Free Speech Victory at UC Santa Barbara

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The CRs appealed to the Associated Students Legislative Council (ASLC), which heard the appeal on May 4. Several ASLC members provided further blatantly unconstitutional reasons for voting against any allocation for the event, as reported in the meeting minutes:

  • “I believe the statements should be founded in fact and there’s a difference between that and completely outlandish statements. … If there were intelligent discourse with David, then great, but this is not the case. He will go on a rant about people that he doesn’t agree with or like.”
  • “My only reservation with bringing Horowitz is that it would be an educational event. David belittles students and professors and will only anger folks.”
  • “Do you think the idea of free speech jeopardizes the safety of students on the campus?”
  • “Couldn’t you [the CRs] have chosen someone who better represents your minority group in a constructive manner?”
  • “Not funding their [the CRs’] event is not making them feel like they are not included in this campus. Being a political[] minority is WAY different than a structural minority.”

Although the ASLC allocated $1,100 for the event, an outcry from the audience at the meeting led the ASLC to reopen the debate and allocate only $800. The ASLC also voted to hide the Finance Board’s discussion from the public record.

FIRE wrote UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang on May 6 and June 7, detailing the utter failure of student government members to vote on a viewpoint-neutral basis, in violation of the First Amendment. On June 21, Campus Counsel Nancy Greenan Hamill replied to FIRE, claiming that the CRs had been allocated $1,100, but the CRs’ official Fund Audit Report showed no such allocation.

UCSB administrators provided FIRE and CRs President Steven Begakis with conflicting information for months until, finally, on October 6, UCSB Assistant Dean of Students Katya Armistead produced a document demonstrating that UCSB had put $1,800 in the CRs’ account.

“The months it took for UCSB administrators to get their own story straight just compounded the problem caused by the student government,” FIRE Vice President of Programs Adam Kissel said. “UCSB ultimately did the right thing by making the CRs whole, but it must now take steps to ensure that its student government never again violates the First Amendment rights of a student organization.”

FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation that unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals from across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of individual rights, freedom of expression, academic freedom, due process, and rights of conscience at our nation’s colleges and universities. FIRE’s efforts to preserve liberty on campuses across America are described at

Adam Kissel, Vice President of Programs, FIRE: 215-717 3473;

Henry T. Yang, Chancellor, University of California, Santa Barbara: 805-893-2231;

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  • Bill Clausen

    These people on the Left are not true Liberals and they finally got exposed for what they are: The intolerant ideologues they accuse the other side of being.

    • mlcblog

      Absolutely correct.

      I decry the fact that the lovely word liberal, meaning free in thought, generous in nature, and tolerant for other ways of thinking has gone the way of that word we used to be able to use: gay, meaning happy and carefree, something that many who call themselves are not.

  • Majestic_One

    "Congress shall make no law…."

  • Dispozadaburka

    Push back.

  • MikeWood

    The left generally believes that anyone who does not agree with them is by virtue of this fact a "right-wing bigot", because they conflate rightwing opinions with bigotry. Rightwing and bigot have for them become synonymous. But this not only misconstrues the real meaning of bigotry, it also demonstrates how bigoted they are in the real sense of the word. A bigot is actually defined as a person whose opinions cannot be changed with reference to evidence or solid argument; it denotes inflexibility of opinion and the manner in which an opinion is held, not the position of that opinion on the political spectrum. The Left currently demonstrates far more bigotry both in their intolerance of opinions different to their own (and their attempt to suppress the expression of such opinions), as they show the inflexibility and imperviousness to evidence that is the foundation of bigotry in the true sense of the word.

  • mrbean

    This at UC Santa Barbara was an exception not the rule. The New Left's neo-Marxist vision calls for undemocratic means to establish true social justice, and the withdrawal of any tolerance for any opposing ideas to produce true non-judgemental tolerance. Ever since the 1960s, the Left's patron saint Herbert Marcuse ’s program of “repressive tolerance” has increasingly become the norm on campuses, in the mainstream media, and now in politics. More and more leftists of all persuasions welcome the most radical groups in the name of repressive tolerance, while vilifying and opposing anything that might sound the slightest bit conservative. Thanks to Marcuse, their is little free and open debate on the burning issues of the day. Only that which agrees with the left's world view is tolerated in the name of “true toleration.” Thus, campuses, the mainstream media, and leftist politics have become Orwellian Animal Farms. As in animal house, some folks are simply more equal than others.

    • mlcblog

      Sometimes you really make sense, like here.

  • steven l

    Was the ASLC penalized?
    The funding of this organization should be reviewed.
    Probably a lot of petro$ would be found!
    When did the $1,800.00 appear in the account?

  • Flipside

    Fortunately justice prevailed and checks were cashed.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    The student body who so insistantly refuse to allow equal treatment to perceived
    opposition to their views are far on their way to failure in life and build a wall
    between themselves and those who they will need in so many ways and may
    never know………………….Fighting for what is right never goes out of style.
    If the right was not tolerant would there be no repercussions nor accusations
    of "unfair" ?………………..The student board should have been removed…..William

    • Beth

      "The student board should have been removed"

      Absolutely. A leapord can not change its spots.

  • Daezy

    Excellent! and congratulations, David. If this is what it takes to keep our freedoms, I pray there are more of you, strong enough to stand up against the spreading virus of tyranny.

  • Fred

    Finally some good news. Glad to read this. Fight Fight and never back down. The left radical will continue to fight dirty anyway they can. Remember their motto is "win by any means possible"!

  • Beth

    Thank you David (and FIRE). The work that you are doing will greatly benefit the next generation.

  • trickyblain

    DH has a Constitutional right to be paid by a university to speak there?

    lol, they say liberals distort the Constitution.

    Carrot Top would get taken more seriously.

  • tanstaafl

    "Free for me, but not for thee". – the new rules from our leftist overlords.

  • maturin20

    Thank G-D the money was freed.

  • sedoanman

    I disagree. What it is going to take is for some Leftists to suffer some sort of penalty, like pay a fine or lose his job. There is no indication in this article that those responsible paid any price at all.

  • mlcblog

    It is going to take everything we've got plus prayer.

  • Free4500

    Absolutely correct. Real Pain must be felt by those responsible or they will continue. But Horowitz is the only American actually addressing this issue. Why aren't republican candidates for office addressing this? How many parents and Alumni would be shocked to know of this? But we must wake up and accept that America is over: our universities, schools, media, judiciary, and most of congress are completely controlled by marxist indoctrinated stooges. Our entire social and political elite were brainwashed by going to colleges, while we slaved to pay the bills. To pull out these roots will require a huge effort at all levels of society.