After a successful Constitution Event, our YAL chapter at Temple University was excited to host our first recruitment drive of the semester. The original plan for the day was to go to our Bell Tower to recruit, but it was unfortunately raining. We decided the next best option was to grab out clipboard and head into the student center. While we did not reserve a space to stand, we assumed there would be no issues, as we did not have a standing structure.
We were off to a great start, but within the first five minutes, we were approached by an employee of Temple Student Activities and were told we had to leave. We agreed to go back outside to the Bell Tower even though it was raining. We were told that even though Temple is a public university, it is not public property. Our next idea was to go stand on the sidewalk, but were told the sidewalk belongs to Temple.
We were really sad to see how Temple University blatantly disregarded our First Amendment rights despite being a public university. As students of a public university, we have the right to simply stand around and try to introduce people to our beliefs. Temple University, however, disagrees. In order to stand on campus and share your beliefs, you have to make a reservation. In our opinion, it's ridiculous and laughably unconstitutional. Thankfully, we were able to get the event on video, and submitted it to Campus Reform, where it was quickly published.
Currently, we are in contact with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), and are working with them to ensure that Temple respects the Constitutional rights of its students.
We just wanted to say that we're very grateful for Young Americans for Liberty, FIRE, and Campus Reform for standing with us as we fight for freedom.