While FIRE is encouraged by MSU’s apparent willingness to make the necessary changes, we are simultaneously curious about the reasons behind this new rash of secrecy.
Lee June, Michigan State University’s (MSU’s) Vice President for Student Affairs and Services, insisted this week that the school’s controversial Student Accountability in Community (SAC) program would return in a modified form, although he refused to detail precisely what aspects of the program would be modified.
Responding to FIRE’s March 29 letter requesting more details about future changes to the SAC program promised by June in an earlier letter to FIRE, June told MSU student newspaper The State News that the school “[doesn’t] believe the program is operating in such a way that it should be dismantled, although we are making some modifications.” When pressed for more information, June told The State News that he would not go into “too much detail” about the nature of the changes and whether they would meet FIRE’s criteria for acceptable reform of the program.
Why the secrecy? What does MSU have to hide? For MSU administrators, the choice is simple: Either bring the SAC program into line with the Constitution, as required by law, or risk further embarrassment and possible legal action. After all, this is a program that violates students’ fundamental rights in countless ways. What does MSU have to lose by reforming an unconstitutional program? As Greg told The State News, FIRE will “continue [to put] pressure on MSU until the reforms have been made or the program has been ended. If MSU intends to make those changes or has made them, they should say so.”
Schools: Michigan State University