Largest private Catholic university queried over free speech

Thursday, April 30, 2020
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

DePaul University signA watchdog group has a request for DePaul University: quit claiming to support free speech and start proving it.

"They have a number of statements that claim to support free speech and free expression,” says Nicole Neily of Speech First, “but unfortunately several of the policies they have on the books really betray that commitment.”

According to Speech First, university officials have rejected speakers such as popular writer Ben Shapiro, described pro-Israel sidewalk chalking as "offensive, hurtful and divisive," and prevented a pro-life group from posting a sign that read, "Unborn Lives Matter."

DePaul, a private Catholic school headquartered in Chicago, is home to approximately 22,500 students, which makes it the largest in the U.S. It is named after a 17th-century French priest.

The university’s status as a private institution means it is not bound by First Amendment demands that public schools must follow. That means Neily and Free Speech are appealing to alumni and current students, and asking them if they support free speech or support the school’s actions.

An online petition is urging the university to respect the First Amendment, as well as the views of pro-life students and speakers such as Shapiro.

DePaul did not respond to OneNewsNow's request for comment.

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