Catawba Valley Community College

Location: Hickory, North Carolina
Website: http://www.cvcc.edu/index.cfm
Type: No Type Yet
Federal Circuit: 4th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

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  • Catawba Valley Community College: Student Banned from Campus after Protesting College’s Deal with Debit Card Company on Facebook

    October 10, 2011

    In June 2011, Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) announced a partnership with the financial services company Higher One to provide debit cards to CVCC students. In response, CVCC student Marc Bechtol and other students criticized the partnership on CVCC’s Facebook page. On September 28, Bechtol posted a critical message in which he joked, “I think we should register CVCC’s address with every porn site known to man.” One week later Bechtol was pulled out of his classroom and told not to return. On October 5, 2011, without a hearing, he was suspended for two semesters for violating the CVCC policy […]

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This school does not have any speech codes at this time.
  • Some Students Grumble About Higher One’s Debit Card Fees

    November 14, 2011

    by Ann Carrns The New York Times   View this article at The New York Times.

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  • Do Cleveland County college students have freedom of speech on Facebook?

    October 18, 2011

    SHELBY — Cleveland Community College says a western North Carolina man kicked off his college campus for a controversial Facebook posting would have violated CCC’s code of conduct if he were a student here. Marc Bechtol, a student at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, was removed from CVCC last week, then later readmitted as a student, after he criticized the school’s relationship with a debit card that doubles as a student ID.  “Anyone know any good viruses to send (CVCC)?” Bechtol wrote on the CVCC Facebook page, according to The Star’s news partner, WSOC-TV. “Maybe we should register them […]

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  • Student banned after debit card/student ID card complaint is reinstated

    October 15, 2011

    A North Carolina community college student who was banned from campus after complaining about being forced to use a school-branded debit card has been reinstated. Reversal of the decision leaves a critical question unanswered, however: Why are schools around the country forcing students to get into bad financial habits by using MasterCard-branded debit cards laden with booby-trap fees? Catawba Valley Community College student Marc Bechtol was suspended for two semesters earlier this week after complaining about the debit card on the school’s Facebook page, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.  Bechtol’s Facebook complaint included a suggestion urging readers […]

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  • Student’s Facebook post could get him kicked out of college

    October 14, 2011

    Gaston Gazette   CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. — A local college student told Channel 9 that something he posted on Facebook may get him kicked out of school. Marc Bechtol said he was being satirical and exercising his right to free speech when he posted a message on the Catawba Valley Community College’s Facebook page. “(The post said) ‘Anyone know any good viruses to send them? Maybe we should register them with every porn site known to man.’ And then, a couple minutes later, I said, ‘Maybe that would be excessive,’” Bechtol said. Bechtol said he made the post after receiving […]

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  • Marc Bechtol, Cawtaba Valley Community College Student, Banned After Complaining About Branded Debit Cards

    October 13, 2011

    A Hickory, North Carolina, college student was pulled out of his classroom last week and banned from campus after he complained on Facebook about his school’s aggressive marketing of a debit card company to its students. After officials at Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) punished him for a satirical Facebook post deemed “contrary to the best interest of the CVCC community,” Marc Bechtol reached out to FIRE. The incident began on June 20, 2011, when CVCC announced that “all curriculum students will receive a CVCC branded Debit Mastercard” in partnership with financial services company Higher One. The debit card doubles […]

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  • College Bans Student for Complaining About Branded Debit Cards

    October 13, 2011

    Community college student Marc Bechtol says he was pulled out of class and then banned from campus all because he disparaged his school’s stupid branded debit cards on his Facebook. Marc Bechtol deserves a failing grade in Campus Brand Ambassadorship 101, otherwise known as An Introduction to Selling Out. A marketing(!) major at Catawba Valley Community College in North Carolina, Bechtol told WCNC-TV he didn’t want the branded debit card in the first place, because he didn’t want to hand over his personal info to Higher One—the financial services company that partnered up with CVCC to provide “seamless transitions” and […]

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  • Facebook posting gets college student in trouble

    October 13, 2011

    by Steve Ohnesorge WBTV.com   View this article at WBTV.com.

