Hamline University

Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Website: http://www.hamline.edu
Type: Private
Federal Circuit: 8th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

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

    May 29, 2007

    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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Red Light Policies

  • Hate Incident and Crime Protocol 09-10

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech, Statement

    The kinds of incidents, which may constitute a hate incident or a hate crime, include but are not limited to: ... Verbal or written slurs, epithets, jokes, comments, or terms based on an individual's ability status (this includes chalking).

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  • Sexual Misconduct Policy 09-10

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    Sexually Inappropriate Conduct: Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, or directed at a person because of their gender, which does not rise to the level of harassment or assault but which is disruptive or offensive to a reasonable person of a background similar to the recipient. This conduct may include crude, obscene or threatening gestures, unwelcome sexual comments, and seeking invasive proximity to an individual (stalking).

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Green Light Policies
  • Discrimination and Harassment Policy 09-10

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually
    motivated physical contact and other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature ... which has the
    purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's employment or education or creating an intimidating,
    hostile, or offensive employment or educational environment.

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  • Discrimination and Harassment Policy 09-10

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    Harassment by personal vilification includes oral remarks, written remarks, or
    conduct which (1) are based upon any perceived or actual personal characteristic (race, gender, etc., as listed in 2.01,
    above), and (2) are used to create an intimidating or hostile working, learning, or living environment for any
    individual or group of employees or students.

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  • Freedom of Expression and Inquiry 09-10

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression, Statement

    Hamline students and student organizations are free to examine and discuss all questions of interest to them and to express opinions publicly and privately. They are free to support causes by all orderly means without interference from the university or any part of it so long as their activities do not interrupt the regular and essential business of the university, or interfere with the rights of any member of this community.

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  • Loss of free inquiry on campus betrays liberal legacy

    October 24, 2007

    The newest big controversy about free speech on campus focuses on the case of a Hamline University graduate student in Minnesota who has been ordered to undergo psychological evaluation after expressing his political disagreements with campus diversity policies alongside a rather bone-headed reference to Virginia Tech. Although the student is a long-time gadfly who seems to revel in poking the Hamline administration with a stick, the case is important for precisely that reason. Freedom of speech is easy to support when the speech is politically correct or when dissent from political correctness is expressed with timidity and apology. It is […]

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  • College Admins: If you favor Second Amendment rights, you must be crazy

    October 17, 2007

    A Minnesota college student was suspended and ordered to undergo “mental health evaluation” for his response to campuswide e-mails from school officials concerning the Virginia Tech massacre. The college, Hamline University, a private, liberal-arts institution affiliated with the Methodist Church, has a policy on “Freedom of Expression and Inquiry” that guarantees that Hamline students will be “free to examine and discuss all questions of interest to them and to express opinions publicly or privately.” With such a strong guarantee on students’ “freedom from censorship and control” by the university, student Troy Scheffler’s e-mail must have been horrifically bad to warrant […]

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  • Student advocates gun rights, gets suspended; Church-affiliated university to require mental evaluation before return allowed

    October 11, 2007

    A Christian church-affiliated university in St. Paul, Minn., has suspended a student after he raised questions about the campus ban on concealed weapons, and is ordering him to have a mental health evaluation before he can resume his education. The Hamline University case involves student Troy Scheffler, who, after the Virginia Tech massacre where a student shot and killed nearly three dozen others, suggested the killing spree might have been stopped if students had been allowed to carry concealed weapons. “Questioning administrators on controversial topics isn’t going to be a threat even if the conversation involves guns,” Robert Shibley, vice […]

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  • Banning guns (and opinions about guns) in college

    October 11, 2007

    In the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings in April, Hamline University student Troy Scheffler writes emails (in response to emails from them sent to the student body) to the president and vice-president for student affairs of the Minnesota university, complaining about his school’s no-weapons and diversity policies. He is suspended pending a mental health evaluation. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) comes to his defense. From FIRE’s press release: FIRE wrote to [university] President [Linda] Hanson on May 29, 2007, vehemently opposing the sanctions against Scheffler, since neither of Scheffler’s e-mails even came close to meeting the […]

