After UO student government refused to pay for the event, Young Americans for Liberty asked the conservative group Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) to step in.“ASUO’s refusal to fund a poker night hosted by UO’s chapter of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) expressly because it disagrees with the event’s message amounts to constitutionally prohibited viewpoint discrimination,” FIRE said in a statement. “FIRE urged the university administration to step in to protect its students’ First Amendment rights.”“Since ASUO is an agent of a public university, the University of Oregon administration is legally and morally required to intervene to rectify the First Amendment violations perpetrated by ASUO,” FIRE Senior Program Officer Ari Cohn insisted.Although ASUO sponsored last year’s event, the group said that its mission statement was being interpreted differently this year. The university issued a statement supporting ASUO.“ASUO receives many funding requests and is empowered to select which do and which do not receive support,” the university noted.
See, guns are bad, M’kay? But guzzling beer and cider are OK!
Along with food from Afghanistan and the usual funnel cake, ASUO decided to collaborate with Falling Sky Brewery, which will replace The Buzz in the Erb Memorial Union in fall 2016, bringing the first-ever beer garden to the event. Students over 21 this year can enjoy a cup (or three) of cider inside the snow fencing in EMU Amphitheater on Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
I would imagine that Libertarians would try to avoid being funded by somebody else and seek their own solutions, but from I what gathered in this specific case, the students (in this particular and the general population) have to contribute to ASUO which is supposed to provide for events like the Poker event or accepted fair kegger on an egalitarian basis. But since they are openly saying that they will not provide funding because they don’t like the message, then it does become a First Amendment issue since they are collecting monies from the students who do not have a say on how the money will be spent.
If anything, this should be a fun one to watch.