William Paterson University

Location: Wayne, New Jersey
Website: http://ww2.wpunj.edu/
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 3rd Circuit

Speech Code Rating

William Paterson University has been given the speech code rating Red. A red light university has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech. Read more here.

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

    July 5, 2005

    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 […]

    » Read More

Red Light Policies

  • Student Handbook: Sexual Harassment Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Sexual harassment encompasses any sexual attention that is unwanted. Sexual harassment can be verbal, visual, or physical. It can range from repeated unwelcome sexual flirtation and inappropriate gender based put downs of individuals or groups of people to physical abuses, such as sexual assault or rape.

    Sexual harassment includes but is not limited to: Gender Harassment: generalized gender based remarks and behavior Seductive Behavior: inappropriate, unwanted, and offensive physical or verbal sexual advances

    As reported in Sexual Harassment on Campus: A Policy and Program of Deterrence by the American Council on Education, examples of harassment include, but are not limited to: … Demeaning or derogatory gender-based comments about a particular group, whether
    sexual or not; … Offensive, crude language; … Behavior of a sexual nature that discomforts or humiliates and demonstrates
    insensitivity.

    » Read More


Yellow Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Demonstration Guidelines and Procedures 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies

    A. Regarding organized demonstrations: 1. All persons or organizations intending to stage demonstrations on The William Paterson University campus or at events sponsored by the University at off-campus sites, must contact the Vice President of Student Development (or designee) one week prior to the event. The Vice President of Student Development will designate an appropriate area for the demonstration, i.e., one which will not restrict access to buildings or facilities or otherwise obstruct the conduct of normal activities. The Vice President of Student Development shall notify the individual or group of his/her decision regarding time, place, and manner of the event as soon as possible to allow for

    general notification.

    B. Regarding spontaneous demonstrations: 1. Because not all conditions, events, or actions that stimulate dissent may themselves be foreseeable, and because demonstrations may emerge under such circumstances, there is an expectation that spontaneous demonstrations occur from time to time. 2. Under these circumstances it is the responsibility of both the Vice President of Student Development (or designee) and the demonstrating parties to cooperate with the aim of supporting the rights of all and protecting the safety of all while enabling the expression of opinion. 3. The Vice President of Student Development and dissenting parties will therefore negotiate: a) To seek to remedy the situation which gives rise to the demonstration, if possible or appropriate, or b) To provide a forum for the expression of opinion and the continuation of debate and dialogue that seeks to resolve conflict, find remedy, or allow for meaningful expression of ideas.

    » Read More

  • Residence Life Handbook: Postings 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Posting Policies

    The University reserves the right to remove any sign/posting on public display (including residence hall windows) that is considered against the mission of the University. Examples include, but are not limited to, those considered sexually, racially, or ethnically offensive. … Posting must be authorized through the Residence Life Central Office in the lower level of White Hall.

    » Read More

  • Residence Life Handbook: Physical Abuse/Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Any willful, intentional, and persistent act designed to annoy or cause an individual undue emotional stress is not acceptable nor tolerated, and is subject to disciplinary action.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Student Code of Conduct- Proscribed Conduct 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Unwanted sexual interactions, including verbal and physical acts or threats.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Student Code of Conduct- Proscribed Conduct 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes

    Any other action by a student or recognized student group on or off campus that, in the judgment of University officials, has an adverse effect on the University.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Student Code of Conduct- Proscribed Conduct 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies

    Assault, physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, stalking, bullying, cyber bullying, coercion and/or other conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person.

    Harassment, intimidation, or bullying which includes any, single or series of, gesture[s], written, verbal or physical act[s], or electronic communication[s] that is reasonably perceived as being motivated by an actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or a mental, physical or sensory disability, or by any other distinguishing characteristic, and that a reasonable person should have known will have the effect of: 1. Physically or emotionally harming a student, damaging the student’s property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of such harm, or 2. insulting or demeaning any student or group of students in such a way as to cause disruption in or interference with, the orderly operation of the University, or 3. creating a hostile educational environment for the student by severely and pervasively infringing on the rights of the student and interfering with a student’s education or causing physical or emotional harm to the student 4. Such action is prohibited whether it takes place on or off University property or substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of any function sponsored by the University.

    » Read More


Green Light Policies
  • Fighting Against Political Correctness on Campus

    March 1, 2006

    FIRE defends student freedoms and fights a university that won’t let students protest against a professor who called 9/11 victims ‘little Eichmanns’ by Dave Eberhart NewsMax   Attached Files Fighting Against Political Correctness on Campus, PDF, 838 KB , NewsMax

    » Read More
  • University Drops Charges Against Student for Opposition to Homosexuality

    December 12, 2005

    William Paterson University on Wednesday dropped sexual harassment charges against a student employee who had expressed his religion’s opposition to homosexuality. In March, Dr. Arlene Scala, a professor of women’s studies at the New Jersey university, sent a mass e-mail inviting students and employees to a screening of “Ruth and Connie: Every Room in the House,” a documentary about a lesbian couple. Jihad Daniel, a 63-year-old graduate student and computer technician who is a convert to Islam, sent a private e-mail to Scala asking to be excluded from future invitations because homosexual relationships “are perversions.” Daniel also complained about the […]

    » Read More
  • Keep ‘Adam and Steve’ Out of His In-Box. Is That So Hateful?

