UC-Berkeley denied recognition to the Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) chapter because it was “too similar to Cal Libertarians,” an already existing club on campus. However, the school recognizes multiple other student organizations that have similar missions. As a result of this exclusion, YAL could not reserve space, invite speakers, or access the pool of funds they already paid into, which is reserved for student organizations and the speakers and events they sponsor. School officials holding the power to deny certain groups from Registered Student Organization status and all the encompassing benefits had no requirement to follow any viewpoint-neutral standards, allowing for unconstitutional discrimination. Seeing a clear freedom of association violation, ADF filed suit. The parties later reached a settlement agreement, under which UC-Berkley agreed to recognize YAL, amend its policies, and to pay attorneys’ fees and damages.
Institution: University of California, Berkeley
Location: Berkeley, CA
Topic: Student Fees, Freedom of Association