Montclair State University

Location: Montclair, New Jersey
Website: http://www.montclair.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 3rd Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Montclair State University has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more here.

  • Montclair State University: Pro-Palestinian Group Fined for ‘Political’ Expression

    October 13, 2014

    The Montclair State University Student Government Association ordered the Montclair Students for Justice in Palestine to cease all political activity after receiving complaints that the group had handed out “political” and “offensive” pamphlets.

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  • Montclair State University: Student Barred from Campus for Violating Unconstitutional ‘Gag Order’

    January 4, 2013

    In October 2012, Montclair State University issued a no-contact order to student Joseph Aziz in response to unflattering comments about a student he had posted to a politically charged YouTube video that September.

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  • Montclair State University: Student Group Threatened with Unconstitutional Security Fee

    March 24, 2011

    Two days before it was scheduled to host a speaking event with former education professor and activist Bill Ayers, MSU student group Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was informed by MSU’s Center for Student Involvement that it would be charged extra security fees for an unspecified number of extra security officers to handle possible protesters against the event. FIRE wrote to MSU President Susan A. Cole before the event to remind MSU that it may not burden the group by affixing a price tag to such events on the basis of their expressive content. MSU did not directly respond […]

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  • Montclair State University: Student Group Faces De-funding for Protected Expression

    February 26, 2008

    Following an extended dispute between Montclair State University’s Student Government Association and The Montclarion over the lack of press access to closed meetings, SGA President Ron Chicken declared that the paper’s funding would be frozen on the first day of Montclair State’s Spring 2008 semester. An SGA employee even contacted the paper’s publishing company and instructed it to halt future production of The Montclarion. FIRE wrote a letter to Montclair State President Susan A. Cole denouncing the SGA’s actions and calling on Montclair State’s administration to intervene and defend freedom of the press. Soon after, FIRE received a reply stating […]

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Yellow Light Policies
  • Bias Response Taskforce: Bias and Free Speech 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech

    A hate preacher comes to campus with sexist and homophobic signs and pamphlets and is preaching in the quad. He is extremely offensive, and people are becoming enraged. His words are about to incite violence. Do you intercede?

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  • Student Handbook: Student Rights and Responsibilities- Demonstration Regulation 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies

    Any individual, group or organization that wishes to demonstrate or assemble on the University’s campus shall, at least 48 hours in advance of the planned demonstration or assembly, obtain from, and file with, the Office of the Dean of Students a “Request for Demonstration, Assembly, Presentation or Forum,” which sets forth a) the identity of the individual, group or organization making the request  b) the date(s) and time(s) of the event; c) the desired location for the event; d) the planned objective of the event; e) the materials that will be used to conduct the event, including information concerning any music or sound amplification; f) for groups or organizations, the number of people expected to participate in the event; and g) the estimated number of people the event organizers expect to attract to the event.

    The University recognizes there may be occasions that do not permit the submission of an application 48 hours in advance of a demonstration or assembly. Such spontaneous demonstrations or assemblies in response to emergent situations where advance planning is not possible are permitted, but they are limited in location to: a) the plaza in front of the Student Center or b) the Amphitheater. Any individual, group or organization calling for or organizing such a demonstration or assembly must report that information immediately to the Office of the Dean of Students, and comply with the time, place and manner provisions set forth above in this policy.

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  • Code of Conduct: Disruptive Conduct 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility

    Disruptive conduct includes, but is not limited to: … threatening or obscene language or behavior in public places.

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  • Code of Conduct: Residence Hall Regulations- Postings/Signs 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Posting Policies

    Signs, which promote the consumption of alcohol, the use of controlled dangerous substances, or anything, viewed as obscene and inappropriate behavior may not be displayed in any public area (e.g., windows, students room windows, doors, common areas, etc.).

