Lewis & Clark College: Two Students Guilty of ‘Harassment’ for Racial Jokes at Party

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Lewis & Clark College

In November 2013, two friends and football teammates at Lewis & Clark College—one African-American and one white—were accused of, among other things, “Discrimination or Harassment,” when racially themed humor they shared at a private party was overheard by another student not present at the party. After being questioned by campus safety officers as well as a disciplinary panel for the “inappropriateness” and “negative impact” of their shared inside jokes, the students were found responsible and placed on probation. FIRE wrote to Lewis & Clark President Barry Glassner on April 18, 2014, explaining that Lewis & Clark’s actions were contrary to its express promises of free speech. On May 1, Lewis & Clark issued a two-sentence response to FIRE’s letter, stating that the college “may be back in touch” after conducting its own review.