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Jergins v. Williams

From March 2019 to October 2015
Dixie State University (Public college or university)
St George, Utah

Identity of Speakers

  • William Jergins
    Student
    Other

    Jergins was a student at Dixie State University and the president of the school's chapter of Young Americans for Liberty.

Additional Information

  • Incident Nature:
    Other student-organized event
  • Incident Responses:
    University administration not protective of speech
    University administration changes university policy as a consequence of event
    Litigation
  • Incident Status:
    Settled
  • Incident Protested
  • Did not involve Speech Codes

Summary

On March 4, 2015, students at Dixie State University filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against their university, with assistance from Fire. The complaint alleged that Dixie State refused to approve promotional flyers produced by the Young Americans for Liberty student group that featured images and memes showing Presidents George W. Bush, Obama, and Che Guevara, because the school’s policy did not permit students to disparage or mock individuals. On top of this, it alleged that Dixie State’s director of student involvement and leadership unilaterally decided that YAL’s request to stage a free speech wall event could be accommodated only in the school’s free speech zone rather than in the requested more central area of campus.  On September 17, 2015, Dixie State agreed to settle the lawsuit and revise the campus policies targeted by the lawsuit. The university also agreed to train administrators about the campus’ new speech policies and pay 50,000 in damages and attorneys fees.