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  • Grad student suspended after pro-gun-rights e-mail

    October 10, 2007

    A Minnesota university has suspended one of its graduate students who sent two e-mail messages to school officials supporting gun rights. Hamline University also said that master’s student Troy Scheffler, who owns a firearm, would be barred from campus and must receive a mandatory “mental health evaluation” after he sent an e-mail message arguing that law-abiding students should be able to carry firearms on campus for self-defense. Hamline spokesman Jacqueline Getty declined on Wednesday to answer questions about the suspension, saying that federal privacy laws prohibited the school from commenting. Scheffler had previously waived his privacy rights in a letter […]

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  • FIRE Launches New Video Series With Short Film on Censorship of Gun-Related Speech

    June 30, 2010

    PHILADELPHIA, June 30, 2010—Today, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is proud to release a new short film, “Empty Holsters: Gun Speech on America’s Campuses,” highlighting widespread campus censorship of student speech about guns. The film is the first in a new FIRE series focusing on how colleges and universities across America are preventing students and faculty members from speaking out on the weightiest political issues of the day. “In the wake of Monday’s Supreme Court decision in McDonald v. Chicago, debate about the Second Amendment and gun rights is sure to be hotter than ever,” said FIRE […]

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  • Why can’t students say ‘guns’ in school?

    April 21, 2009

    by Glenn Garvin Miami Herald   Media snicker of the day: those crazy gun nuts, worried that the government is out to snatch their constitutional rights along with their AK-47s. 60 Minutes is the latest to have a chuckle, playing a commercial for a Washington, D.C.-area firearms show that that urges viewers to “Celebrate the Second Amendment and get your guns while you still can!” My own hunch is that the sheer number of Americans who own guns (the low estimate is something over 40 million) will keep their Second Amendment rights off the endangered-species list for the foreseeable future. […]

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  • Rights in the News: FIRE Issues Get the Lou Dobbs Treatment

    March 13, 2009

    As Will wrote earlier in the week, FIRE has seen far too many instances of students’ First Amendment rights being thrown out the window when used to support Second Amendment rights. FIRE has been all over the news concerning the most recent instance of this, in which a student at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) was reported to the police by his professor and subjected to an interrogation on the basis of a class presentation he had given in favor of concealed carry rights on campus. Building on a FoxNews.com front-page story (tipped this week in an editorial on the […]

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  • Threats, Intimidation, and Free Speech

    December 27, 2007

    One of the compelling storylines to take away from this year involves a matter that is still fresh in many people’s minds and remains troubling to this day: the Virginia Tech shootings. The horrific events of that day may understandably send a chill down the spine of anyone who has a friend, significant other, child, or family member attending school or working on a college campus. In the wake of Virginia Tech, universities across the country have tried to take the necessary measures to ensure, to the greatest extent possible, that they can prevent a similar tragedy from taking place […]

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  • FIRE to Hamline: Stop Stonewalling

    November 13, 2007

    Last week, FIRE wrote Hamline University again to register our continuing disappointment with President Linda Hanson’s refusal to answer our concerns about the school’s unconscionable treatment of student Troy Scheffler, who was suspended by Hamline for advocating for the right to carry concealed weapons on campus.   Our latest letter reiterates our grave concern about the fact that the school refuses to tell Scheffler precisely why he was suspended, a clear contradiction of established Hamline policy. We wrote: We remain particularly troubled by Hamline’s continuing refusal to be fully forthcoming regarding the reasons for Scheffler’s suspension. The third determining factor […]

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  • Pope Center’s ‘Clarion Call’ Highlights FIRE Speech Code of the Month Victory

