Michigan State University: Student Government Official Threatened with Suspension for E-mailing Faculty about University Scheduling Concerns

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Michigan State University

In late 2008, Michigan State University revealed plans to shorten the school’s academic calendar and freshman orientation schedule. The plans led members of the University Committee on Student Affairs (UCSA), which included faculty, students, and administrators, to meet and exchange emails in order to construct a response. Kara Spencer was both a member of the committee and the Association Director of the student government. She told UCSA that she would send individual faculty her own version of its letter, carefully selecting 391 of them. Within two days, MSU Network Administrator Randall J. Hall summoned Spencer to a mandatory “investigation” meeting. Hall alleged that Spencer had violated as many as five MSU policies by “spamming” the faculty members. After Spencer requested a hearing before the Student-Faculty Judiciary, FIRE wrote to MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon.Despite the fact that her e-mail was timely, carefully targeted, and concerned a campus issue, Spencer was found guilty of violating MSU’s “spam” policy. A formal “Warning” was placed in Spencer’s file, hurting her chances of obtaining employment or attending graduate school. In response, thirteen civil liberties organizations, led by FIRE and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), wrote an open letter to Simon, challenging both the policy and its application against Spencer. In response to the letter, public pressure, and an appeal filed by Spencer, the University announced that the charges had been “withdrawn.” Nonetheless, it has insisted on retaining its unconstitutional e-mail usage policy.

  • Michigan State U. drops spamming complaint against student leader

    January 28, 2009

    Michigan State University has dropped disciplinary proceedings against a student it had accused of violating its e-mail policy by sending a message to hundreds of administrators. Kara Spencer, a junior who is chief of staff of Associated Students of Michigan State University, received an official warning from the university’s student-faculty judiciary late last fall after sending about 390 professors an e-mail message seeking their opinions on a university decision to change the academic calendar. The university concluded that Ms. Spencer had violated a policy regarding bulk e-mail which prohibits messages from being sent to more than 30 people. Ms. Spencer […]

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  • ASMSU association director appeals spam charge, makes civil liberties claim

    January 11, 2009

    ASMSU Association Director Kara Spencer, who was found guilty in December of sending a “spam” e-mail to faculty, has appealed to the University Student Appeals Board and hopes for a decision in the coming weeks. In September, Spencer sent an e-mail to 391 faculty members, or about 8 percent of MSU faculty and staff, which raised concerns about proposed changes to Welcome Week. The e-mail encouraged increased communication among faculty before the proposed changes went into effect. On Dec. 2, the Student-Faculty Judiciary held a hearing where Spencer was accused of violating two policies of the Student Life Code as […]

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  • Michigan State Student Receives Warning for Sending a Bulk E-Mail Message

    December 11, 2008

    A Michigan State University junior accused of violating a campus e-mail policy by sending a message to hundreds of professors received an official warning from the student-faculty judiciary on Wednesday, according to the Detroit Free Press. Kara Spencer, chief of staff of Associated Students of Michigan State University, told The Chronicle today she plans to appeal the ruling and is working with the American Civil Liberties Union to file a First Amendment lawsuit in federal court. In September, Ms. Spencer sent an e-mail message seeking opinions from faculty members about a university decision to change the academic calendar. The message, […]

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  • E-mail lands student in hearing at MSU

    December 10, 2008

    The e-mail that Michigan State University student Kara Spencer sent to 391 professors in September wasn’t vulgar, abusive or libelous. It was meant as an informational e-mail, an appeal to speak up about a campus issue. It still landed her in a disciplinary hearing in front of MSU’s Student-Faculty Judiciary last week, facing possible suspension. Spencer had allegedly violated university regulations on the use of its computer network. Those regulations prohibit individuals from sending unsolicited bulk e-mails for personal reasons and set the bar for bulk e-mail at 20 to 30 recipients over two days. For Spencer – who didn’t […]

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  • It’s raining spam at Michigan State U

    December 8, 2008

    by Greg Lukianoff The Huffington Post   Imagine you’re an energetic leader of student government at a major state school. You’ve been in extensive discussion with students and professors about the administration’s decision to cut short the semester. Students feel ripped off and professors feel that two fewer days of instruction would seriously impinge on their academic goals. Working in collaboration with a group of professors and students, you put together a thoughtful memo opposing the university’s decision and e-mail it to all the professors you think might be most helpful in getting the decision reversed. Next thing you know, […]