    December 11, 2005

    Please visit The New York Times’ website to read this article.

    » Read More
  • New High-Court Nominee Has Championed Free Speech on Campuses and Questioned Policies on Diversity

    November 11, 2005

    President Bush’s latest nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Samuel A. Alito Jr., is a federal appeals-court judge who has championed free speech on campuses while taking a skeptical view of policies intended to protect minority students from verbal harassment or give the minority employees of educational institutions an edge over their colleagues.   Many Republican lawmakers and conservative commentators cheered the president’s announcement last week that he had picked Judge Alito to succeed Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who plans to retire. But several liberal groups immediately declared their opposition to Judge Alito, and key Democratic senators made it clear […]

    » Read More
  • Media Cover E-mail Issue

    September 14, 2005

    When William Paterson University employee Jihad Daniel, 63, checked his student e-mail on March 8, he did not know his name would appear in newspapers across the country. “I thought I was expressing my opinion and that’s about it—two or three little lines,” said Daniel, who works in Information Systems and is a Communications Media graduate student. Dr. Arlene Holpp Scala, Chair of WPU’s Department of Women’s Studies, had sent out an e-mail announcement about an upcoming film at WPU titled, “Ruth and Connie: Every Room in the House.” According to the e-mail, the lesbian relationship movie was being shown […]

    » Read More
  • Group Defends Campus Free-Speech Rights

    August 27, 2005

    PHILADELPHIA — When part-time college student Jihad Daniel received a campuswide e-mail invitation to see a movie about lesbians, he balked.”These are perversions,” he replied to the e-mail’s sender, asking that he no longer be sent information about “Connie and Sally” or “Adam and Steve.” The next thing he knew, the 68-year-old student at William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J., was accused of violating the state school’s anti-discrimination policy.A letter of reprimand followed in June, describing his brief comments to the sender—the head of the women’s studies program—as “derogatory or demeaning.” He took his case to a Philadelphia organization that […]

    » Read More
  • Will Colleges Respect Your Child’s Rights?

    August 24, 2005

    Hundreds of thousands of families across North America are now preparing their children for college. As parents hustle to buy clothing, repair secondhand cars and otherwise fret about the impending separation, they should consider how their son or daughter’s human rights will fare on campus. Their freedom of speech is particularly vulnerable. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has just released its Speech Code of the Month Award for August, which recognizes abuses of First Amendment rights. The winner? Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, a public institution allegedly bound by the Constitution. Stockton’s speech code policies contain […]

    » Read More
  • Cyber Complaint

    August 5, 2005

    AP reports that an employee with William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J. , who was reprimanded for using a private email to describe gays as “perversions” says his rights were violated. Jihad Daniel, 68, of Hackensack, N.J. , made his comments in March in response to an email he received that had been sent university-wide by professor Arlene Holpp Scala. That message invited people to a film about lesbian relationships titled “Ruthie and Connie: Every Room in the House.” Daniel, who works repairing the university’s computer networks, responded in an email to Scala that he did not want to receive […]

    » Read More
  • University Student Disciplined For Objecting to Lesbianism

    July 29, 2005

    Jihad Daniel is a Muslim grad-student at William Paterson University . He received a mass e-mail from a professor inviting him to a film about lesbian relationships. At the bottom of the note it said to reply, and so he did. Greg Lukianoff is with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education ( FIRE ). “This is all he said. Do not send me any e-mail about ‘Connie and Sally’ and ‘Adam and Steve.’ These are perversions. The absence of God in higher education brings on confusion that is why in these classes the Creator of the heavens and the […]

    » Read More
  • Free speech under fire at New Jersey university

    July 28, 2005

    Of all places, public universities should be viewed as havens of free speech, intellectual marketplaces where knowledge and ideas are permitted to flow freely. Obviously, the market is closed at William Paterson University in New Jersey. A controversy began brewing in march when Arlene Scala, chair of the women’s studies department, sent out a mass, unsolicited e-mail advertising a screening of the movie Ruthie and Connie: Every Room in the House, described as a “lesbian relationship story.” Nothing wrong so far. Jihad Daniel, a 63-year-old student and employee of the university, took offense to the e-mail, however. He replied privately, […]

    » Read More
  • Insanity at WPU: Mr. Daniel’s censure

    July 27, 2005

    He didn’t hit anyone. He didn’t bully anyone. He didn’t utter any of the slurs about lesbians that all men have heard and that no decent men use. But he responded critically to a posting on a William Paterson University bulletin board and now stands censured for “threatening” a professor. If Jihad Daniel, 68, a graduate student and computer tech at WPU, “threatened” Professor Arlene Holpp Scala in an e-mail, then any woman who ever responded to any man impatiently also was guilty of threatening. If to “threaten” is to express intent to cause harm, Jihad Daniel is an innocent […]

