Kennesaw State University officials used its unconstitutional speech zone policy to relegate Ratio Christi’s pro-life “controversial” display to a “speech zone” that makes up less than 0.08% of the 405-acre campus. KSU’s speech zone policy prohibits individuals from reserving space on campus and requires registered student organizations to request permission between three and 30 days in advance, failing to mention which deadline applies. Officials are given unrestricted discretion to grant, deny, or modify a student organization’s request even for unconstitutional reasons. This gives officials the authority to send speech they deem “controversial” to the small, less-accessible speech zone. ADF filed suit, and the parties reached a settlement agreement. KSU agreed to eliminate the speech zone, allowing students to speak freely in all outdoor areas of campus, and ensuring that when they seek to reserve space, they can’t be relegated to disfavored areas because officials don’t agree with the message. The University also agreed to pay attorneys’ fees and damages.
Institution: Kennesaw State University
Location: Kennesaw, GA
Topic: Speech Zone