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  • FIRE’s Free Speech Billboard Ad about Michigan State Rejected

    January 24, 2011

    An advertising company has refused to run a billboard ad from FIRE promoting free speech at Michigan State University (MSU). The ad, which would have appeared very close to MSU’s campus this month, addresses MSU’s draconian e-mail policy. Unlike virtually all colleges and universities, MSU claims in its policy that “The University’s e-mail services are not intended as a forum for the expression of personal opinions.” Here is a copy of the ad that was rejected: In an e-mail from Crosstown Communications President Steve Pickering to FIRE, Pickering wrote that “after review of the proposed advertisement, Pick Outdoor declines to […]

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  • The ‘Spartan Edge’ on FIRE at Michigan State

    October 7, 2010

    Last Wednesday, FIRE’s Associate Director of Legal and Public Advocacy Azhar Majeed addressed a group of students at Michigan State University (MSU) in a lecture hosted by the campus chapter of the Center for Inquiry. Justin Wan covered the event for the online campus paper Spartan Edge.            Wan first notes FIRE’s recent case at MSU, in which student Kara Spencer was unjustly found guilty of “spamming”: The most recent case that involved MSU occurred in late 2008 when ASMSU director Kara Spencer was charged of abusing the MSU email system. She sent out emails to 391 MSU employees discussing the […]

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  • At Michigan State, Student E-mail in Same Class as Phishers and Scammers

    August 18, 2010

    A brief article in Michigan State University’s (MSU’s) student paper The State News carries some interesting tidbits about MSU’s technology services department, namely its proficiency in keeping “spam” e-mail messages out of MSU’s computer network. The State News writes: Each day, MSU’s Academic Technology Services, or ATS, mail system blocks about 400,000 junk mail – or spam – messages from reaching users’ mailboxes, ATS Communications Manager Katherine Ball said in an e-mail. And with each passing day, the system processes about 1 million messages that have been sent or received, a majority of which are spam messages. I imagine that […]

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  • Michigan State University Demands That Personal Opinions Stay Off Campus E-mail

    January 26, 2010

    After FIRE notified Michigan State University (MSU) President Lou Anna K. Simon that MSU remains on FIRE’s Red Alert list because of its extremely restrictive new “spam” policy, President Simon responded by defending the policy. “The University’s email services are not intended as a public forum for the expression and dissemination of personal opinions,” Simon wrote in her response. “Rather, other means exist within the University community for the expression and dissemination of personal opinions.” MSU used a similar policy last academic year to find a student government member guilty of “spamming” after she e-mailed a number of professors about […]

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  • Still Looking for a New Year’s Resolution, Red Alert Schools?

    January 14, 2010

    Here’s an easy New Year’s resolution that Brandeis University, Bucknell University, Colorado College, Johns Hopkins University, Michigan State University, and Tufts University can make: get off of FIRE’s Red Alert list of America’s worst violators of campus liberty! This week, FIRE sent the presidents of each of the six Red Alert schools a letter reminding them of their schools’ serious and ongoing violations of student and faculty rights, and just how easy it is for each of them to remedy their mistakes and reaffirm their commitment to freedom of expression. FIRE also included with each letter a copy of the […]

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  • FIRE Requests that Student Body at Michigan State Stand Up for Students’ Rights

    November 10, 2009

    Last year, Michigan State University (MSU) found a student guilty of “spamming” after she e-mailed “too many” professors at once with an urgent message about changes to the school calendar—changes that the university appeared to be pushing through on short notice. After FIRE and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (and about a dozen additional free speech organizations) intervened, the charges were dropped. But then, MSU strangely declared its entire e-mail system closed to “the expression of personal opinions,” while leaving so many loopholes that MSU essentially reserved total discretion to decide which e-mails could be permitted or banned. In response, FIRE placed […]

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  • How Can Michigan State University Get Off FIRE’s Red Alert List?

