When the BSU Students for Life group applied to receive $300 from mandatory student activity fees to share resources with pregnant and parenting students, Ball State officials denied the club’s request because of its pro-life stance. Yet the school distributed funds to clubs with opposing viewpoints, such as Feminists for Action, Secular Student Alliance, and Spectrum. Each member of Students for Life already paid their mandatory student activity fees of over $1,000 per year, but then were denied equal access to that funding. The university gave unconstitutional power to the Student Activity Fee Committee to deny recognition and funding to a club for any reason, including unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination.
Seeing a clear constitutional violation, ADF filed suit. Later, the parties reached a settlement agreement. Ball State agreed to eliminate the unconstitutional restrictions on certain expression and to implement safeguards against viewpoint discrimination. It also agreed to pay Students for Life $300 in damages and $12,000 in attorneys’ fees.
Institution: Ball State University
Location: Muncie, IN
Topic: Student Fees