School of the Art Institute of Chicago: Graduate Student Investigated for Expressing Religious Beliefs


School of the Art Institute of Chicago

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Case Overview

On July 20, 2023, School of the Art Institute of Chicago graduate student Ann Gould presented artwork, which cited the biblical passage 1 Timothy 4:20. The following day, another student approached her and asked if Gould believed the student was going to hell for having gay sex, in response to which Gould tried to change the subject. That student then filed a Title IX complaint against Gould, who was told by an administrator during investigation of the complaint that Gould does not have free speech at SAIC due to the institution's commitment to diversity. FIRE wrote SAIC on August 28, explaining that its investigation of Gould raised First Amendment concerns because notifying students of unmeritorious Title IX claims chills speech, and that stating that students lack freedom of speech at SAIC conflicts with the institution’s promises written into SAIC policies.