Saint Cloud State University: Thought Reform and Suppression of Free Speech


Saint Cloud State University

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Case Overview

FIRE Victory closed

At Saint Cloud State University the campus newspaper, the University Chronicle quoted student Christopher Monson, who argued that a public university had obligations to public access and legal equality: it would be illegal not to allow such persons as credit card companies on campus, just as "not allowing blacks on campus" would be illegal. Four days later, SCSU President Suzanne Williams sent an e-mail message to the university community, writing that the student had made an "unfortunate analogy." The next day, President Williams announced, again by e-mail, that the offending student would be undergoing "sensitivity training" at the campus Multicultural Center. FIRE got involved and national publicity and widespread media coverage followed her statements. Williams then told the St. Cloud Times that she never recommended sensitivity training, which is blatantly untrue, and the case was dropped. Later that year, she stepped down as president of the university.