Kent State stops charg­ing se­cu­rity fees for events held at school

The Columbus Dispatch - - Front Page - By Emily Mills

or­ga­ni­za­tions or univer­sity de­part­ments.

Fed­eral Judge John Adams barred Kent State in Novem­ber from charg­ing Lib­erty Hang­out an es­ti­mated $1,800 for se­cu­rity for the Nov. 19 event, “Let’s Talk Gun Rights,” fea­tur­ing “gun girl” and Kent grad­u­ate Kaitlin Ben­nett. About 40 peo­ple came to the dis­cus­sion.

Adams, who granted a tem­po­rary re­strain­ing or­der on the se­cu­rity fee, said at a hear­ing in U.S. Dis­trict Court in Akron that he was “gravely con­cerned” that im­pos­ing the fee would im­pinge on the stu­dents’ and Ben­nett’s free-speech rights, ac­cord­ing to Cleve­land.com.

Adams is set to rule Dec. 13 on the stu­dent group’s re­quest for a pre­lim­i­nary in­junc­tion that would con­tinue the pro­hi­bi­tion on charg­ing the fees.

The univer­sity on Wed­nes­day re­quested the Dec. 13 hear­ing be can­celed, call­ing it moot be­cause the univer­sity has re­moved the pol­icy and won’t charge Lib­erty Hang­out for se­cu­rity for the Novem­ber event.

Lib­erty Hang­out in court doc­u­ments filed Wed­nes­day op­posed can­cel­ing the Dec. 13 hear­ing.

At­tor­neys for Lib­erty Hang­out ques­tioned what the cur­rent se­cu­rity fee pol­icy is now that the ear­lier pol­icy was re­moved or whether the univer­sity could charge Lib­erty Hang­out or other stu­dent groups un­der a dif­fer­ent pol­icy.

“As this is pend­ing lit­i­ga­tion, we have noth­ing to add at this time,” Kent State spokesman Eric Mans­field said Fri­day.

Kent State paid $65,000 in se­cu­rity for a Sept. 29 open-carry walk or­ga­nized by Ben­nett and oth­ers, not the stu­dent group, be­cause the event was not spon­sored by a stu­dent or­ga­ni­za­tion, ac­cord­ing to a KSU lawyer’s email that was part of the law­suit fil­ing.

Ben­nett has said she plans to hold a sim­i­lar walk at the Univer­sity of Akron in the fu­ture.

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