    September 1, 2009

    FIRE’s full-page ad in U.S. News & World Report‘s college rankings issue exposes the colleges and universities that are the “worst of the worst” when it comes to individual rights. These are schools where it is downright dangerous for students to express themselves without fear of censorship or punishment, and FIRE warns prospective students and faculty members to think twice before joining these schools. Brandeis University, Colorado College, Johns Hopkins University, and Tufts University were on last year’s list (here is last year’s ad), with Bucknell University and Michigan State University this year’s dishonorable additions. Last week we explained why […]

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  • Michigan State University: Serious student complaints = spam

    August 28, 2009

    Today, as part of a national ad campaign, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education placed a half-page ad in Michigan State University’s student newspaper criticizing the university’s absurdly overbroad spam policy: The ad refers to the case of Kara Spencer, a student who, after sending a respectful and serious e-mail to select members of the faculty about the university’s decision to reduce the school year by several days, was brought up on charges of spamming. She was then found guilty of spamming and had a formal “Warning” placed in her file, potentially hurting her chances of obtaining employment or […]

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  • Campus Clampdown

    March 1, 2009

    Playboy   Attached Files Campus Clampdown, PDF, 847.6 KB , Playboy

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  • MSU frees student from spam charges

    February 12, 2009

    A MSU (Michigan State University) student named Kara Spencer is freed of any charges made by the school. The school wrongly accused Spencer as a spammer because she distributed e-mail with a political message to the university’s faculty. Spencer sent an e-mail message to 391 faculty members to boost communication in connection with proposed changes to Welcome Week in September 2008. On December 10, 2008, the Student-Faculty Judiciary found Spencer guilty of distributing a spam mail and so officially issued her a warning following which Spencer appealed to the University Student Appeals Board on January 12, 2009. The university said […]

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  • Greg on ‘Huffington Post’: Michigan State Still Has Work to Do

    February 6, 2009

    In his latest column for The Huffington Post, FIRE President Greg Lukianoff celebrates the news that Michigan State University (MSU) recently dropped the absurd “spamming” charges leveled at student government leader Kara Spencer. While this development represents yet another satisfying victory for freedom of speech on a college campus, Greg cautions that the threat of unjustifiable censorship and punishment remains at MSU as long as the university maintains its unconstitutional spam policy: In private discussions with MSU administrators, MSU did promise not to enforce the policy in cases like Spencer’s, but MSU has refused to suspend or revoke its spam […]

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  • MSU student cleared of charges, but overzealous spam ban remains

    February 5, 2009

    Readers of my previous two posts on Kara Spencer’s “spamming” ordeal at Michigan State University (MSU) will be happy to know that MSU has finally come to its senses and dropped the ridiculous charges against the student government leader. This is a welcome change after MSU seemed ready to fight a losing legal battle. Unfortunately, MSU has yet to reform its unconstitutional and misguided spamming policy, which led to this trouble in the first place. Spencer’s troubles began last fall when MSU announced plans to shorten the semester by several days. Unsurprisingly, both students and faculty members felt they were […]

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  • Michigan State University Drops ‘Spam’ Charges Against Student Critic of Administration

    January 28, 2009

    In a significant victory for freedom of expression on campus, Michigan State University (MSU) has withdrawn “spamming” charges against a student government leader who criticized the MSU administration’s plans in an e-mail to professors. MSU junior Kara Spencer had carefully selected and e-mailed eight percent of MSU’s 5,000 faculty members, encouraging them to express their views about proposed changes to the academic calendar. In response, she was found guilty of spamming, but the charges were withdrawn after she appealed—and after FIRE and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) took up her case. As Greg states in today’s press release: Michigan State did the right thing by […]

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  • Michigan State Drops ‘Spamming’ Complaint Against Student Critic of Administration

    January 28, 2009

    EAST LANSING, Mich., January 28, 2009—In a significant victory for freedom of expression on campus, Michigan State University has withdrawn “spamming” charges against a student government leader who criticized administration plans in an e-mail to professors. MSU junior Kara Spencer had carefully selected and e-mailed eight percent of MSU’s 5,000 faculty members, encouraging them to express their views about proposed changes to the academic calendar. Spencer’s cause has been supported by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and a dozen other civil liberties organizations. “Michigan State did the right thing by withdrawing its bogus ‘spam’ charges against a […]

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  • MSU Incorrectly Defends Itself in Response to Civil Liberties Coalition in ‘Spam’ Case