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  • Student Handbook: University Policies- Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Actions, Sexual Harassment and Tolerance 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility

    As an ever-growing pluralistic society and in a world whose boundaries are made increasingly flexible by technology and global economics, it is fundamental to our institutional mission to create a community without bias and to oppose vigorously any form of racism, religious intolerance, sexism, ageism, homophobia, harassment and discrimination against those with disabling conditions. It is critical that each and every member of this community understand that Montclair State University eschews hate of any kind and will not tolerate behavior that violates the civil and statutory rights of any individual or group. Within this framework, each of us can feel free to express ourselves in ways that promote openness within a pluralistic and multicultural society.

    To ensure that we understand our responsibility to contribute to a community that embraces these values and that we are accountable for our behavior in this regard, all persons in positions of responsibility and authority will be held strictly accountable for promoting the highest degree of fairness and equity by both personally exemplifying these principles and holding all those around them accountable as well.

    It is essential that each member of the campus community incorporate these values into daily life at Montclair State University so that we may all work and learn together in a spirit of appreciation for the differences among us and with mutual respect and dignity.

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Green Light Policies
  • Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedures Involving Students 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Hostile Environment Harassment – Unwelcome conduct that would not have occurred but for the student’s gender, that is severe or pervasive enough to make a reasonable person of the same sex believe that the conditions of the student’s education are altered and the academic environment is hostile or abusive. The complained-of conduct need not be sexual in nature to constitute hostile environment sexual harassment.

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  • Code of Conduct: Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Students are prohibited from engaging in harassment, intimidation and bullying. A student will be found responsible for harassment, intimidation or bullying if he or she engages in conduct … that is so severe or pervasive and objectively offensive that substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the University or the rights of any student or other member of the University community; and that:

    a) involves intimidation or threats to another person’s safety, rights of personal privacy and property, academic pursuits, University employment, or participation in activities sponsored by the University or organizations or groups related to the University, or
    b) creates an intimidating or hostile environment by substantially interfering with a student’s education, or by materially impairing the academic pursuits, employment or participation of any person or group in the University community, or by severely or pervasively causing physical or emotional harm to the student or other member of the University community; or
    c) a reasonable person should know, under the circumstances, will have the effect of physically or emotionally harming a student or other person or damaging the property or placing him/her in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm to his/her person, or to any member of that person’s family or household, or of damage to his/her property; or
    d) a reasonable person should know, under the circumstances, will have the effect of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students.

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  • Student Handbook: Student Rights and Responsibilities- Preamble 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    Academic institutions exist for the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, the development of students, and the promotion of the general well being of society. Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the attainment of these goals. As members of this academic community, students are encouraged to develop the capacity for critical judgment and to engage in a sustained and independent search for truth.

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  • Campus Hate Crime Hoaxes: A Best-Of List

    December 17, 2014

    By Michael Cipriano at The College Fix From New Jersey to Wyoming, college campuses around the country have been plagued with hate crime hoaxes in recent years. Sometimes justified as trying to raise awareness for progressive social causes, the hoaxes often worked. The College Fix compiled this list of recent university hate crime hoaxes. Racist Facebook messages posted by student himself – November 2014 A University of Chicago student admitted to posting racist and violent messages against himself on his Facebook page after claiming his account was hacked. The elaborate hoax was an attempt to shame the school into making policy changes addressing race […]

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  • Montclair State University Student Government Orders Students For Justice In Palestine To “Cease And Desist” “Political Propaganda”

    October 23, 2014

    By Eugene Volokh at The Washington Post Fortunately, the student government and the University General Counsel, prodded by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, rescinded the restriction. FIRE reports, with links to the original documents (which I have read): On September 22, MSJP members handed out pamphlets at the group’s registered table in the MSU’s student center. The pamphlets described the group’s values, planned activities, and views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Upon receiving complaints about the overtly political and “offensive” nature of the pamphlets, SGA Attorney General Demi M. Washington sent a “Letter of Sanction” to MSJP, condescending to the […]

