University of Alaska Fairbanks: Complaint Over Student Newspaper’s Articles Results in Months-Long Harassment Investigation

    University of Alaska Fairbanks student newspaper The Sun Star was subjected to sexual harassment investigations nearly a year after Professor Jensine Anahita filed complaints.

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    University of Kansas: Anti-NRA Tweet Results in Professor’s Suspension

    The University of Kansas placed Professor David Guth on administrative leave after he posted a controversial tweet about the NRA.

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    In Defending Free Speech, Bollinger’s Rhetoric Doesn’t Match Results

    The American Constitution Society’s Harvard Law & Policy Review recently ran an engaging interview with Columbia University President Lee Bollinger in which Bollinger discusses free speech issues on both a national and global level. I recommend reading it in full.   At one point in the interview, HLPR asks Bollinger about the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit’s recent holding in Ward v. Polite, arising from a claim by former counseling graduate student Julea Ward against Eastern Michigan University. (For more on that case, read Will Creeley’s two-part breakdown here and here.) Regarding the Sixth Circuit’s opinion, […]

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    Facebook rant results in student’s suspension

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

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    Facebook rant results in student’s suspension

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

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    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Heckler’s Veto Results in Termination of Emeritus Professor’s Network Access

    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) succumbed to the “heckler’s veto” by revoking Emeritus Professor Elliot Cramer’s network access because of outside complaints about a website link to an organization that advocates for animal welfare. Despite telling the complainant that the dispute was “not a University matter” and that the university did not monitor website content, UNC nevertheless demanded that Cramer remove the link from his website and later canceled his network access. FIRE wrote UNC in protest, and General Counsel Leslie Chambers Strohm replied stating that UNC would not restore Cramer’s network access, redefining Cramer’s reasonable, […]

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    At CSU Long Beach, Petition Drive Nearly Results in Firing of Student Editor

    A drama over press freedom has come to an end at California State University – Long Beach (CSULB) recently, when members of CSULB’s student government thought better of a petition to remove Kevin O’Brien as editor in chief of the Union Weekly, a student fee-funded opinion and humor magazine, on the basis of articles found offensive by members of the CSULB community.  As the Daily 49er, an independent CSULB publication, wrote of a recent protest against the Union Weekly: The protest stemmed from two Union Weekly articles. The first was a review critical of the 41st annual Pow Wow American Indian gathering. The article’s author and Union […]

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    JMU Upholds Trespassing Charge Against Student Reporter; Investigative Journalism Results in Year of Probation

    A couple of weeks ago, FIRE reported on an incident at James Madison University in which two reporters for the JMU newspaper The Breeze received disciplinary charges from the university after entering a residence hall to interview JMU students about a recent “peeping Tom” incident. Unfortunately, as the Breeze and the Student Press Law Center report, JMU has upheld a charge of trespassing against Katie Hibson, one of the two reporters charged, and has placed her on probation for one year. Both Hibson and Breeze Editor-in-Chief Tim Chapman had been charged by JMU with trespassing, disorderly conduct, and failing to […]

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    Rights in the News: FIRE’s Campaigns in Texas, California, and Georgia Get Results

    FIRE has been working hard to keep Torch readers up to date on the progress of our many cases this week. First and foremost is our case at Tarrant County College (TCC) in Texas, where a federal district court issued a temporary restraining order today prohibiting TCC from censoring an “empty holster” protest to be held next week. Finally, after being prevented from doing so for two years in a row, the TCC members of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus will be able to stage their week-long peaceful protest. News of this victory for free speech comes just a […]

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    Bowdoin College Throws the Book at Professor over Embarrassing Research Results

    Doug Lederman at Inside Higher Ed reports today on FIRE’s case at Bowdoin College, where a professor and his research have been investigated after he distributed copies of a research paper that embarrassed the college in front of prospective students. Economics professor Jonathan Goldstein, who has been at Bowdoin for 29 years, was interested in the amount that a college’s academics appear to suffer as a result of emphasis on athletics. His research showed that among 36 colleges, Bowdoin came in last, with the greatest amount of lost academic potential. Goldstein was interested in what prospective students and their families […]

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