University of New Hampshire: Eviction of Student for Posting Flier

Category: Free Speech
Schools: University of New Hampshire

Timothy Garneau, a sophomore at the University of New Hampshire, was evicted from his dorm for posting fliers joking that freshman women could lose the “Freshman 15″ by walking up the dormitory stairs. Garneau was charged with offenses including “acts of dishonesty”; violation of “affirmative action” policies; “harassment”; and “conduct which is disorderly, lewd.” FIRE wrote UNH President Ann Weaver Hart explaining that posting a satirical flier was protected speech under the First Amendment, and that evicting Garneau from housing was an outrageous violation of his rights. UNH’s Judicial and Mediation Programs Office informed Garneau that UNH had rescinded all of the original charges except for “acts of dishonesty” and that his sentence was reduced from eviction to “relocation” to another dormitory.

  • The Chill Is Nothing New

    September 9, 2005

    There is a chill on campus, but that’s nothing new. For decades, campus speech has been chilled by speech codes and other attempts to prevent expression that might offend. Some would like to imagine that the excesses of “political correctness” are ancient history, but repression in the name of tolerance hasn’t gone anywhere. Oppressive speech codes are not only still around—they have actually multiplied, even after numerous court decisions declared them unconstitutional. Within the past year, college students have been punished for such things as expressing a religious objection to homosexuality and arguing that corporal punishment may be acceptable. Students […]

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  • The Campus, the Election, and the Implications

    November 30, 2004

           The insular and self-congratulatory world of academe awoke to a shock on the morning of November 3, 2004.  Not only did the overwhelming majority of professors not vote for George W. Bush, few of them rubbed shoulders with anyone who had.        The scenes on many campuses on the morning after the election were reminiscent of literary illuminati Pauline Kael’s oft-quoted remark upon learning that Richard M. Nixon had trounced George McGovern: How could Nixon have won?  I don’t know anybody who voted for him!        Parents who send their children, at obscene costs and financial hardship, to be […]

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  • No Jokes, Please: Demonize First, Ask Questions Later

    November 24, 2004

    Have you ever lived in an apartment building? Have you ever been annoyed that some people take the elevator when they are going up or down only one or two flights of stairs? The fact that some people would rather slow down the elevator for everyone else rather than take the stairs drives many people nuts.   University of New Hampshire student Tim Garneau was annoyed by this problem in his dorm, so he made up a teasing flyer that read, verbatim: “9 out of 10 freshman girls gain 10-15 pounds. But there is something you can do about it. […]

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  • UNH student back — in new dorm

    November 16, 2004

    DURHAM — The University of New Hampshire student booted from his dorm for posting fliers that made fun of freshman women gaining weight has moved back in to campus housing.Timothy Garneau, 20, moved in to a new dormitory Friday, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a non-profit group that aims to protect free speech at colleges.“We are relieved that UNH has discovered its obligation to the Bill of Rights and that (Garneau) is back indoors,” said David French, president of FIRE. “But the university should never have put a student on trial and evicted him for posting […]

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  • UNH student evicted over dorm fliers

    October 31, 2004

    DURHAM – A sophomore at the University of New Hampshire has been evicted from his dorm for posting fliers urging women to lose weight by taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Timothy Garneau, 20, of Berlin, said he posted the fliers as a joke because he was tired of waiting so long for the elevator. Garneau lived on the seventh floor of Stoke Hall. Garneau posted fliers Sept. 3 that showed a fit woman in a leotard and said: “Nine out of 10 freshman girls gain 10 to 15 pounds. But there is something you can do about it. […]

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  • UNH evicts student for fat frosh joke

    October 30, 2004

      DURHAM — A University of New Hampshire student banned from his dorm for posting fliers that urged freshmen women to lose weight by taking stairs instead of an elevator says he won’t accept a watered down UNH judicial finding that might let him move back in to campus housing. “Definitely not,” said UNH sophomore Timothy Garneau, 20. “I’m appealing it. I firmly believe that if I did accept the situation that I got today, that I would not be placed back in housing.” Garneau was kicked out of his Stoke Hall dormitory on Sunday after UNH’s Judicial and Mediation […]

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  • Student evicted from dorm for posting fliers

    October 29, 2004

    DURHAM -University of New Hampshire student Timothy Garneau thought he was being funny when he posted fliers around his dorm suggesting girls use the stairs instead of the elevator in order to lose weight. University officials weren’t in on the joke and kicked the 20-year-old sophomore out of his dorm room last weekend. Now a national nonprofit educational foundation devoted to protecting free speech and individual liberty has accused UNH of violating Garneau’s constitutional rights to free speech and due process. pears to be a computerized image of a woman wearing exercise gear. The sign read: “9 out of 10 […]

