California State University - San Marcos: Disciplinary Investigation of Humor Magazine


California State University - San Marcos

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Case Overview

FIRE Victory closed

On October 20, 2011, students thought to have been affiliated with The Koala, an anonymous humor magazine at California State University San Marcos, were sent disciplinary letters from the university charging them with violating the code of conduct. Eight days later, FIRE sent a letter to CSUSM explaining that a disciplinary investigation related to the peaceful distribution of The Koala would be unconstitutional and immoral. Because CSUSM proceeded with its investigation, FIRE and the ACLU of San Diego each wrote to the university, stating that its actions violate the First Amendment. The university announced on November 21 that it had suspended its investigation. However, several students submitted a Title IX complaint about The Koala to the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, leading FIRE and the ACLU of San Diego to each send a letter to OCR opposing an investigation by the agency.