    » Read More
  • Intolerance Police Strike in NJ

    July 25, 2005

    Jihad Daniel, a student employee at William Paterson University in New Jersey, got an unsolicited e-mail from Professor Arlene Holpp Scala, chairwoman of the department of women’s studies. It was an invitation to view and discuss a film described as “a lesbian relationship story.” Daniel responded privately in a return e-mail, requesting he not be solicited in the future with “any mail about ‘Connie and Sally’ and ‘Adam and Steve.’” “These are perversions,” he wrote March 8. “The absence of God in higher education brings on confusion. That is why in these classes the Creator of the heavens and the […]

    » Read More
  • Taking a policy too far

    July 22, 2005

    WILLIAM Paterson University went too far when it formally reprimanded a Muslim employee for writing in an e-mail to a professor that homosexual relationships are “perversions.” The university acted on an overzealous interpretation of the state’s anti-discrimination policy. In so doing, it unfortunately provided grist to the national Christian right in its complaint that so-called liberal academe squashes free speech among students and employees. The decision to discipline the employee also forestalled other more creative and constructive solutions that must be sought for the inevitable dust-ups in our culturally diverse society. The problem began when a women’s studies professor sent […]

    » Read More
  • School Worker Fights Lesbian Insult Reprimand

    July 22, 2005

    (1010 WINS) (Wayne, NJ) An employee at William Paterson University who was reprimanded for using a private e-mail to describe homosexuals as “perversions” says his rights were violated. Jihad Daniel, 68, of Hackensack, made his comments in March in response to an e-mail he received that had been sent university-wide by professor Arlene Holpp Scala. That message invited people to a film about lesbian relationships, titled “Ruthie and Connie: Every Room in the House.” Daniel, who works repairing the university’s computer networks, responded in an e-mail to Scala that he did not want to receive messages about “Ruthie and Connie.” […]

    » Read More
  • Worker fights college over homesexual stand

    July 21, 2005

    Worker fights college over homesexual stand WAYNE (AP) — An employee at William Paterson University who was reprimanded for using a private e-mail to describe homosexuals as “perversions” says his rights were violated. Jihad Daniel, 68, of Hackensack, made his comments in March in response to an e-mail he received that had been sent universitywide by professor Arlene Holpp Scala. The university reprimanded Daniel, saying his comments were derogatory and demeaning. Daniel challenged the reprimand.

    » Read More
  • Anti-gay message sparks WPU debate

    July 21, 2005

    William Paterson University’s reprimand of an employee over an anti-gay e-mail he sent to a professor has sparked a debate over free speech. Computer systems technologist and part-time student Jihad Daniel said that the e-mail he sent to a professor in March was a simple expression of opinion. But Arlene Holpp Scala, the professor he sent it to, said the e-mail, which equated homosexuality with “perversion,” was threatening. Now, the Philadelphia-based free-speech advocacy group FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) is claiming that Daniel’s rights were violated when he was reprimanded by the university for his e-mail. “The university […]

    » Read More
  • School employee fights reprimand after insulting lesbians

    July 21, 2005

    WAYNE, N.J. — An employee at William Paterson University who was reprimanded for using a private e-mail to describe homosexuals as “perversions” says his rights were violated. Jihad Daniel, 68, of Hackensack, made his comments in March in response to an e-mail he received that had been sent university-wide by professor Arlene Holpp Scala. That message invited people to a film about lesbian relationships, titled “Ruthie and Connie: Every Room in the House.” Daniel, who works repairing the university’s computer networks, responded in an e-mail to Scala that he did not want to receive messages about “Ruthie and Connie.” “These […]

    » Read More
  • 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 […]

    » Read More
  • FIRE, Carol Iannone, and the Amy Gutmann Halloween Costume Controversy

    November 7, 2006

    On Phi Beta Cons today, Carol Iannone criticizes FIRE’s reaction to the Halloween party picture of University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann with Saad Saadi, a Penn student who dressed as a suicide bomber for Halloween. Iannone says, in part:  Contrary to the libertarian view, a good, free, ordered society does not simply proceed on its own. And I am shocked at conservatives and at FIRE for giving her a pass, and chalking up the costume to the ‘freedom’ they fear will somehow be curtailed if persons in authority are asked to stand for civil behavior, and likening the costume […]

    » Read More
  • Bible Studies: Not So Bad After All

    March 14, 2006

    FIRE’s press release today announces a tremendous victory for religious liberty throughout the 13 schools in the University of Wisconsin System. Since last November, the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire (UWEC) has been under attack for a policy that banned RAs from leading Bible studies—or studies of any other holy book—in their dorm rooms, on the grounds that open religious practice might make RAs less “approachable.” After six months of pressure from FIRE, the UW system’s Board of Regents finally settled the controversy on Friday by approving a policy that gives RAs the right to “participate in, organize, and lead any […]

