The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) gave Cal State Fullerton a failing grade for free speech in 2014. The libertarian-leaning group dinged the college in its annual list of top ten First Amendment offenders nationwide. Why? The dean of students handed out weak-salsa sanctions for a Mexi-mocking Taco Tuesday sorority event last year.
The unconstitutional horror!
"It's hard to imagine a more bewildering and petty example of censorship," wrote FIRE President Greg Lukianoff in a HuffPo piece, "than that which California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) demonstrated last year in dispensing with the rights of the Alpha Delta Pi (ADPi) sorority."
The sorority held a Mexi-mocking Taco Tuesday recruitment party where Alphies dressed as "Mexicans" by donning the same ol' tired chola wear, sombreros and sarapes. The dean of students investigated the event and disciplined ADPi by banning new recruits last semester, curtailing them during this current semester and ordering up cultural diversity workshops.
"What CSU Fullerton really could have used," Lukianoff whined, "is a mandatory workshop on the fundamentals of the First Amendment for its administrators." HA! When a racist frat recruitment video surfaced last year, the dean of student affairs shrugged despite student complaints. "Production of the video itself was a private act by private individuals exercising their right to free speech," wrote Tonantzin Oseguera in response. "It was not made as part of a sanctioned or required activity."
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Never mind that UC Irvine frat Lambda Theta Delta suspended itself in 2013 after student affairs launched an investigation into their blackface rush video.
But don't let those pesky tidbits get in the way of FIRE's clueless campus crusade!
Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @gsanroman2