Iowa State University faces lawsuit claiming they violated first amendment rights

AMES, Iowa (KCRG) - A non-profit association has filed a lawsuit against Iowa State University because it says ISU violated students' freedom of speech.

Beardshear Hall on the Iowa State University campus on Oct. 19, 2007 (Cropped Photo: Flickr/SD Dirk/CC-BY-2.0)

The association, Speech First, works to combat restrictions on free speech and other civil rights at colleges and universities. The three policies in question are a ban on chalking, prohibiting student emails related to campaigns and elections, and the Campus Climate Reporting System.

Members of Speech First claim that students are "significantly burdened" from participating in the political process.

“The state of Iowa is a major destination for presidential candidates, who are on or near campus on a regular basis,” said Speech First President Nicole Neily. “Many students learn about meet-and-greet events because events have traditionally been promoted through chalking – and by banning these advertisements and emails, students are missing out on major civic participation opportunities.”

Speech First wants the court to declare that these policies are unconstitutional before the Iowa Caucuses.