The University of California’s failed attempt to shut down a student-run publication satirizing “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings” has resulted in over $800,000 in legal fees.
At the center of the legal dispute was a November 2015 article from The Koala, a satirical student newspaper at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), known for publishing articles with crude humor and racial slurs. The article, entitled “UCSD Unveils New Dangerous Space on Campus,” mocked the idea that students needed a “safe space” on campus by suggesting that the university should equally respect certain students’ needs to have “dangerous space.”
In the aftermath, the UCSD student government denounced The Koala for “the offensive and hurtful language it chooses to publish” and in retaliation, denied funding to all student media outlets.
The Koala then filed a First Amendment lawsuit in 2016, arguing that the university was withholding funds to censor their speech.
A federal judge tossed the lawsuit in 2017, but the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the decision in 2019, acknowledging the change in UCSD’s funding policy as a means to prevent The Koala from excising its freedom of speech. – READ MORE
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