A conservative student group at The University of Texas at Austin is vowing to fight back against what it says are efforts by the university to tax its speech.
In November of 2017, the Young Conservatives of Texas chapter at UT Austin brought former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum to campus to talk about “moral governance.” Now, the university is demanding an eye-popping security fee from the student group.
According to officials with the university, the YCT chapter owed a $654 fee for security at the event because Santorum is “high profile” and controversial on campus. Records uncovered by the organization show the bill is higher than any security fee paid by any other campus student organization for the 2016-17 academic year.
YCT Chapter President Ashley Vaughan says the event was successful, with few protesters and no interference.
Young America’s Foundation, which helped the student organization host the event, has sent a letter to the university arguing that the fees are a clear violation of both the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
After receiving the letter, the University has offered to reduce the fee to $128, citing “human error” in calculating the previous amount.
The notoriously liberal University of Texas at Austin has a long track record of criticizing conservative students and stifling their speech. This latest occurrence is yet another example of the university blaming conservative students when they should be controlling leftists who come to the campus to commit violence against conservative speakers.
The YCT Chapter at UT should be commended for fighting back, but they shouldn’t stop now. Lowering the fee is not enough. The constitution enshrines the principle of free speech, not discount speech. Conservative students should demand respect for their constitutional rights, and legislators who control UT Austin’s appropriations should be watching.

Austin Goss

Austin Goss is the Capitol Correspondent for Empower Texans and Texas Scorecard. Hailing from Louisville, Kentucky, Austin is a Christian, soldier in the United States Army Reserves, and a student at the University of Texas at Austin. Follow Austin on Twitter @AG_Legacy