EUGENE, Oregon, August 26, 2014—The University of Oregon (UO) has filed multiple, blatantly unconstitutional conduct charges against a female student who jokingly yelled “I hit it first” from a dormitory window. The student, who wishes to remain anonymous, contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. FIRE is calling on UO to immediately dismiss all charges against the student and reform its unconstitutional speech policies. “The University of Oregon’s absurd overreaction is the real joke here, and it’s not very funny,” said FIRE Senior Vice President Robert Shibley. “Using an unconstitutional speech code to punish a student […]
University of Oregon: Student’s Four-Word Joke Results in Five Unconstitutional Disciplinary Charges
In June, a student yelled “I hit it first” out of a dorm window. She’s now being charged with five conduct violations.
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.
The University of Kansas placed Professor David Guth on administrative leave after he posted a controversial tweet about the NRA.
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]