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  • Montclair State University Student Association Reverses Penalties On Pro-Palestinian Club’s Pamphleteering

    October 9, 2014

    By Hannah Adely at NorthJersey.com A pro-Palestinian student club at Montclair State University, fined two weeks ago and barred from giving out political literature, had that punishment repealed Thursday by the overseeing Student Government Association. The Montclair Students for Justice in Palestine had been sanctioned for giving political fliers to students at an information table two weeks ago and was told the club was not supposed to take political stances. That restriction, imposed by the SGA’s attorney general, who also is a student, was reversed based on legal advice. “It was very surprising because the action they took was very […]

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  • GRADUATE STUDENT, FREE SPEECH VINDICATED

    January 23, 2013

     A New Jersey university has apparently realized it was unconstitutional to suspend a student for posting insults on a social media page. Joseph Aziz, a Montclair State University graduate student, admits to making snide comments on YouTube regarding the weight of a female student with whom he was having a political argument. During a disciplinary hearing, he also admitted to mentioning the woman’s name while joking about the incident on Facebook. He was suspended for a semester and barred from campus. In response to questions about the violation of free-speech rights, the school released a statement claiming that it had […]

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  • P.C. Police run amok at Montclair

    January 20, 2013

    Back in 2011, the Montclair State University chapter of Students for a Democratic Society invited 1960s radical Bill Ayers to speak on campus. Ayers founded the Weathermen, a group that bombed the Capitol and the Pentagon.  When he later wrote a book about his adventures, the New York Times ran an interview quoting him as saying, “I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough.’’ That interview might have gone unnoticed if not for the day on which it happened to run: Sept. 11, 2001. So you could say Ayers is a somewhat controversial figure. Yet the university went to […]

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  • MSU Student’s Suspension Revoked

    January 18, 2013

    by Christina Gillham Baristanet   Montclair State University president Susan Cole revoked student Joseph Aziz’s suspension yesterday, putting an end to a controversial issue that had made it into the national news. Aziz was suspended by the university after making derogatory remarks online (since removed) about a female student in September. The remarks were brought to the attention of university officials and in October MSU issued Aziz a no-contact order forbidding the graduate student from having any “written, verbal, or electronic contact” with the female student. He was also barred from posting “any social media” about the student. After he complained about the […]

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  • Montclair State overturns suspension for “trolling”; student says he hopes case sets a precedent

    January 18, 2013

    MONTCLAIR — A Montclair State University student suspended for comments he made on YouTube and Facebook will get to return to class after the school’s president overturned the punishment. Joseph Aziz, 26, was informed of Montclair State President Susan Cole’s decision in a letter sent Thursday, school officials said. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a nonprofit civil liberties group, had appealed to the president to reconsider Aziz’s one-semester suspension earlier this month. The graduate student said he is happy to be able to return to school. But he is disappointed it took media coverage and the intervention of a civil […]

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  • Montclair State Reverses Student’s Suspension Over Online Fat Jokes

    January 18, 2013

    Joseph Aziz, a 26-year-old student from Weehawken, expects to work with the university to take classes in the spring semester. by Mike D’Onofrio Montclair Patch   Montclair State University rescinded a suspension Thursday it had handed down to a male student who made fat jokes about a female student on social media websites. Joseph Aziz, a 26-year-old student from Weehawken, began serving his semester-long suspension on Jan. 2 for violating the university’s No-Contact Order with a female student who he had made comments about online. But on Thursday, Montclair State President Susan Cole revoked the suspension. “While Montclair State should […]

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  • Montclair State student suspended for online comments is reinstated: report

    January 18, 2013

    A Montclair State University student who was suspended over derogatory comments he made about a fellow student on some social media websites has been reinstated by the school, Montclair Patch and News12 is reporting. Joseph Aziz, 26, of Weehawken, had made the initial comment about a woman in the comment section of a Youtube.com post in August and was ordered by college officials not to speak about the woman or have contact with her. When he mentioned the incident on Facebook.com, school officials decided to suspend the graduate student, citing a violation of the no-contact order. Both Aziz and a civil […]