    » Read More
  • Celebrating One Year of ‘The Torch’

    February 28, 2006

    One year ago this month, FIRE launched The Torch as a decisive step into the daily debate over civil liberties on campus. The blog format has proved to be a great forum for FIRE staff members to introduce and follow up on FIRE cases, discuss current legal and policy issues affecting campus rights, point out interesting articles and other blog posts, and present FIRE’s reflections on campus controversies that have not been adopted as FIRE cases.   We are especially proud of the scrutiny of misguided campus policies that has been generated by The Torch’s “Speech Code of the Month” […]

    » Read More
  • ‘Sexual Harassment Policies Need Reform’

    February 15, 2006

    Do not miss Wendy McElroy’s piece on the abuse of “sexual harassment” from grade school through college. As we wrote on the home page: McElroy aptly rebukes the AAUW for “the harm wrought to children by biased reports that lump ‘comments, jokes, teasing, gestures, or looks’ in with real violence.” FIRE salutes Wendy McElroy for bravely drawing attention to the ongoing national scandal of overbroad and vague campus sexual harassment policies. The misuse of sexual harassment rationales has been a constant theme in FIRE’s work, with students and faculty alike demonstrtating a tendency to cry “harassment” any time they are […]

    » Read More
  • When sexual harassment is a joke

    January 31, 2006

    BY THE YEAR 2020, every American will be a victim. Give it another 15 years, and there will be a study that puts every man, woman and child into one aggrieved group or another. In that spirit, a new study by the American Association of University Women found that “nearly two-thirds of college students experience sexual harassment at some point during college.” When you consider what the AAUW’s definition of sexual harassment is — “unwanted or unwelcome sexual behavior that interferes with your life” — it is surprising that the percentage is so low. The study even lists “sexual comments, […]

    » Read More
  • Censorship is Everybody’s Problem

    December 29, 2005

    FIRE’s press release from yesterday details some of the cases that made 2005 FIRE’s busiest year ever. If 2005 made anything clear, it is that no student, regardless of his or her views, is safe from censorship on today’s college and university campuses. This year, we intervened on behalf of students censored for expressing viewpoints spanning the political spectrum: Seminole Community College in Florida refused to allow a student to distribute literature from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. After FIRE intervened, the college changed course and allowed the student to distribute her literature. Northeastern Illinois University decided to […]

    » Read More
  • Cal State’s Spineless Defense

    December 20, 2005

    FIRE’s case at Cal State San Bernardino is making national headlines today. An Associated Press piece is running across California, and the San Bernardino County Sun, the Riverside Press Enterprise, and several other media outlets have published their own stories on Cal State’s assault on religious liberty. FIRE’s own Greg Lukianoff has also been taking to the airwaves all day. All the news articles will continue to be archived on our case page, and if you peruse them, you’ll see one thing over and over: Cal State’s exceedingly lame justification for its actions. It goes a bit like this: Cal […]

    » Read More
  • University Clears Worker Punished for Stating Objections to Homosexuality

    December 13, 2005

    A student employee at William Patterson University (WPU) in New Jersey has been cleared of sexual harassment charges. The exoneration of 63-year-old part-time student and campus technician Jihad Daniel comes some time after the university’s initial reprimand of him for raising objections to homosexuality in his reply to an e-mail promoting a movie and discussion about lesbian relationships. Initially, WPU found Daniel guilty of violating the school’s discrimination policy for privately referring to homosexuality and lesbianism as “perversions” and requesting that he receive no further e-mail “about ‘Connie and Sally’ and ‘Adam and Steve.’” His comments were written in response […]

    » Read More
  • FIRE’s Work Lauded in Newspapers Nationwide

    December 12, 2005

    It’s been a good couple of days for Justice Brandeis’ maxim that “sunlight is the best disinfectant.” Thanks to articles in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, news of FIRE’s efforts to disinfect the swamps of repression currently passing for American universities is reaching an ever-increasing number of people.   On Sunday, The New York Times covered our recent victory at William Paterson University. (Read it at the Times website if you are a TimesSelect subscriber.) The article by Peter Applebome ran on the front page of the Metro section and thoroughly denounced […]

    » Read More
  • Muslim college worker wins appeal to have personnel reprimand erased

    December 8, 2005

    A William Paterson University employee won an appeal this week to have a letter removed from his permanent file that reprimanded him for sending an e-mail to a professor condemning homosexuality. Jihad Daniel, a graduate student and campus employee, sent the head of the women’s studies department a one-paragraph note last March. He complained about a mass e-mail she sent announcing an on-campus showing of a film about a lesbian relationship. Daniel, who is Muslim, e-mailed the professor asking not to be included in any further announcements about events involving homosexuality. “These are perversions,” Daniel wrote the professor. “The absence […]

