In his latest column for The Huffington Post, FIRE President Greg Lukianoff celebrates the news that Michigan State University (MSU) recently dropped the absurd "spamming" charges leveled at student government leader Kara Spencer. While this development represents yet another satisfying victory for freedom of speech on a college campus, Greg cautions that the threat of unjustifiable censorship and punishment remains at MSU as long as the university maintains its unconstitutional spam policy:
In private discussions with MSU administrators, MSU did promise not to enforce the policy in cases like Spencer's, but MSU has refused to suspend or revoke its spam policy while it undergoes revision. Not only that, MSU apparently has no plans to tell students about this change in enforcement. It seems that MSU is so worried about spam that it is willing to keep a clearly unconstitutional policy on the books.
In talking to friends about this case I have been surprised at how muzzy-headed people get around the issue of spam. I think people hate spam so much that they can't think straight whenever it is mentioned. One friend even argued that Spencer's speech could not be protected because it clearly violated university policy. As a favorite law professor of mine would say, "there is a certain roundness to that argument."
Be sure to read Greg's full post for more on Kara Spencer's case at MSU.