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  • Student compares woman to meat, gets suspended

    January 18, 2013

    A New Jersey student has been suspended for a semester after comparing a fellow student’s body parts to meat on the Internet. According to MSN Now, Joseph Aziz, a grad student at Montclair State University, was upset over comments fellow students made about a political candidate. Aziz then took to the Internet to voice his thoughts about the students. His comments on a YouTube video allegedly made reference to one student’s legs being ‘a pair of bleached hams’. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has shown their support for Aziz by asking administrators at the school to take back the […]

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  • Student suspended from university for saying classmate’s legs looked like ‘a pair of bleached hams’ on Facebook

    January 17, 2013

    by Snejana Farberov The Daily Mail   A graduate student from New Jersey was suspended for a full semester for posting an offensive comment making fun of a female classmate’s weight online. Joseph Aziz, 26, was disciplined by Montclair State University as punishment for writing in the comments section on YouTube that a woman’s legs looked like ‘a pair of bleached hams.’ The offensive remark accompanied a video from an event at the school where the guest speaker, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, was heckled by some of the students. The speech was organized by a group where Aziz was a […]

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  • Montclair State Student Suspended Over ‘Bleached Hams’ Comment Speaks Out

    January 17, 2013

    CBS New York   MONTCLAIR, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A graduate student, suspended from Montclair State University for making derogatory comments about another student’s weight, spoke with CBS 2′s Christine Sloan on Thursday. The comments made by 26-year-old Joseph Aziz on YouTube could be called mean. He compared a fellow female student’s legs to “a pair of bleached hams.” “Honestly, in hindsight, it was foolish and I should not have done it, but I was responding to someone who called someone a racist,” Aziz said. Aziz posted his comments under video of the female student’s boyfriend heckling Steve Lonegan, the director of the […]

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  • Poll: Did Montclair State overreact by suspending a student for comments on social media websites?

    January 17, 2013

    A Weehawken man has been suspended a semester from Montclair State University over derogatory comments he made about a woman on Youtube.com and Facebook.com, according to a Star-Ledger report on NJ.com. The graduate student, Joe Aziz, has said he regrets the comments, but a simple apology apparently is not enough for the school. As we all know, “trolling,” or posting negative comments online, is as old as the Internet. There are some NJ.com readers how have turned into an art form.  So it’s easy to cheer the state college for doing something about some hurtful comments toward one of its students. The […]

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  • Public university suspends student for calling another student’s legs ‘bleached hams’

    January 17, 2013

    by Eric Owens The Daily Caller   A university inside the suburban sprawl of northeastern New Jersey has suspended a student for comparing another student’s legs to “a pair of bleached hams” in a YouTube comment, reports CBS New York. School officials at Montclair State University allegedly determined that Joseph Aziz, a 26-year-old graduate student, violated the school’s student code when he published the derogatory comment. The history of the fracas dates back to August, when Aziz showed up at a campus speech by Republican Steve Lonegan along with other members of Young Americans for Liberty, which describes itself as the school’s largest political […]

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  • Montclair Student Suspended Over Comments On YouTube Video

    January 16, 2013

    MONTCLAIR, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — An advocacy group this week was defending the conduct of a Montclair State University student who was suspended for making unflattering comments at the bottom of what the group called a “politically charged” YouTube video by another student.  Joseph Aziz, a 26-year-old graduate student at the university, was disciplined for violating the student code of conduct after commenting on the YouTube video that a female student’s legs looked like “a pair of bleached hams,” according to published reports. The YouTube video has since been taken down, but the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which is backing Aziz, […]

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  • Student suspended over online insults