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  • Dorm poster gets student kicked out

    October 29, 2004

    DURHAM – A University of New Hampshire sophomore was expelled from his dormitory last week for hanging a poster implying that freshman girls could avoid gaining the “freshman 15″ by using the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Timothy Garneau, 20, of Berlin, said the poster was meant as a joke. The university judicial system found that the computer-generated woman in the leotard and sweatband on Garneau’s poster was among the few smiling. Garneau was found “responsible” for harassment, disorderly and lewd conduct, affirmative-action violations and lying to university officials about making the poster. He moved out of his double […]

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  • Four Key Points About Free Speech and the Feds’ ‘Blueprint’

    July 15, 2013

    It’s been more than two months since FIRE and the higher ed community were shocked by a letter issued jointly by the Departments of Education and Justice to the University of Montana. FIRE staff have blogged extensively about the Departments’ “blueprint” for campus sexual harassment in the last 10 weeks, but there are four crucial points that I believe bear special emphasis. 1. Overbroad and vague harassment rationales have been the primary justification and legal theorybehind campus speech codes since the 1980s.  In one sense, the attempt to stretch the definition of harassment beyond all recognition is nothing new. Speech codes came into vogue on campuses […]

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  • The Eighth Annual Muzzle Awards: Dishonorable mentions

    July 1, 2005

    Dishonorable mentions • One-legged World War II veteran Noel Dube has the dubious distinction of having two of his First Amendment rights violated — freedom of speech and of religion. Dube, 85, had to take the Town of Pepperell to court in order to keep a religious shrine on his property that included a 24-foot illuminated cross. Fortunately, Middlesex Superior Court judge Kenneth Fishman ruled last January that Dube was within his rights to practice his religion as he saw fit. • The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation already sells Henry David Thoreau’s classic Walden at the Walden Pond […]

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  • Administration softens charges in Stoke flier controversy

    November 23, 2004

    The emotional roller coaster that rocked Timothy Garneau’s life has settled for the moment as he was recently allowed back into the dorms, but not without national controversy that has plagued both him and the University of New Hampshire in a drawn-out battle centered on first amendment rights. Last month, the 20-year-old sophomore lived on the seventh floor of Stoke Hall, and frustrated with the long lines for the elevator, downloaded the image of a woman in a leotard and posted the following message on a flier in the lobby: “9 out of 10 freshman girls gain 10-15 pounds. But […]

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  • ‘Frosh 15’ UNH student looks to move on

    November 20, 2004

    DURHAM — University of New Hampshire student Timothy Garneau just hopes his life will return to normal.   For almost a month, Garneau, 20, has tested the reach of the First Amendment on campus following a battle with the university after he posted fliers that officials considered discriminatory.   He says he never meant harm to anyone by the fliers, which poked fun at freshmen women who used the elevator instead of the stairs in his old dormitory, Stoke Hall.   Now, following two appeals with the help of a First Amendment advocacy group, Garneau is hoping to move on. […]

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  • Humor vs. free speech at UNH

    November 17, 2004

    FOR AN example of the way universities stifle free speech in the name of nebulous notions of civility, one need look no further than the hullabaloo that ensued at the University of New Hampshire after sophomore Timothy Garneau tried to use a little humor to ease elevator use.   Earlier this fall, Garneau was living on the seventh floor of UNH’s eight-story Stoke Hall. Frustrated by the time an elevator trip took, Garneau downloaded a sketch of a slim woman in a leotard and made two posters with this message:   “9 out of 10 freshman girls gain 10-15 pounds. […]

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  • Victory at University of New Hampshire

    November 12, 2004

    DURHAM, N.H., November 12, 2004—In a victory for free speech and fundamental fairness, University of New Hampshire (UNH) sophomore Timothy Garneau is returning to a UNH dorm today after being evicted for posting fliers joking that freshman women could lose the “Freshman 15” by walking up the dormitory stairs. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) protested the university’s disregard for Garneau’s free speech rights, and the university withdrew its unconstitutional charges. Garneau had been living out of his car for almost three weeks. “We are relieved that UNH has discovered its obligation to the Bill of Rights and […]

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  • ‘Daily Show’ deems UNH incident funny

    November 5, 2004

    DURHAM—University of New Hampshire officials didn’t think Timothy Garneau’s posters making fun of coeds’ battling the “freshman 15″ were all that funny but producers at “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” apparently disagree. The Comedy Central cable television program known for its political satire and ironic humor is interested in covering Garneau’s case. A researcher from The Daily Show made attempts to reach the UNH sophomore and his family yesterday. Garneau, 20, of Berlin is a political science major who was evicted from Stoke Hall on Oct. 24 for posting fliers in his dorm that read, “9 out of 10 […]

