• Valdosta State University: Student Expelled for Peacefully Protesting Parking Garages

    October 23, 2007
    Category: Due Process, Free Speech

    The University of Georgia System’s Board of Regents reversed the expulsion of student Hayden Barnes from Valdosta State University (VSU) after he filed a federal lawsuit against VSU for violating his constitutional rights. Barnes had protested former President Ronald Zaccari’s plan to use $30 million in student fees to construct two parking garages on campus. To protest the planned garages, Barnes posted flyers and sent e-mails to Zaccari, student and faculty governing bodies, and the Board of Regents, in order to detail his environmental concerns with its construction. President Zaccari sought Barnes’ expulsion on the grounds that Barnes was a […]

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  • Hamline University: Student Suspended after Advocating Concealed Carry on Campus

    May 29, 2007
    Category: Due Process, Free Speech, Freedom of Conscience

    Hamline University suspended a student after he sent an e-mail suggesting that the Virginia Tech massacre might have been stopped if students had been allowed to carry concealed weapons on campus. Student Troy Scheffler was required to undergo a mandatory “mental health evaluation” before being allowed to return to school. Scheffler was suspended without due process just two days after sending the e-mail.

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  • Wilson College: Student Internet Expression Under Attack

    May 2, 2006
    Category: Due Process

    FIRE advocated on behalf of Wilson College students who faced university charges of slander, identity theft, and harassment for posting parody materials of a campus administrator on a Myspace.com profile. Five students who were listed as “Myspace friends” with the fabricated profile of the campus administrator denied creating the profile, but were still charged and brought before a series of Joint Honor Council hearings, where they were found “responsible” for Honor Code violations, and were later notified that charges were “pending” while at a second hearing they received after an initial appeal. Administrators also sought a waiver from the five […]

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  • Arizona State University: Racial Restrictions on Class Enrollment (2005)

    October 5, 2005
    Category: Cases, Due Process

    After FIRE was notified of advertised racial restrictions on enrollment in a course on Navajo history, Arizona State University declared that two English classes listed on its website as “for Native Americans only” would be open to all students. While the university insisted that this declaration reflected a “long-standing practice” of enrolling students in the classes regardless of race, FIRE uncovered evidence showing the classes were racially segregated for at least eight years.

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  • William Paterson University: Punishment on Harassment Charges for Response to Mass E-Mail

    July 5, 2005
    Category: Due Process, Free Speech

    A Muslim student-employee at William Paterson University (WPU) has been cleared of baseless sexual harassment charges. WPU’s shameful attack on 63-year-old Jihad Daniel’s rights began after he privately replied to an unsolicited March 7 mass e-mail from Professor Arlene Holpp Scala that promoted a viewing and discussion of a film described as “a lesbian relationship story.” Daniel’s e-mail to Professor Scala requested that he not be sent “any mail about ‘Connie and Sally’ and ‘Adam and Steve.’” FIRE first wrote in protest to the WPU president, only to receive a reply from the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office which asserted […]

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  • Princeton University: Refusal to Recognize Religious Group

    April 19, 2005
    Category: Due Process, Religious Liberty

    Princeton Faith and Action, a student organization at Princeton University, was given recognition after being arbitrarily denied such. PFA is associated with the Christian Union, an off-campus ministry serving Ivy League universities whose own request to apply to have a full-time chaplain on campus was rejected by Dean of Religious Life Thomas Breidenthal. After being blocked from reserving spaces on campus through an existing recognized Christian student group, students organized PFA in order to hold activities independently. When they approached the student government to apply for official recognition, however, student government officials explained that because their group was religious in […]

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  • Seminole Community College: Refusal to Allow Student to Distribute Literature

    April 18, 2005
    Category: Due Process, Free Speech

    Florida’s Seminole Community College censored student Eliana Campos when she tried to pass out flyers expressing disapproval with slaughterhouse practices. The flyers, which were produced by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, was censored when an administrator proclaimed that Campos’ documents, “instill[ed] a feeling” in her that she did not like. Approximately one week after FIRE’s David French sent a letter to SCC, Ms. Campos’ free speech rights were restored. SCC also agreed to create a committee to review all of its policies regarding speech.

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  • University of Colorado at Boulder: Investigation of Professor for Controversial Essay

    February 9, 2005
    Category: Due Process, Free Speech

    Entrenched in vast controversy for referring to the civilians who died in the World Trade Center as “little Eichmanns,” University of Colorado at Boulder Professor Ward Churchill stepped down from his position as chair of CU-Boulder’s ethnic studies department. Problems arose, however, when the CU Board of Regents declared they were going to launch an investigation into Churchill’s “writings, speeches, tape recordings and other works.” FIRE wrote to CU noting that Churchill is entitled to due process and should be given the chance to defend himself, and assuring the university that Churchill’s speech, no matter how controversial or offensive, is […]

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  • DePaul University: Professor Suspended for Expression Without Due Process

    October 8, 2004
    Category: Due Process, Free Speech

    DePaul University administrators suspended Professor Thomas Klocek without a hearing after he engaged in an out-of-class argument with pro-Palestinian students at a student activities fair. When the students complained that they were offended by Klocek, he was denied the rights that DePaul guarantees to professors accused of wrongdoing and immediately suspended. Statements from DePaul administrators indicate that Klocek was disciplined because of his harsh criticism of the students’ viewpoint, despite DePaul’s stated commitments to free speech and academic freedom. Klocek received a letter confirming his punishment of suspension with pay and further stating that he would be able to teach […]

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