    January 16, 2013

    MONTCLAIR, N.J., Jan. 16 (UPI) — A group that opposes campus speech codes is defending the right of a New Jersey graduate student to joke about another student’s weight online. Joseph Aziz, 26, of Weehawken was suspended from Montclair State University for a semester, The Star-Ledger of Newark reported Wednesday. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education asked the university this month to revoke the suspension. “As an agency of the government, Montclair State has no power to order students not to discuss any topic or person on independent social media sites like Facebook,” Robert Shibley, FIRE’s senior vice president, told […]

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  • Montclair State Student Suspended Over Online Fat Jokes

    January 16, 2013

    A Montclair State University masters student is suspended for the spring semester after he posted insulting comments about a female student on social media websites.  Joseph Aziz, 26, of Weehawken, made comments on YouTube — which have since been removed — at the start of the fall semester poking fun at a fellow female student’s weight and referred to her legs as “bleached hams,” according to Foundation of Individual Rights in Education, a nonprofit that pursues civil rights cases and is working on Aziz’s behalf. The comments were soon brought to the attention of the university. On Oct. 9, the university issued Aziz a […]

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  • Civil liberty group defends Montclair State student suspended for Facebook, YouTube comments

    January 16, 2013

    MONTCLAIR — Joseph Aziz admits he was “trolling” — internet slang for posting inflammatory comments online — when he wrote a comment below a YouTube video last fall saying a female classmate’s legs looked like “a pair of bleached hams.” Aziz, a Montclair State University graduate student from Weehawken, said he never imagined the jab at a stranger’s weight would prompt a complaint to university administrators, who forbade him from having any contact with the woman or talking about her on the internet. He was even more shocked, he said, when Montclair State officials called him into a disciplinary hearing a […]

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  • Montclair State University Student Says Gag Order Is Unconstitutional: UPDATED

    January 15, 2013

    Montclair State University graduate student, Joseph Aziz, was recently suspended for violating a gag order after he made unflattering comments regarding a fellow student on a YouTube video. UPDATE: Here’s the response from Suzanne Bronski, the director of media relations at Montclair State University: This matter concerns a student disciplinary matter, and the University does not comment upon individual student discipline because of the responsibilities imposed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The University acted in accordance with its Student Code of Conduct which complies with the New Jersey Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act, and other applicable federal and state regulations.

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  • Our nutty professor beats theirs

    April 26, 2005

    As perhaps the leading defender of state pride, I wish to bring your attention to yet another area in which New Jersey leads the nation: nutty professors. Much has been made in the national media lately of a Colorado professor named Ward Churchill who made some loony remarks about the victims of the 9/11 attacks. But I am prepared to argue that we have here in our midst a professor who makes Churchill look sane by comparison. His name is Grover Furr and he teaches at Montclair State University. What does he teach? English literature, of course. It always seems […]

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  • Victory: Bogus Sanctions Against Pro-Palestinian Group for ‘Political’ Speech Dropped at Montclair State

    October 13, 2014

    After facing sanctions from the Montclair State University (MSU) Student Government Association (SGA), members of the Montclair Students for Justice in Palestine (MSJP) chapter are once again able to practice their free speech rights on the New Jersey public institution’s campus. On September 22, MSJP members handed out pamphlets at the group’s registered table in the MSU’s student center. The pamphlets described the group’s values, planned activities, and views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Upon receiving complaints about the overtly political and “offensive” nature of the pamphlets, SGA Attorney General Demi M. Washington sent a “Letter of Sanction” to MSJP, condescending […]

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  • FIRE’s Peter Bonilla Speaking at Montclair State Tonight

    March 7, 2013

    If you are a student at Montclair State University (MSU) or happen to be in the area, come see Peter Bonilla, associate director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program, speak on campus tonight! Peter will be talking about First Amendment rights at colleges and universities as well as FIRE’s recent (and memorable) case involving MSU student Joseph Aziz. Peter’s talk will begin at 8 p.m. EST and will take place in Room 411 of the Student Center. For more details, visit this Facebook page. And be sure to check out Peter’s talk if you have the chance!