    January 8, 2009

    FIRE has received another strange, quite flawed response from Michigan State University in reply to an open letter to MSU’s president signed by thirteen civil liberties organizations. The open letter, written by FIRE in conjunction with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, explained why MSU’s anti-spam policy is unconstitutional and pointed out the wrongful application of the policy to punish student Kara Spencer. Spencer, a member of MSU’s student government, had selected and e-mailed a small percentage of MSU’s faculty to ask them to make their voices heard regarding pending changes to the university calendar. In response, she had been threatened with […]

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  • Michigan State Again Misrepresents ‘Spam’ Policy in Response to FIRE

    December 19, 2008

    Michigan State University (MSU) strangely persists in misrepresenting its anti-spam policy, an unconstitutional policy that it has used to punish a student government leader for e-mailing a small percentage of faculty members about significant pending changes to MSU’s academic calendar. MSU declared junior Kara Spencer a spammer for engaging in her rights as a citizen and a member of the MSU community, applying a policy that entirely prohibits anyone on campus from sending “personal” or “political” e-mail to more than about 20–30 recipients without prior approval from the recipients. Only certain kinds of communications (those that are not “personal” or […]

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  • Greg in ‘The Huffington Post’ on Michigan State

    December 19, 2008

    FIRE President Greg Lukianoff has posted an article on The Huffington Post about Michigan State’s finding that student Kara Spencer was guilty of sending “spam” when she e-mailed faculty members with her views about a change in the freshman orientation and academic calendars. As Greg says: MSU’s decision is both outrageous and unsettling for many reasons. First of all, unlike the common understanding of “spam,” Spencer’s e-mail wasn’t commercial speech — instead, it dealt with a matter of concern for any student or faculty member. Fewer school days means students are paying the same (if not more) for less, while […]

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  • Thirteen civil liberties organizations unite to fight Michigan State U on ‘spam’ conviction

    December 19, 2008

    by Greg Lukianoff The Huffington Post   I sometimes like to think nothing surprises me anymore with regard to censorship on campus, but it seems as though every couple of weeks I see something that proves me wrong. As I reported last week, Michigan State University charged student government leader Kara Spencer with “spamming” for sending an e-mail to a targeted group of faculty members. The e-mail, an extension of the efforts of a formal student-faculty committee of which Spencer was a member, detailed the committee’s objection to MSU’s decision to reduce the academic year by several days. To my […]

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  • Thirteen Civil Liberties Organizations Send Open Letter to MSU President about ‘Spammer’ Case

    December 17, 2008

    FIRE, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and eleven other civil liberties organizations have sent an open letter today to Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon in defense of MSU student government leader Kara Spencer. The signing organizations agree that MSU’s anti-spam policy, which was used to punish Spencer for sending e-mails to 391 faculty members about pressing matters of university policy, is constitutionally suspect on its face, vague, allows the university unfettered discretion in requiring prior approval, and discriminates on the basis of content. The policy prohibits the sending of unsolicited e-mail “for personal purposes, advertising or solicitations, or […]

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  • MSU Community Responds to ‘Spam’ Case Online

    December 15, 2008

    Following last week’s press release about Michigan State University student Kara Spencer, who was found guilty of “spamming” for criticizing the administration’s plan to change the school calendar, MSU’s student paper, The State News, published an article about the outcome of the case. The article’s comments section attracted attention from several members of the campus community. The majority of comments expressed displeasure with the college’s decision. “Kevin” wrote: What a slap in the face it would be to MSU if the right to communicate freely with faculty is not upheld within the university. Almost scary. Another student echoed that disappointment: […]

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  • The Skeletons in MSU’s Closet: Thought Reform at Michigan State

    December 12, 2008

    As our readers know, FIRE is utterly outraged about Michigan State University’s decision to find student Kara Spencer guilty for e-mailing numerous professors about the school’s decision to shorten the school year. This decision has earned MSU an express pass to our Red Alert List, and our resources are engaged at full power to overturn this unjust decision.  But as Azhar mentioned yesterday, this is not the first case we have seen at MSU. Indeed, one of the worst thought reform cases in FIRE history arose from the hallowed halls of MSU: the creepily named Student Accountability in Community program (SAC). The […]

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  • ASMSU association director found guilty of misusing resources

    December 12, 2008

    On Wednesday, ASMSU Association Director Kara Spencer was found guilty by the Student-Faculty Judiciary of misusing university resources when she sent an e-mail to MSU faculty and staff in September that raised concerns about proposed changes to Welcome Week. As punishment, Spencer will receive a formal warning that will be placed in her student file. Spencer said she plans to appeal the decision. “Of course I was disappointed,” Spencer said. “I think it’s disappointing that there wasn’t recognition that the policy that the board was being asked to evaluate is unconstitutional.” The e-mail, which encouraged increased communication among faculty about […]

