Weekly Media Round-Up: Binghamton Case Hits National Stage, Temple and Lone Star Cases Continue to Reverberate

By November 14, 2008

Yesterday, FIRE went public with its efforts to protect the constitutional rights of Binghamton University graduate student Andre Massena.

As you’ve already seen from Adam’s earlier Torch post, yesterday’s press release quickly brought the issue to the national stage, with the story appearing at The Volokh Conspiracy and in The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required). Just as importantly, Adam’s post pointed to the unrest Binghamton’s treatment of Massena has fomented in the graduate student body, where the Graduate Student Organization of Binghamton University unanimously condemned the university’s actions yesterday in a letter to Binghamton President Lois DeFleur.

Be sure to read Adam’s post for the full story of the press generated so far. Judging by the traffic to FIRE’s website yesterday and the stream of comments generated, Binghamton has hardly seen the last of what promises to be an unfriendly and unremitting treatment by the press.

Elsewhere, FIRE’s efforts at a pair of small Texas colleges continue to generate buzz throughout the web and the blogosphere. As Adam noted on Wednesday, Garry Reed, writing at Examiner.com, ridiculed the administration of Lone Star College–Tomball for its attempt to silence discussion of firearms on campus and its unconstitutional efforts to punish the campus chapter of the Young Conservatives of Texas for a satirical "gun safety tips" flyer.

And FIRE’s victory at Temple College, which garnered national attention last week, has generated quite a grassroots following since FIRE got involved a week ago. The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression carried word of the incident, as did an interesting coalition of other blogs bound equally by their passions for protecting free expression and for philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. To those Torch readers who need a reminder, it was Nietzsche’s well-known quote "Gott ist tot" ("God is dead") that officials ordered removed from English instructor Kerry Laird’s office door before FIRE successfully intervened on his behalf. One Temple administrator, as we mentioned, has already stepped down from her position in the wake of the incident.

Schools: Temple College Lone Star College-Tomball Binghamton University, State University of New York