    » Read More
  • False Harassment Accusations: A Moral Outrage

    December 7, 2005

    FIRE proudly announced today that Jihad Daniel, a student and employee at William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J., has finally been cleared of outrageous sexual harassment charges for the “offense” of expressing a religious disagreement with homosexuality and requesting that he not be sent any more mass e-mails about it. That someone of the Islamic faith would have a religious objection to homosexuality should surprise no one, but even the private expression of religious belief can get you in trouble on America’s campuses. And harassment is serious trouble. Even the smallest hint of harassment in a person’s file can be […]

    » Read More
  • Victory for Free Speech and Religious Liberty at William Paterson University

    December 7, 2005

    WAYNE, N.J., December 7, 2005—A Muslim student employee at William Paterson University (WPU) in New Jersey has finally been cleared of baseless sexual harassment charges. With the help of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), Jihad Daniel forced the public university to officially revoke the punishment it inflicted on him after he expressed his religious opinion of homosexuality in a private e-mail to a professor. “This is a great day for religious and expressive freedom on campus,” said FIRE President David French. “WPU has finally come to its senses and recognized that the First Amendment’s protection for expressing […]

    » Read More
  • ‘Harassment’ reprimand dropped against college worker

    December 7, 2005

    NEWARK, N.J. – William Paterson University has rescinded a reprimand it had given to an employee who used an e-mail to describe homosexuals as “perversions.” Ruling on a grievance brought by his union, a university hearing officer found no evidence to support the charge that Roy “Jihad” Daniel had violated New Jersey’s regulations governing harassment when he replied to a professor who had sent out an e-mail inviting people to watch a film about a lesbian relationship. “They should have never done this in the first place,” Daniel said Wednesday. “I thought it was ludicrous from the beginning. “I had […]

    » Read More
  • Hey, Derek Zoolander: Stay away from Flagstaff!

    November 16, 2005

    Remember Derek Zoolander? Many college students do. He is Ben Stiller’s character in the 2001 comedy “Zoolander.” And it’s a good thing he didn’t attend Northern Arizona University. At one point in the movie, Derek says, “Rufus, Brint, and Meekus were like brothers to me. And when I say brother, I don’t mean, like, an actual brother, but I mean it like the way black people use it. Which is more meaningful, I think.” To most people, that’s funny. To NAU, that would be harassment. Let me explain. NAU’s “Safe Working and Learning Policy”  recently earned the dubious distinction of […]

    » Read More
  • Art and the Myth of the ‘Right Not to Be Offended’

    October 21, 2005

    Check out the fascinating story (“Censoring Art or Protecting Workers?”) about censored artwork in Inside Higher Ed. Apparently the University of Michigan at Flint is demanding that a graphic drawing called Hermaphrodite be removed from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Center because it is creating a “hostile environment” for workers.   Anyone who pays attention to the battle for free speech on campus knows that “hostile environment” is the most abused rationale for silencing expression on campus. As I wrote in a recent column about a legal decision that threatens to badly expand what constitutes “hostile environment”: Claims of […]

    » Read More
  • Feelings vs. Freedom

    October 14, 2005

    FIRE was pleased to see that on September 14, the Pioneer Times—the student newspaper at William Paterson University—covered our case there. Since we first exposed the ongoing injustice to student and employee Jihad Daniel over the summer, when the Pioneer Times was not being published, the incident didn’t really have a chance to permeate the campus until now. And permeating it apparently is: graduate student Robin Kavanagh has written a truly disturbing piece in response to the news story.   Kavanagh’s essential argument is that “those who have spoken out citing freedom of speech issues have missed one important piece […]

    » Read More
  • Grover Furr Ignores Facts, Again

    September 9, 2005

    In the comments section below my and Azhar Majeed’s Inside Higher Ed article, the infamous Grover Furr makes some outrageous accusations against my and FIRE’s writings.  He claims we do not “substantiate” our claims, that our articles are “dishonest” and that our articles “do not merit publication.”  Here is my response: Professor Furr,   In claiming that my and Azhar Majeed’s article is “dishonest” and that we do not “substantiate” our claims, you make multiple unsubstantiated, dishonest, and willfully ignorant statements of your own.  FIRE documents all of its cases and provides access to that information through links to primary […]

    » Read More
  • FIRE Starts Off the School Year with a Bang

    September 6, 2005

    People often mention the “dog days of August.” Supposedly it’s a long, hot month during which most people are on vacation and nothing really happens, especially in the media. But it seems Greg Lukianoff, FIRE’s director of legal and public advocacy, didn’t get that memo. Dog days or not, Greg managed to author three important op-eds that are now being published—in Inside Higher Ed, the Boston Globe, and the Chronicle of Higher Education—just as many students are heading back to their campuses and, unfortunately, having their rights violated. Greg’s Inside Higher Ed article (co-written with FIRE summer legal intern Azhar […]