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  • Flyer-Posting Soph Moves Back Into UNH Dorm

    November 5, 2004

      (AgapePress) – The University of New Hampshire student who was kicked out of his residence hall for joking about female freshmen gaining weight has been allowed back in campus housing. The school’s change of heart comes after an education rights group accused the university of violating the student’s First Amendment rights.   Sophomore Tim Garneau was evicted from UNH campus housing for posting flyers in his dorm that suggested women could lose the “Freshmen 15″ by walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator for one or two floors. The school has now dropped all charges against Garneau. […]

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  • UNH student allowed to return to dorm

    November 4, 2004

    DURHAM — Timothy Garneau can move back in to a University of New Hampshire dorm and stop living in his car after school officials dropped further sanctions imposed on him for joking about female freshmen gaining weight.     GARNEAU The UNH sophomore said yesterday that Esther Tardy-Wolfe, director of UNH’s Judicial and Mediation Programs Office, told him he can relocate to Gibbs Hall but not move back in to his former dorm, Stoke Hall.   “I wish I was back in my original room but at the same time, it’s a relief to be somewhere to be able to […]

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  • Student disciplined for hanging poster is allowed in dorm

    November 4, 2004

    DURHAM – The University of New Hampshire dropped three of the four charges last week against a sophomore who hung posters in his dorm suggesting freshman girls could lose weight by taking the stairs.   Timothy Garneau, 20, of Berlin, will still face sanctions for lying to Stoke Hall Director Brad Williams about making the poster. The charges of harassment, disorderly or lewd conduct and affirmative action violations have been thrown out, as has the decision to evict Garneau from university housing.   According to the university’s latest decision, he will be relocated to another dormitory. Garneau, a criminal justice […]

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  • Silencing students: UNH tilts a lance at the First Amendment

    November 3, 2004

    IN AMERICA today, the worst violators of free speech rights are universities, and the University of New Hampshire is no exception to this rule. This fall, Timothy Garneau, a 20-year-old sophomore, posted fliers in his residence hall suggesting that freshman women take the stairs instead of the elevator so they could lose weight. For this, UNH evicted him. The prank was sophomoric — as one might expect of a sophomore. The university’s reaction was outrageous — as one might expect from a totalitarian state. An appropriate reaction would have been discussing with Garneau why the joke was in poor taste, […]

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  • UNH backs off sanctions in ‘Freshman 15’ sign incident

    November 2, 2004

    DURHAM — The University of New Hampshire sophomore who was kicked out of his dorm last week after posting fliers ridiculing women who used the elevator had three violations of harassment and disorderly conduct dropped by the university.   Now the civil liberties organization representing the student is asking the remaining charge and sanctions be dropped and “allow him to return his life to some semblance of normality.”   The university lifted three out of the four violations last week, allowing the student, Timothy Garneau, 20, of Berlin, to move back in the dorms but not necessarily to his old […]

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  • Free speech group backs student

    November 2, 2004

      DURHAM — A free speech group wants the University of New Hampshire to drop all charges against a student evicted from his dorm for posting fliers that poked fun at freshmen women gaining weight. In a letter to UNH President Ann Weaver Hart yesterday, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a Philadelphia-based non-profit, urged UNH to “overturn any further punishment of Timothy Garneau and allow him to return his life to some semblance of normality.” FIRE also called for Garneau to be allowed to resume living in UNH housing. The 20-year-old Berlin native has been living in his […]

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  • Poster gets student kicked out of dorm

    October 31, 2004

    DURHAM, NH, Oct. 29 (UPI) — A University of New Hampshire student was kicked out of his dorm for putting up a poster urging coeds to keep weight off by using the stairs. Timothy Garneau told the Durham Monitor that he is sleeping in his car because his parents can’t afford to rent an apartment for him. The university judicial system found that Garneau committed harassment, disorderly conduct and affirmative action violations, along with lying to officials about his posters. Garneau says that his posters were intended as a light-hearted effort to ease the traffic jam in dormitory elevators from […]

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  • University of New Hampshire Evicts Student for Posting Flier

    October 28, 2004

    DURHAM, N.H., October 28, 2004—The University of New Hampshire has evicted a student from housing for posting fliers in his residential hall joking that freshman women could lose the “Freshman 15” by walking up the dormitory stairs. The public university found him guilty of violating policies on affirmative action, harassment, and disorderly conduct, and has sentenced him to mandatory counseling and probation along with his eviction. In appealing his sentence, student Timothy Garneau explained that the flier was intended to make light of the common frustration with people who delay the elevator by taking it for just one or two […]

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