Ad Hoc Committee of the Baruch Black and Hispanic Alumni Association v. Bernard M. Baruch College

726 F. Supp. 522 (1989)

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Ad Hoc Committee of the Baruch Black and Hispanic Alumni Association v. Bernard M. Baruch College

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
726 F. Supp. 522 (1989)

Facts

Bernard M. Baruch College (defendant) is a branch of the City University of New York. The college recognizes one alumni association, the Bernard M. Baruch Alumni Association (BCAA), allowing the BCAA to use the college’s name. The BCAA is incorporated under New York law, has its own charter, and has approximately 7,000 members who pay dues, many of whom are African American or Hispanic. The way colleges handle alumni associations varies from college to college. Some have an association like BCAA, others have an association that is entirely funded by the college, and some colleges have no formal alumni association at all. The Ad Hoc Committee of the Baruch Black and Hispanic Alumni Association (the committee) (plaintiff) filed a lawsuit against the college, arguing that the college’s refusal to acknowledge the new alumni association and allow the use of the college’s name and resources was a violation of the committee’s First Amendment rights and a violation of the Equal Protection Clause. The college countered that it has a right to recognize only one alumni association as long as it does not discriminate in doing so. The college argued that the committee’s new alumni association can conduct all of its affairs through the BCAA and that because the BCAA is relatively small, the solicitation of membership by a second alumni association could burden or alienate alumni.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Owen, J.)

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