    » Read More
  • Playing a Dangerous Game

    September 2, 2005

    When people think about a “threat,” they tend to imagine a variety of dark scenarios — from the mugger in the alley who says, “Your money or your life,” to the chilling answering machine message where a faceless person says, “I will kill you.” Threats like those have never been considered “free speech.” In fact, true threats are a crime. In general, for a comment to qualify as a true threat, it must cause reasonable people to believe that they are going to be physically harmed. Unfortunately, many colleges — eager to ban speech that administrators or students do not […]

    » Read More
  • AU President Placed on Leave

    August 25, 2005

    Benjamin Ladner, the president of American University, has been placed on paid leave “pending the outcome of an investigation into personal and travel expenses.” Ladner is accused of “us[ing] university funds to pay for the use of a French chef, an engagement party for his son, trips to Europe, and $200,000 in drainage and landscaping work at his home.”   Ladner, of course, is no friend of civil liberties, as FIRE’s run-in with him in 2002 proved. But even someone who denied a student critic the most basic free speech and due process rights still deserves the latter while he […]

    » Read More
  • Fat Chance

    August 25, 2005

    Wendy McElroy’s latest Fox News column asks parents an important question: “Will Colleges Respect Your Child’s Rights?” The short answer, of course, is “fat chance.”   As evidence, McElroy points out Richard Stockton College, FIRE’s Speech Code of the Month “winner” for August, as well as our appalling case at William Paterson University. McElroy also plugs FIRE’s Spotlight and our Guides series as tools for parents. Her advice for parents is more than appropriate: Parallels between Orwell and current academia can be carried too far. But the existence of clear parallels should concern every parent who has a child heading […]

    » Read More
  • Nontraditional Students

    August 18, 2005

    One of the more interesting aspects of our case submissions is that a disproportionately high number come from “nontraditional” students—those students who are older, married, or often have substantial work experience. Many of our more sensational and egregious cases—including the recent ban on showing The Passion of the Christ at a college in Florida, Scott McConnell’s expulsion from Le Moyne College in New York, Bill Felkner’s troubles at Rhode Island College, and Jihad Daniel’s case at William Paterson University—have involved students in their thirties, forties, and (in Daniel’s case) sixties.   I think there is a good reason for this […]

    » Read More
  • FIRE on National Television TONIGHT!

    August 15, 2005

    Tonight’s edition of Fox News Channel’s Fox Report with Shepard Smith, which airs at 7 p.m. ET, will will feature FIRE President David French. David will be discussing FIRE’s case at William Paterson University  in New Jersey. Tune in tonight to learn more about FIRE’s efforts to halt the university’s outrageous trampling on student Jihad Daniel’s rights.

    » Read More
  • New Jersey University Student Punished for Voicing Opposition to Homosexuality in Email

    August 12, 2005

    NEW JERSEY, August 11, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The despotism of the leftist establishment on American university campuses is a standard topic of most conservative magazines and websites. The war over freedom of speech is especially fierce among the tenured neo-Marxists who govern academia according to one group. In a recent salvo, the Philadelphia-based Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, (FIRE) has come to the defence of graduate student, Jihad Daniel, at William Paterson University. 63-year-old Daniel, who is both a student and employee of the university, is being punished for “discrimination” and “harassment” for a private email he sent objecting […]

    » Read More
  • William Paterson University’s Disgrace

    August 10, 2005

    Fully understanding that geographical distance is no reason not to weigh in on affronts to the most crucial liberties, the editorial board of The Daily Cougar, the University of Houston’s student newspaper, has written a superb piece on FIRE’s case at William Paterson University. After summarizing the facts of the case, the editorial board correctly points out: As a student and employee, it stands to reason that Daniel should have the right to express his views to the faculty and staff of the publicly funded institution, especially considering he didn’t even begin the exchange. His message was in no way […]

    » Read More
  • Religious Discrimination at William Paterson?

    August 5, 2005

    As Greg noted yesterday, Jihad Daniel’s ordeal at William Patterson University is generating an enormous amount of outraged email. Several individuals have argued that the university is not just violating Daniel’s First Amendment rights, but also discriminating against his religious beliefs in a manner that violates New Jersey’s own anti-discrimination policy. As one recent correspondent noted: I wonder if Dr. Speert realizes that the university’s actions are in violation of the same code it professes to uphold. In this case the threat in the workplace is a blatant attack no not only his right of speech, but is an attack on […]

    » Read More
  • Remembering the Principles at Stake in the Jihad Daniel Case

    August 3, 2005

    The response to the remarkable case at William Paterson University has been overwhelming. FIRE has received dozens of thoughtful and eloquent emails arguing that it is simply outrageous that WPU, a public university, did not show the same respect for free speech for Jihad Daniel’s point of view as it did for professor Arlene Holpp Scala’s. Sadly, a tiny minority of the responses to WPU have not been so eloquent or thoughtful, but rather rely on crude attacks on homosexuality instead of upon the essential and universal principles of liberty at stake in this case. FIRE, of course, believes everyone […]