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  • ‘Graduate Admissions Guru’ Says Stay Away from MSU

    December 11, 2008

    FIRE friend Adam Markus has a great blog entry up about our ongoing case at Michigan State University. Markus’ blog is a hub for all sorts of information about graduate school admissions. After posting our most recent press release about this case, Markus notes that MSU is the home of the Broad School MBA program. As he writes: I think the idea that a student leader would find herself in such a predicament indicates that MSU has a real problem not only with free speech, but with student leadership and, by extension, lacks a commitment to leadership education. Clearly a […]

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  • Michigan State University Joins ‘Worst of the Worst’ on FIRE’s Red Alert List

    December 11, 2008

    In the wake of its recent treatment of student government leader Kara Spencer, Michigan State University (MSU) has achieved the unflattering distinction of being named to FIRE’s Red Alert list. MSU yesterday found Spencer guilty of “spamming” and misuse of university resources after she criticized the administration’s plan to change the school calendar. Spencer had carefully selected and e-mailed 391 faculty members to encourage them to express their views on the proposed changes. Despite the fact that Spencer merely wished to alert a small percentage of the campus community—roughly 8 percent of MSU’s faculty—to an important administrative decision, MSU has […]

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  • Student Government Leader at Michigan State University Found Guilty of ‘Spamming’ after Criticizing Administrative Decision

    December 10, 2008

    Breaking news: A Michigan State University student government leader has been found guilty of “spamming” and misuse of university resources after she criticized the administration’s plan to change the school calendar. MSU junior Kara Spencer had carefully selected and e-mailed 391 of the school’s faculty members, encouraging them to express their views about the changes. Spencer’s ordeal has gone on since mid-September, as Torch readers learned last week. After MSU’s administration revealed to members of the Faculty Council the administration’s plans to shorten the school’s Academic Calendar and Fall Welcome (freshman orientation) schedules—and asked that comments about the proposed changes […]

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  • Student Government Leader at Michigan State University Found Guilty of ‘Spamming’ after Criticizing Administrative Decision

    December 10, 2008

    EAST LANSING, Mich., December 10, 2008—A Michigan State University student government leader has been found guilty of “spamming” and misuse of university resources after she criticized the administration’s plan to change the school calendar. MSU junior Kara Spencer had carefully selected and e-mailed 391 of the school’s faculty members, encouraging them to express their views about the changes. Spencer, who plans to appeal her unconstitutional punishment, has turned to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. “It is outrageous that MSU’s Student-Faculty Judiciary would find against a student who did nothing more than write members of her […]

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  • MSU ‘Spam’ Case Hits Slashdot

    December 10, 2008

    A recent entry on Slashdot, a widely read blog featuring “news for nerds,” directs readers to a FOX News story on FIRE’s case at Michigan State University involving junior Kara Spencer, who was threatened with suspension for “spam.” Over 500 comments have been posted in response thus far. Spencer had e-mailed 391 selected members of the university’s faculty about proposed changes to the university’s calendar. She awaits a verdict today. Many of the comments are informative and interesting. Take a look.

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  • ‘Content Neutral’ Does Not Mean ‘Constitutional’ (Except at MSU)

    December 9, 2008

    The worst problem in the Michigan State University “spam” case—where a student government official, Kara Spencer, faces suspension for having e-mailed 391 carefully selected professors about proposed changes to the campus calendar—is not an administrator’s outrageous claim that receiving a single unsolicited e-mail is considered a disruption to whoever receives it. No, the worst problem in this case is the false claim made by President Lou Anna K. Simon that MSU’s unconstitutional anti-spam policy, which bans unsolicited e-mails to more than about 20–30 people over two days, is constitutional simply because it is content neutral. That’s not only a false […]

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  • Greg Discusses MSU ‘Spam’ Case on ‘Huffington Post’

    December 8, 2008

    FIRE President Greg Lukianoff covers Michigan State University student Kara Spencer’s incredible ordeal over at The Huffington Post this evening, detailing precisely what’s wrong with the fact that Spencer faces judicial charges for sending an e-mail about an important university calendar change to about 8% of the school’s faculty. Greg writes: The crowning absurdity here is that MSU thinks that there is nothing wrong with placing a completely arbitrary limit on the number of people you can e-mail about a serious issue of public concern at a public university. So much for the right to petition government for redress of […]

