Ohio University objected to an old slogan on T-shirts for a group called Students Defending Students until FIRE got involved.

Listen to the whole story below.

David Deerson reported at the FIRE blog.

My College Had a Problem with a Funny Shirt

Isaac Smith was a student at Ohio University (OU) where he helped to lead the group Students Defending Students (SDS), an organization that provides free assistance to students accused of campus misconduct. In order to interest other students, SDS made some eye-catching T-shirts emblazoned with the group’s original slogan from the 1970s: “We get you off for free.”

But when members of the group wore the shirts at a fall recruitment fair, the dean of students told them that they should not wear the shirts because they were not professional and contained sexual innuendo—which was, of course, the point. Another administrator later justified the informal ban on the T-shirts because the shirts “objectified women” and “promoted prostitution”—odd charges for a gender-neutral phrase about a free service. Fearing punishment under the the Student Code of Conduct, which prohibited any “act that degrades, demeans or disgraces” another student as well as “taking any reckless, but not accidental, action from which mental or bodily harm could result to another person,” SDS discontinued use of the T-shirts.

But Isaac, sensing that the administration’s behavior was “kinda bull,” reached out to FIRE. FIRE worked with Isaac and attorney Robert Corn-Revere to file a First Amendment lawsuit against OU as part of the July 1, 2014, launch of our Stand Up For Speech Litigation Campaign.