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  • FIRE: Student banned from campus after Facebook post protests college’s deal with debit card company

    October 13, 2011

    A Hickory, North Carolina, college student was pulled out of his classroom last week and banned from campus after he complained on Facebook about his school’s aggressive marketing of a debit card company to its students. After officials at Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) punished him for a satirical Facebook post deemed “contrary to the best interest of the CVCC community,” Marc Bechtol reached out to FIRE. The incident began on June 20, 2011, when CVCC announced that “all curriculum students will receive a CVCC branded Debit Mastercard” in partnership with financial services company Higher One. The debit card doubles […]

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  • School bans student from campus after Facebook post

    October 13, 2011

    HICKORY, N.C. — A Facebook post has gotten a Catawba Valley Community College student suspended and banned from campus. Marketing student Marc Bechtol said it was satire and free speech, but the college isn’t laughing. It all started with Catawba Valley Community College’s branded debit card. It doubles as Bechtol’s student identification. It’s something he said he told the school he didn’t want. It’s also something that came anyway, asking Bechtol to verify personal information he didn’t want a financial services company to have. Bechtol said he activated it because, according to the card literature, it was the only way […]

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  • Speech Code of the Month: University of Richmond

    February 5, 2014

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for February 2014: the University of Richmond. The University of Richmond’s Standards of Student Conduct prohibit any “inappropriate behavior or expression,” giving the administration complete discretion to punish virtually any expression it finds inconvenient or unwelcome.

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  • Marc Bechtol: Prophet of Ill-Gotten Profit?

    August 9, 2012

    As the saying goes, “a prophet is without honor in his own country.” That’s certainly how Catawba Valley Community College (N.C.) treated student Marc Bechtol, who was banned from campus from sarcastically complaining on Facebook about the college’s deal with the Higher One financial services company. Today comes the news from The Chronicle of Higher Education that Higher One has agreed to return $11 million to 60,000 students who were overcharged for their debit cards with the company and pay a $110,000 civil fine for its actions. Given that Bechtol’s complaint focused on what he perceived to be Higher One’s […]

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  • ‘Fee Speech’: When University-Bank Partnerships Silence Students

    June 4, 2012

    Last October, FIRE intervened to protect student speech following a disturbing incident at Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC), where student Marc Bechtol was kicked out of classes mid-semester and banned from campus for two additional semesters for violating the school’s policy prohibiting any “offense which, in the opinion of the administration or faculty, may be contrary to the best interest of the CVCC community.” Bechtol’s offense? He criticized an agreement between CVCC and financial service company Higher One that required CVCC students to carry Higher One debit cards that would also serve as their student IDs. FIRE quickly came to Bechtol’s […]

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  • Thomas Jefferson Center Awards “Muzzles” to Censors at Catawba Valley, Sam Houston State

    April 12, 2012

    Every year since 1992, the good folks at the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression award their annual “Jefferson Muzzles” to recognize those across the nation “who in the preceding year committed some of the more egregious or ridiculous affronts to the First Amendment right of free speech.” And just about every year, a Muzzle or two ends up being awarded to someone on a college campus. Surprised? Neither are we!  This year, two schools earned well-deserved Muzzles by stifling student speech in shocking ways. Torch readers will remember that FIRE intervened in both cases.  First, the […]

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  • ‘New York Times’ Covers CVCC’s Punishment of Student for Facebook Complaint

    November 16, 2011

    Bucks, the personal finance blog of The New York Times, has published an entry on the Higher One financial services company and its controversial deals with colleges. In case readers missed it, Higher One was the flashpoint of one of FIRE’s recent high-profile cases, after Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) student Marc Bechtol faced a two-semester suspension for criticizing the North Carolina college’s partnership with the organization on Facebook. Here’s how Bucks describes Higher One: The New Haven, Conn., company partners with roughly 700 campuses across the country to handle payments to students. Colleges contract with Higher One to handle payments, such […]

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  • Editorial in ‘Shelby Star’ Drives the Point Home About CVCC Free Speech Case

    October 20, 2011

    Yesterday, Joanna highlighted an article in North Carolina’s Shelby Star bringing further attention to FIRE’s case at Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC). The Shelby Star is the latest media outlet to cover this outrageous free speech case, in which student Marc Bechtol was pulled out of class and, without a hearing, given a suspension for two semesters after he criticized CVCC on Facebook for the school’s aggressive marketing of a debit card company to its students. While CVCC has thankfully backed off its stance in the face of public pressure and dropped the charges against Bechtol, allowing him to return […]

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  • ‘Shelby Star’ on CVCC and Free Speech

    October 19, 2011

    The case of Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) student Marc Bechtol, who was banned from campus for a Facebook post about the school’s aggressive marketing of a debit card company to its students, has garnered a significant amount of attention from the media. We’re glad that with this reaction and pressure from FIRE, Marc Bechtol’s charges were dropped and he is allowed on campus once again. Yesterday, the media attention continued, as the Shelby Star in Cleveland County, N.C., ran an interesting article pointing out that if the incident had occurred at nearby Cleveland Community College (CCC), Bechtol would apparently […]

