March 15, 2016 Kennesaw - Dr. Robin Dorff (foreground), Dean of College of Humanities and Social Sciences, speaks as students and staff gather to learn and discuss regarding the campus carry legislation at Kennesaw State University campus on Tuesday, March 15, 2016. A student group sued the university, claiming it has restricted where it can speak on campus. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Photo: Hyosub Shin
Photo: Hyosub Shin

Kennesaw State University, student group settles lawsuit

Kennesaw State and a student group that sued the university over its campus speech guidelines have agreed on a settlement.

The group, Young Americans for Freedom, said university administrators intentionally made it difficult for the students to bring a guest speaker to campus because of the group and speaker’s conservative beliefs. The lawsuit was filed in March.

The two sides last week agreed on a settlement and are expected to file paperwork formalizing the agreement next week. The settlement includes $17,100 in attorney fees from KSU to the student group, said Travis Barham, an attorney for the Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented the students.

Barham said the two sides settled after KSU made changes to its policies that made it less restrictive for students to speak on campus, such as charging security fees to bring a guest speaker.

“Students should be encouraged to know that when you’re willing to take a stand, things can change,” Barham said in a telephone interview Friday.

KSU settled a similar lawsuit last month with another student group, Ratio Christi. That group was also represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom. The university paid a $20,100 settlement in that case, the alliance said.

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