    » Read More
  • The Media Discover William Paterson University Student’s Plight

    August 3, 2005

    FIRE’s efforts to defend William Paterson University master’s student Jihad Daniel, who has been unjustly punished for “harassment” and “discrimination” for privately replying to a professor’s mass e-mail stating his religious objections to its content, have drawn well-deserved public attention. Wendy McElroy of Fox News commented on the case in “On Campus, Only Some Speech Protected,” while Joyce Howard Price reported on the case for the Washington Times.  New York’s Newsday ran the Associated Press story on the controversy, while William Paterson’s home state of New Jersey featured news articles in the Star-Ledger (Newark) and the North Jersey Herald News […]

    » Read More
  • University rebukes employee for e-mail decrying lesbianism

    July 31, 2005

    A state university in New Jersey has reprimanded a student-employee for describing homosexuality as a “perversion” in a private e-mail that he sent a female professor, after she sent him an unsolicited announcement about a university event that promoted lesbian relationships. But Jihad Daniel, 63, who works for William Paterson University repairing computer hardware and takes graduate-level courses part time, said he was only expressing his Muslim religious beliefs when he responded to professor Arlene Holpp Scala, head of the university’s women’s studies department. Mr. Daniel wants a letter of reprimand from the university’s president removed from his permanent employee […]

    » Read More
  • WPU Censures Student-Employee for Expressing Biblical Beliefs Against Homosexuality

    July 29, 2005

    (AgapePress) – A 63-year-old campus technician and student at a New Jersey university who sent a private e-mail describing lesbianism and homosexuality as “perversions” has been formally reprimanded by the school for violating its non-discrimination policy. Part-time student Jihad Daniel made his comment in response to an unsolicited e-mail he received from William Paterson University professor Arlene Holpp Scala, inviting people to a film and discussion about lesbian relationships. According to a WorldNetDaily article, Daniel responded to the message privately in a return e-mail, requesting that he receive no further mail “about ‘Connie and Sally’ and ‘Adam and Steve’” — […]

    » Read More
  • ‘That Is Insanity’

    July 27, 2005

    Columnist Jeffrey Page of the Bergen (N.J.) Record weighs in today on the treatment of William Paterson University (WPU) student and employee Jihad Daniel, who made the “mistake” of expressing a religious opinion over e-mail to the wrong person and found himself accused of discrimination and harassment (FIRE’s full coverage of this scandal is here). Page makes the unconventional choice (for a newspaper columnist) of letting someone else have the last word—and it’s very effective. The last paragraph of his column: Here is the eloquent Mr. Jihad Daniel in his failed appeal to [WPU President] Speert: “People disagree with my […]

    » Read More
  • ‘On Campus, Only Some Free Speech Protected’

    July 27, 2005

    Check out Wendy McElroy’s column on the ongoing scandal at William Paterson University. Hats off to Wendy for bringing more attention to this crucial and extraordinary case!

    » Read More
  • Facing the Consequences of One’s Actions

    July 26, 2005

    A recent front-page story in the Herald News (another North Jersey Media Group paper) on FIRE’s case at William Paterson University contains some highly interesting tidbits. After a fairly straightforward exposition of the facts of the case, the piece turns to the professor whose complaint sparked the controversy: “It creates a hostile environment,” she said of [Jihad Daniel’s] e-mail. “I teach about violence, and I know that violence is oftentimes preceded by verbal attacks.” Verbal attacks? Have you read Daniel’s email? There was nothing “attacking” about it. He just stated his opinion. Moreover, Scala’s comments on violence suggest that while […]

    » Read More
  • On Campus, Only Some Free Speech Protected

    July 26, 2005

    The publicly funded William Paterson University in New Jersey reprimanded Jihad Daniel for discrimination and sexual harassment. The 63-year-old Daniel, who is both an employee and a student at the university, is now at the center of a free speech controversy. He is also a fine example of the sleight-of-hand being called “due process” by universities that quash politically incorrect speech. The facts are uncontested. On March 7, Arlene Holpp Scala, chair of the Women’s Studies Department, sent Daniel an unsolicited e-mail announcement of an upcoming film event: “‘Ruthie and Connie: Every Room in the House,’ a lesbian relationship story.” […]

    » Read More
  • Well, Yes, But…

    July 25, 2005

    The Record, a North Jersey paper, editorialized Friday against William Paterson University’s actions, which of course makes FIRE very happy. But some of the editorial board’s reasoning is quite suspect and deserves addressing here.   First, The Record refers to FIRE as “the national conservative group that’s representing [Jihad Daniel] and that has represented many Christian students claiming discrimination at campuses around the country.” But FIRE is not conservative; it is nonpartisan. Even a cursory glance at FIRE’s case archive reveals that we do not impose any ideological litmus tests when helping students or professors.   Perhaps more troublingly, The […]

    » Read More
  • Letter to the Editor

    July 25, 2005

    Regarding “Taking a policy too far” (Editorial, July 22), in which The Record criticized William Paterson University’s punishment of Jihad Daniel for sending an e-mail disapproving of homosexuality, I’d like to add a couple of points. First, Daniel’s status as a graduate student prevails over his status as an employee. The e-mail to which he responded (which advertised a movie about a lesbian relationship) was related to the school curriculum, not his work duties. WPU’s attempt to make this an employment matter is a smokescreen. No student should ever be called in by government officials to be told that his […]

