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Turning Point USA, Worcester State University

February 2020
Worcester State University (Public college or university)
Worcester, Massachusetts, USA

Resources

Additional Information

  • Incident Nature:
    Other student-organized event
    Other
  • Incident Responses:
    University administration not protective of speech
    Other
  • Incident Status:
    No litigation
  • No protest Occured
  • Did not involve Speech Codes

Summary

On February 27, 2020, the Student Government Association at Worcester State University voted to deny Turning Point USA official recognition as a student organization. Turning Point USA is a conservative non-profit student organization which identifies its mission as promoting the ideas of limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free markets. At a meeting to determine whether to grant official recognition to TPUSA, a body of student senators questioned the students who applied for recognition, asking them how the group would ensure that other students “feel safe and comfortable” if TPUSA were to be recognized. The student senators also raised concerns about TPUSA’s potential impact on “campus climate.” After the meeting, the applicants received an email from the Student Government Association informing them that their application had been denied because the student senators concluded that the group would have a “negative impact on campus climate.” In addition, the email cited the applicant’s “contradictory answers to questions” during the meeting and “lack of clarity about the relationship between the parent organization and the chapter.” The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has asked WSU to override the decision of its student government and admit TPUSA as a student organization. In a letter to WSU, FIRE argued that the student government’s decision is viewpoint discriminatory and violates the First Amendment. A spokesperson for WSU has stated that “Worcester University is in the process of responding to FIRE’s request.”