Quick Takes from Inside Higher Ed: Double Standard Alleged

April 1, 2008

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is criticizing Colorado College for punishing students who distributed a flyer that mocked a flyer distributed by feminist students on the campus. The feminist students’ flyer is called “The Monthly Rag” and the leaflet mocking it is called “The Monthly Bag.” When the latter appeared, with its authors identified only as “the coalition of some dudes,” college officials asked those responsible to come forward. When they did, FIRE asserted, they were ordered to hold a campus forum after being found guilty of violating the student code against violence. FIRE called this inconsistent and unfair. Greg Lukianoff said in a statement: “One flyer that mentions ‘male castration’ is not violence, but a flyer that makes fun of it by mentioning ‘chainsaws’ is prohibited? Both should be protected, but the double standard and lack of respect for freedom of speech in this case is simply staggering.” Richard F. Celeste, Colorado College’s president, said via e-mail: “Colorado College values and fosters freedom of expression, and in discussions with students regarding “The Monthly Bag,” has encouraged further dialogue about freedom of speech issues on campus. The students involved in creating this publication were found to have violated the college community’s standards, but they were not sanctioned or punished. Instead, they were urged to engage the college community in more inclusive dialogue, debate and discussion on freedom of speech, and through a letter to the editor of the student newspaper and other actions, they are doing so.”

Schools: Colorado College Cases: Colorado College: Students Found Guilty for Satirical Flyer