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  • ‘Star-Ledger’ Columnist Shreds Montclair State’s Treatment of Joseph Aziz

    January 21, 2013

    Last week, we celebrated the vindication of Montclair State University student Joseph Aziz’s free speech rights, after he had been suspended for violating an unconstitutional gag order imposed on him by the university for making negative social media comments about another student. This victory for the First Amendment was long overdue, and we at FIRE were certainly glad that the university’s administration reversed course. However, as Paul Mulshine writes in The Star-Ledger of Newark, New Jersey, all is not necessarily well, and the case raises many questions about the attitude toward free speech at Montclair State. In a stirring op-ed […]

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  • Montclair State ‘Trolling’ Case Garners International Attention

    January 18, 2013

    Montclair State rescinded its suspension of Joseph Aziz for violating an unconstitutional gag order last night. After FIRE first made the case public on Monday, the university has been under intense pressure from local, national, and international media outlets. Here’s a recap of some of the case’s coverage: Coverage from before the suspension was rescinded: CBS New York: Montclair State Student Suspended Over ‘Bleached Hams’ Comment Speaks Out The Jersey Journal: Poll: Did Montclair State Overreact by Suspending a Student for Comments on Social Media Websites? Daily Mail: Student Suspended From University for Saying Classmate’s Legs Looked Like ‘a Pair […]

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  • Victory: Montclair State Rescinds Suspension of Student for Social Media Comments

    January 18, 2013

    NEWARK, N.J., January 18, 2013—Montclair State University has rescinded its suspension of student Joseph Aziz for violating an unconstitutional gag order that the university imposed on him after he made comments on social media. University President Susan A. Cole revoked the semester-long suspension in a letter to Aziz yesterday evening, three days after the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) exposed Montclair State’s punishment to the public. “While Montclair State never should have issued its unconstitutional gag order in the first place, we commend President Cole for acting swiftly to end the situation once it became public,” said FIRE […]

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  • Montclair State Wrongly Cites Anti-Bullying Law to Justify Student’s Suspension

    January 17, 2013

    The case of Montclair State University student Joseph Aziz—who has been suspended from the university as the result of unflattering social media comments he made regarding a fellow student—began making the news yesterday, with several articles appearing in the New Jersey/New York region and even a spot overnight on Fox News Channel’s Red Eye. So far, however, Montclair State has remained largely silent on the matter, issuing only the following brief statement: This matter concerns a student disciplinary matter, and the University does not comment upon individual student discipline because of the responsibilities imposed by the Family Educational Rights and […]

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  • ‘Star-Ledger’ Reports the Latest at Montclair State University

    January 16, 2013

    In an article published this morning, New Jersey’s The Star-Ledger examines FIRE’s recent case at Montclair State University and reports on student Joseph Aziz’s ongoing struggle to return to campus. As FIRE explained in our press release Monday, Aziz was suspended and barred from campus for violating an unconstitutional gag order placed on him by school administrators. In comments to the Star-Ledger, Aziz explains that he was shocked by the school’s punishment, warning fellow students that his case is unfortunate proof that the “basic rights that we have come to expect as Americans” are often at risk on campus. For more on this case, […]

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  • Montclair State University Revises Former Speech Code of the Month

    October 13, 2011

    In May 2011, FIRE named Montclair State University our Speech Code of the Month for hastily adding an ill-defined prohibition on “bullying” into its harassment policy. In that article, we discussed “how a hasty response to the new pressure to address bullying can infringe on students’ expressive rights,” noting that prohibiting “bullying” without defining the term “provides little guidance as to what might be prohibited.” Thankfully, Montclair State has updated its harassment policy for the current academic year, providing a more detailed definition of bullying that gives students a much clearer definition of what is prohibited. The 2011-2012 policy provides, […]

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  • Speech Code of the Month: Montclair State University

