posts that will outline how some key courtroom victories help protect freedom in five critical areas.
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The First Amendment protects our freedom to peacefully practice the religion we choose. But when COVID-19 hit the United States and lockdowns began, some government officials seemed to forget this.