Oakland University: Student Suspended over His Writing Journal

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Oakland University

In fall 2011, student Joseph Corlett was enrolled in Oakland University’s Advanced Critical Writing course, which included a requirement that students keep a journal, described as “a place for a writer to try out ideas and record impressions and observations.” After two of Corlett’s journal entries described the attractiveness of the course’s instructor, she demanded that Corlett be removed from the course. Oakland then charged Corlett with “unlawful individual activities” solely on the basis of his journal entries. Corlett was found guilty, suspended for three semesters, given persona non grata status at Oakland, and may only return to his studies if he undergoes “counseling” for “sensitivity issues.”