    May 2, 2011

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for May 2011: Montclair State University in New Jersey. Since the death of Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi—who committed suicide last fall after two students secretly streamed video of him engaging in sexual activity with a man—universities have come under a great deal of pressure to address instances of “bullying” on campus, and to address it quickly. As we have said on numerous occasions, universities need not infringe on student speech rights in order to address situations like Tyler Clementi’s sad case: Clementi was the victim of criminal conduct already prohibited both […]

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  • This Week in FIRE News: Victory at Montclair State

    April 22, 2011

    This week, FIRE reported a free speech victory after Montclair State University backed down from charging an unconstitutional security fee for a speech sponsored by Students for a Democratic Society featuring education theorist and former Weatherman Bill Ayers. This is one more example where FIRE thwarted a “heckler’s veto.” Stanley Kurtz, writing for National Review Online’s The Corner, writes: It seems that Montclair State adopted a tactic sometimes deployed to keep controversial speakers off campus. They tried to assess the SDS a special fee to pay for security during Ayers’ speech. This tactic has been used to discourage conservative and libertarian speakers form […]

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  • First Amendment Victory at Montclair State: Ayers Speech Escapes ‘Heckler’s Veto’

    April 21, 2011

    NEWARK, N.J., April 21, 2011—Montclair State University has averted a First Amendment crisis on campus by backing down from an unconstitutional plan to levy extra fees on a student group that had invited education theorist and former Weatherman Bill Ayers to lecture on campus. After the university told Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) that it would be responsible to pay for an unspecified number of extra security officers because of the possibility of hostile protesters, the students came to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. “Universities like Montclair State seem to think they’ve come up […]

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  • Will Creeley to Speak at Montclair State University on Tuesday

    October 27, 2008

    FIRE’s Director of Legal and Public Advocacy, Will Creeley, will be speaking at Montclair State University on Tuesday night. His free public lecture, “Liberty in Peril: Speech Codes on Campus,” will start at 7:00 p.m. in the MSU Student Center. The lecture is sponsored by the CHANGE Collegian Network at Montclair State University. I encourage any FIRE friends in the New Jersey area to come out to Will’s lecture. For more information on bringing a FIRE speaker to your campus, visit the speakers section of the Campus Freedom Network website.

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  • Twin Victories At Central Washington, Montclair State as First Amendment Trumps Student Government Censorship

    March 11, 2008

    FIRE is very pleased to announce two important victories for free expression this afternoon at Montclair State University and Central Washington University (CWU). At both Montclair State and CWU, student government was attempting to stifle the speech of organized student groups, a clear violation of the First Amendment. As Greg makes clear in today’s press release, the incidents serve as “disturbing examples of the willingness of student governments to punish their fellow students for their expression.” At Montclair State, the student government cut off funding for the student newspaper, The Montclarion, in an attempt to punish the paper for seeking […]

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  • Twin Victories for Free Expression at Montclair State and Central Washington Universities

    March 11, 2008

    PHILADELPHIA, March 11, 2008—The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has successfully intervened to protect the rights of student groups at New Jersey’s Montclair State University and Central Washington University (CWU) after student governments at both universities threatened to de-fund the groups for engaging in constitutionally protected expression. “These two cases—on opposite sides of the country—are disturbing examples of the willingness of student governments to punish their fellow students for their expression,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “Both cases had happy endings this time, but how many other students and groups suffer such assaults on their liberty in silence? […]

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  • Mandatory Cell Phones Can Track Students at Montclair State

    November 27, 2007

    Thanks to the Drudge Report, FIRE became aware today of a new mandatory cell phone requirement at Montclair State University in New Jersey. Jay Dow reports for WCBS that students are required to pay for the phones themselves—at least $420 per year, depending on the level of service, added to their campus bill. The phones include GPS tracking technology, but the students do not seem to be required to have their phones with them at any particular time. Here’s the ominous part, as Dow reports: “What it does is allow students to have an extra pair [of eyes] or group […]

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