Libertarian student says college is suppressing her speech
- A libertarian student says she has repeatedly had her First Amendment rights suppressed by Flagler College in a free speech battle that has been going on for several months.
- Administrators recently told Kelli Huck that she could not roll a free speech ball around campus without being sponsored by an official student group.
- Months earlier, however, student government rejected her request to start a YAL chapter based on opposition to YAL's "political agenda."
A libertarian student has repeatedly had her First Amendment rights suppressed by Flagler College in a free speech battle that has been going on for several months.
Most recently, student Kelli Huck was prevented from holding a free-speech ball demonstration on campus because she had failed to register the event ten days in advance.
“You didn’t reserve the space ten days prior to an event with a recognized student organization,” an unidentified administrator informed Huck, suggesting that she “team up with another group that kind of shares the same views,” particularly recommending the Student Government Association (SGA).
However, as Huck responds in a video of the encounter, the SGA has actually denied Huck’s request for official recognition of her Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) chapter, thus preventing her from reserving space in the first place.
In fact, Campus Reform reported in March that Flagler’s administration threatened to cancel the same demonstration after the student government denied YAL’s recognition for a second time, accusing the group of “trending towards one certain political agenda.”
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) later sent two letters to the school, urging SGA and the administration to reverse course.
“Unfortunately, the threat to freedom of speech posed by the SGA’s actions has cascaded into yet another violation of Flagler students’ expressive rights, as YAL’s unrecognized status has now been used as a basis to deny its members the right to engage in expressive activity in the outdoor areas of campus,” FIRE wrote in a March letter. “The actions of both the SGA and the Flagler College administration violate the college’s stated commitment to freedom of expression and must be reversed immediately.”
Huck, however, has yet to be granted official recognition, remarking in a recent Facebook post that just wanted to “advocate civil and economic liberties.”
“I wanted to let Flagler students exercise their right to free speech, but the man is keeping me down,” she wrote. “I got asked to leave campus after having my third free speech ball. [It’s] ridiculous when I just want to advocate civil and economic liberties.”
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AGockowski