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  • Student Banned from Campus for Facebook Post Makes MSNBC and More

    October 17, 2011

    In case you missed it last week, all charges against the Catawba Valley Community College student who was banned from campus for a Facebook post have been dropped, and he is free to step foot again on the school’s North Carolina campus. The absurd case alarmed a significant number of free speech supporters and media outlets, resulting in a quick victory for student Marc Bechtol. FIRE remains concerned about the unconstitutional policy used to punish Bechtol’s protected speech, which is still on the books at CVCC. In addition to the multitude of coverage the case received last week, it also […]

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  • This Week in FIRE News: Victory for Student Banned from Campus for Facebook Post

    October 14, 2011

    It’s been a whirlwind week for Catawba Valley Community College student Marc Bechtol. On Wednesday, we reported in a national press release that he had been pulled out of his classroom and banned from campus after he complained on Facebook about his school’s aggressive marketing of a debit card company to its students. Thanks in large part to pressure from FIRE and the media outlets that reported on his case, Bechtol learned this morning that all charges against him have been dropped and he is free to step foot on campus. However, FIRE will still be watching the college closely, […]

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  • Facebook rant results in student’s suspension

    October 14, 2011

    by David Ingram NBC Universal   HICKORY, N.C. – A Facebook post has gotten a Catawba Valley Community College student suspended and banned from campus. Marketing student Marc Bechtol said it was satire and free speech, but the college isn’t laughing. It all started with Catawba Valley Community College’s branded debit card. It doubles as Bechtol’s student identification. It’s something he said he told the school he didn’t want. It’s also something that came anyway, asking Bechtol to verify personal information he didn’t want a financial services company to have. Bechtol said he activated it because, according to the card […]

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  • Victory: Charges Dropped for North Carolina Student Banned from Campus, But Unconstitutional Policy Remains

    October 14, 2011

    Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) student Marc Bechtol learned this morning that all charges against him have been dropped and he is free to step foot on campus. Bechtol was pulled out of his classroom last week, suspended for two semesters, and banned from campus without a hearing after he complained on Facebook about his school’s aggressive marketing of a debit card company to its students. Despite CVCC’s decision to rescind Bechtol’s punishment, problems remain, as Bechtol is still required to notify the college before using computers on campus. CVCC also has failed to revise the unconstitutional policy it used to […]

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  • Student suspended over Facebook post

    October 14, 2011

    United Press International   View this article at United Press International.

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  • Video of Student Banned from Campus for Facebook Post on WCNC, Charlotte

    October 13, 2011

    Late last night, NewsChannel 36 in Charlotte, N.C. (WCNC) filmed Catawba Valley Community College student Marc Bechtol, who was banned from campus for taking to Facebook to protest CVCC’s deal with a debit card company. The video spot illuminates the satirical intent of Bechtol’s Facebook comment, and the absurdity of CVCC’s actions. If you haven’t yet, you can write to CVCC President Garrett D. Hinshaw today and ask CVCC to uphold its obligation to protect free speech today.

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  • Adam in ‘USA TODAY College’ on Catawba Valley Case

    October 13, 2011

    FIRE’s own Adam Kissel is featured on the front page of today’s USA TODAY College online edition discussing Hickory, North Carolina-based Catawba Valley Community College’s (CVCC’s) indefensible decision to suspend a student for two full semesters for his Facebook complaint about the college’s deal with a financial services company. Student Marc Bechtol, a father of two, looked into CVCC’s deal with the company, Higher One, back in June when it was announced and didn’t like the various fees the company charged. He also didn’t appreciate being pressured into signing up for a Mastercard debit card (which doubled as his CVCC […]

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  • Student Banned from Campus after Protesting College’s Deal with Debit Card Company on Facebook

    October 12, 2011

    CHARLOTTE, N.C., October 12, 2011—A North Carolina college student was pulled out of his classroom last week and banned from campus after he complained on Facebook about his school’s aggressive marketing of a debit card company to its students. After officials at Catawba Valley Community College punished him for a satirical Facebook post deemed “contrary to the best interest of the CVCC community,” Marc Bechtol came to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. “Catawba Valley Community College violated the First Amendment by responding to obviously hyperbolic criticism with swift and severe punishment,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff […]

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