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  • MSU ‘Spammer’ Interviewed in Today’s Podcast

    December 8, 2008

    In today’s episode of FIREside Chats, Adam Kissel, Director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program, is joined by Kara Spencer, the Michigan State University student government leader who faces suspension for e-mailing faculty members with what an administrator has deemed “spam.” Spencer e-mailed about 8 percent of the school’s faculty members encouraging them to express their views about changes to the freshman orientation and academic calendars. Kara and Adam discuss the factors that led to Kara’s long, ongoing ordeal with the school’s administration and how her hearing before the MSU Student-Faculty Judiciary has played out so far. The outcome of […]

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  • Episode 135: Michigan State University Student Faces Suspension for ‘Spam’ after E-Mailing Professors

    December 8, 2008

    In today’s episode of FIREside Chats, Adam Kissel, Director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program is joined by Kara Spencer, the MSU student government leader who faces suspension for “spam” after she e-mailed about 8 percent of the school’s faculty members, encouraging them to express their views about changes to the freshman orientation and academic calendars.

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  • CNET Covers MSU ‘Spam’ Case

    December 5, 2008

    Declan McCullagh, CNET News’ chief political correspondent, has just posted an article on FIRE’s active case at Michigan State University (MSU). As we reported yesterday, MSU junior Kara Spencer faces suspension for “spam” because she e-mailed about 8 percent of MSU’s faculty to ask them to lend their voices to campus debate about changes to the MSU academic calendar and freshman orientation calendar. The MSU administration seemed to be pushing these changes through quickly, allowing less than a month for discussion. With the support of the University Committee on Student Affairs (UCSA), a formal MSU committee that includes students, several […]

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  • Michigan State to student leader: political e-mail is spam

    December 5, 2008

    Most schools encourage students to become active in campus politics. Not Michigan State University, which has filed disciplinary charges against a student leader who sent e-mail criticizing an abbreviated fall semester. Kara Spencer’s encounter with MSU’s disciplinary apparatus started in September, when the student government member began discussing the shortened fall 2009 schedule with a small group of faculty members and administrators. She followed up by contacting 391 faculty members by e-mail, saying that professors should be aware of the “burden for class schedules and syllabi” the change would involve. The e-mail irked a single faculty member, Katherine Gross, who […]

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  • Michigan State University student faces suspension for e-mailing letter to professors

    December 5, 2008

    A student government leader at Michigan State University could be facing suspension for sending a mass e-mail to professors about a proposed change to the school calendar – an e-mail that the university is labeling spam. On Sept. 15, Kara Spencer, a senior and the associated students director at MSU, sent a letter to 391 university professors speaking out against a proposal from the Provost to shorten the fall semester by two days and to shorten Fall Welcome, reducing the amount of time new students would have to adjust to college living. Click here to read Kara Spencer’s e-mail to […]

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  • Michigan State University Student Faces Suspension for ‘Spam’ after E-Mailing Professors

    December 4, 2008

    A leader of Michigan State University’s (MSU’s) student government faces suspension for “spam” after she carefully selected and e-mailed about 8 percent of the school’s faculty members encouraging them to express their views about changes to the freshman orientation and academic calendars. With the blessing of one of MSU’s formal committees, MSU junior Kara Spencer notified 391 faculty members about pending changes to the university calendar. On September 4, 2008, the central administration had notified the faculty that next year’s Academic Calendar and Fall Welcome (freshman orientation) each would be shortened by two days, and MSU’s central administration was giving […]

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  • Michigan State University Student Faces Suspension for ‘Spam’ after E-Mailing Professors

    December 4, 2008

    EAST LANSING, Mich., December 4, 2008—A leader of Michigan State University’s student government faces suspension for “spam” after she carefully selected and e-mailed about 8 percent of the school’s faculty members encouraging them to express their views about changes to the freshman orientation and academic calendars. Student Kara Spencer, who faced a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday, has turned to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. “If e-mailing faculty members with concerns about a university calendar is outside the parameters of acceptable speech at Michigan State, no student should feel safe contacting professors about any relevant matter […]

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