EAST LANSING, MI – Michigan State University has been named to the list of the 12 Worst Schools for Free Speech in 2012 by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.
MSU is ranked No. 7 on the list for "its ongoing prohibition on ‘spamming,’" according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s news release at the Huffington Post.
The university defines spamming as, "The transmission of an identical or substantially identical e-mail message within a 48 hour period from an internal user to more than 10
other internal users who have not elected to receive such e-mail,"according to an MSU document.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education cites a 2008 case in which MSU student Kara Spencer was punished for emailing nearly 400 faculty members.
Spencer served on the University Committee on Student Affairs, which had drafted a response to the university’s proposed change to its academic calendar. The university found Spencer in violation of up to five MSU policies and placed a formal warning in her personal file.
MSU withdrew its charges against Spencer after 13 civil liberties organizations sent an open letter to President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spencer field an appeal.
MSU officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The University of Cincinnati, Syracuse University, Harvard University and Yale University were named first, second, fourth and fifth to the 12 Worst Schools for Free Speech in 2012, respectively.