They’re coming for you next: Villanova University recently told one of its students, Elisa Carroll, that it has the right to stop her from distributing pro-choice literature or contraceptives, even if she is doing it on a public sidewalk off campus and on her own time.
Carroll, recognizing that as a religious college Villanova would not provide contraceptives for its students, wanted to make them available anyway. She also recognized that she should not do it on campus, in order to respect the university’s stance. Instead, she decided to set up an unaffiliated organization that would offer such things close to but off-campus.
The university decided this was still unacceptable, and moved to forbid it.
Villanova Director of Student Involvement JJ Brown told Carroll the university would prevent her from distributing the contraceptives on a public sidewalk near campus. Brown told her that given the sidewalk’s proximity to campus and because Carroll is a Villanova student, the university could prevent her from promoting any contraceptive advocacy organizations there, including by handing out contraceptives.
In response, Carroll asked for help from the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), which immediately fired off a letter to Villanova, telling it in no uncertain terms the illegality as well as the immorality of its threat….
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