    November 9, 2007

    This week’s Clarion Call, the weekly column of the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, highlights FIRE’s speech code victory at Fayetteville State University. Fayetteville State’s Code of Student Conduct was picked as FIRE’s Speech Code of the Month for January 2007. It defined racial harassment as: [V]erbal or physical behavior that stigmatizes or victimizes an individual on the basis of race and involves an express or implied threat to another person’s academic pursuits or participation in activities sponsored by the University or organizations or groups related to the University. It was identical to a University of Michigan […]

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  • John Leo on FIRE and Free Speech

    October 23, 2007

    John Leo has an excellent article on Townhall.com discussing the status of free speech on our nation’s college campuses. In the article, Leo highlights the case of Troy Scheffler at Hamline University, who was suspended for suggesting in an e-mail to an administrator that students should be permitted to carry concealed weapons on campus.

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  • Hamline Case on the Radio This Afternoon

    October 19, 2007

    Looking for more information on our case at Hamline University? Listen online to Minneapolis/St. Paul talk radio station 830-WCCO AM at 2:10 p.m. CST (3:10 Eastern) for an interview with FIRE’s Vice President Robert Shibley with more details on this case!

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  • Minnesota College suspends student for advocating gun rights

    October 15, 2007

    After discovering one of its students had sent an e-mail urging students be permitted to carry concealed weapons in the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings that took place in April 2007 and killed 32 people, Hamline University in Minnesota not only suspended the student, Troy Scheffler, but university officials ordered Mr. Scheffler undergo a psychiatric evaluation before being permitted to return to school. “Hamline’s punishment of Troy Scheffler is severe, unfair and apparently unwarranted,” stated Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a Philadelphia-based civil rights advocacy group assisting Mr. Scheffler with this issue. […]

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  • Wendy Kaminer on Hamline Case

    October 11, 2007

    Check out FIRE Board of Advisors member Wendy Kaminer’s blog post on our case over at Hamline University: Hamline University prides itself on its commitment to diversity. Its website boasts that “Hamline’s five schools have more than 4,500 students, and each one of these students is different …Hamline isn’t a place where you ‘fit in,’ conforming to the Hamline mold. Rather, Hamline ‘fits in’ you, welcoming your unique contributions and valuing who you are.” “Unless you’re an advocate for gun rights,” Hamline administrators might have added. Hamline suspended graduate student Troy Scheffler shortly after he sent two emails to school […]

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  • FIRE Discussing Hamline Case on the Radio This Afternoon

    October 11, 2007

    FIRE Vice President Robert Shibley will be on Vicki McKenna’s Madison, Wisconsin, radio show this afternoon at 4 p.m. ET to discuss our case at Hamline University, where a student was suspended and sentenced to mandatory psychological evaluations after advocating the use of concealed weapons on campus in the context of the Virginia Tech shootings. To hear more about FIRE’s involvement in this interesting case—in which Hamline has trampled the student’s free speech and due process rights and refuses to reconsider its decision—listen online at wiba.com.

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  • Hamline Responds to FIRE’s Press Release

    October 11, 2007

    A friend in the media forwarded us the following response from Hamline to yesterday’s press release about Hamline student Troy Scheffler. It is very brief, so I will quote it in full: Hamline has never suspended a student for advocating for gun rights or for any other rights.   The FIRE organization has inaccurately portrayed Hamline’s interaction with one of its students. FIRE has inflamed the details of this student’s grievance with university policy, enacted to ensure the safety of our community. As we have already informed FIRE more than once, federal privacy laws that protect the rights of that […]

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  • Hamline University Student Suspended After Advocating Concealed Carry for Students

    October 10, 2007

    ST. PAUL, Minn., October 10, 2007—Hamline University has 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 is now required to undergo a mandatory “mental health evaluation” before being allowed to return to school. Scheffler, who was suspended without due process just two days after sending the e-mail, has turned to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. “Hamline’s punishment of Troy Scheffler is severe, unfair, and apparently unwarranted,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. […]

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