    » Read More
  • In Jihad Daniel’s Own Words

    July 22, 2005

    Jihad Daniel’s case at William Paterson University is particularly striking because Daniel himself argued his own case quite forcefully and eloquently in his March 24 email defense sent to university administrators. While reviewing his email, I thought it was worth sharing in its entirety, not only as a case document, but also as a fine example of a student knowing and respectfully asserting his rights without a hint of hesitation or doubt. Here it is: Gentlemen, I greet you all with the universal greeting of Peace be unto you. My response to the false charge is that I categorically deny […]

    » Read More
  • Prof Gives William Paterson Prez an ‘F’

    July 22, 2005

    Norman Levitt, a professor at Rutgers, recently forwarded us a copy of an insightful and biting email he sent to William Paterson University President Arnold Speert after reading about the university’s censorship of student Jihad Daniel. We have reproduced it below with Professor Levitt’s permission, and encourage all lovers of liberty to join him in letting President Speert know the error of his administration’s ways. Speert’s email address is in our press release. Dear President Speert:   I write with regard to the bizarre actions of William Paterson University, endorsed and defended by you, as it seems, in its attempt […]

    » Read More
  • First Amendment 101

    July 21, 2005

    The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land. All legislation passed by the federal government and by state governments must be consistent with the Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court of the United States, otherwise that legislation is invalid. The rights guaranteed to Americans by the Bill of Rights are inviolable by the government. All Americans should understand this; this concept is central to the unique freedom that we enjoy as Americans. Sadly, however, it seems that many Americans, including the chief law enforcement official of the State of New Jersey, do not understand this at […]

    » Read More
  • The Unbearable Absurdity of New Jersey Non-Discrimination Law

    July 21, 2005

    Perhaps the worst aspect of the already-outrageous Jihad Daniel case is the New Jersey attorney general’s response to FIRE’s letter protesting William Paterson University’s punishment of Daniel. In his response, the attorney general takes the position that even a single “derogatory” or “demeaning” comment directed at “members of protected categories” is unlawfully discriminatory. Putting aside for a moment the inherently subjective and imprecise definitions of “derogatory” and “demeaning,” to understand the true breadth of New Jersey’s non-discrimination law, one need only look at the list of protected categories. In New Jersey, the protected categories are: race; creed; religion; color; national […]

    » Read More
  • Worker’s censure ignites debate

    July 21, 2005

    WAYNE – A William Paterson University employee censured for calling a film on lesbian relationships a “perversion” has sparked a debate over where free speech ends and discrimination begins. Jihad Daniel, 68, of Hackensack said he was simply expressing his Muslim religious beliefs in the e-mail to a WPU educator advertising the film. But university administrators contend he violated the university’s anti-discrimination policy. And the e-mail’s recipient said she felt the e-mail qualifies as harassment, not free speech. The dispute began in March when Professor Arlene Holpp Scala of the women’s studies department sent out a universitywide e-mail announcing a […]

    » Read More
  • Reprimanded college worker has an ally

    July 21, 2005

    A national civil rights group has taken up the case of a William Paterson University employee who was reprimanded for sending a professor an e-mail describing homosexuality as a “perversion.” Jihad Daniel, a graduate student and university employee, was found guilty last month of violating state discrimination and harassment laws after he sent the head of the women’s studies department the e-mail. In it he complained about an invitation he received to an on-campus showing of a film about a lesbian relationship. “These are perversions,” Daniel wrote. “The absence of God in higher education brings on confusion. That is why […]

    » Read More
  • Jihad’s Struggle at William Paterson University

    July 20, 2005

    In Arabic, “jihad” means “struggle.” On March 8, 2005, 63-year-old Jihad Daniel began his own struggle when he faced, yet again, an inbox flooded with unwanted university announcements and mass emails. A little irritated by the proliferation of announcements in his inbox that he never signed up for, he encountered one email promoting a film about a “lesbian relationship story” that he felt called for a response. Indeed, the email itself had a prominent “mail to” line that linked to an email address belonging to the organizer of the event.   Not knowing who the organizer was, or even whether […]

    » Read More
  • William Paterson University Tramples Student’s Constitutional Rights

    July 20, 2005

    Charges Student with Discrimination and Harassment for ‘Demeaning’ Homosexuality WAYNE, N.J., July 20, 2005—William Paterson University in New Jersey has convicted student employee Jihad Daniel of “discrimination” and “harassment”—without due process—for describing homosexuality as a “perversion” in a private response to a professor’s unsolicited announcement of a university event that promoted a positive view of lesbian relationships. “William Paterson’s punishment of Mr. Daniel is a direct attack on freedom of speech,” remarked David French, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which intervened on Daniel’s behalf. “For the university to convict a student of ‘harassment’ for sending […]

    » Read More