A pro-life student group sued Ball State University on Wednesday, alleging political discrimination after being denied funding that other groups received.
Christian nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom will represent Students for Life of America in the lawsuit against the Indiana school, according to a press release.
“While Ball State University pledges to ‘respect and learn from differences in people, ideas, and opinions,’ it has failed to respect or listen to Students for Life,” Alliance Defending Freedom legal counsel Caleb Dalton said. “The college’s unconstitutional actions treat these pro-life students as second-class, denying full participation in campus life while mandating every pro-life student pay more than $1,000 in student fees per year that help fund opposing viewpoints.”
Ball State’s Students for Life chapter applied in February to obtain a $300 share in student activity fees to cover materials intended to help pregnant students and student parents. But the school’s Student Activity Fee Committee, which Ball State has given prerogative over campus organization funding, denied funding to the group.
The committee said it could not fund “[a]ny organization which engages in activities, advocacy, or speech in order to advance a particular political interest, religion, religious faith or ideology.”
But the committee funded Ball State’s Feminists for Action, LGBT education group Spectrum, and the Secular Student Alliance.
“Ball State University says it pledges to ‘value the intrinsic worth of every member of the community,’ but its student government is playing favorites and stifling free speech,” Students for Life spokeswoman Kristan Hawkins said in the press release.
“If BSU wants to respect every member of its community, it will give Students for Life, along with other groups, equal footing,” Hawkins said. “We support the free speech rights of all students, encourage the open exchange of ideas, and ask that the rights of pro-life students be respected as their peers’ rights are.”
Ball State did not respond to a request for comment by publication deadline.
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