Century College

Location: White Bear Lake, Minnesota
Website: https://www.century.edu/
Type: No Type Yet
Federal Circuit: 8th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

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  • Mohammed Cartoon Controversy: FIRE Response to Intimidation and Newspaper Disputes

    February 22, 2006

    As a result of worldwide controversy regarding caricatures of the prophet Mohammed, first published in a Danish newspaper, free speech was being openly disregarded on American college campuses. In the weeks following the printing of the cartoon, students, professors, and student publications not only reprinted the controversial cartoons but even created their own satirical cartoons depicting Mohammed. Chilling of speech in relation to the cartoon was found at Century College, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and New York University, amongst others.

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  • Century College: Censorship of Mohammed Cartoons

    February 16, 2006

    At Century College in Minnesota, a professor faced repeated obstruction and opposition when she attempted to display the controversial Mohammed cartoons on a bulletin board. After repeatedly encountering censorship of her display, Professor Karen Murdock finally posted them behind a curtain so that passers-by would not be offended. Yet even after assuring Murdock and FIRE that free speech is valued at Century, administrators allowed censors to tear down the hidden cartoons and insisted that she not put them back up.

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Yellow Light Policies
  • Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources 09-10

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies, Statement
    Last updated: January 24, 2005

    Users may not use any Century College IT resource to: ... send e-mail that is intended to intimidate or harass; create a hostile working or learning environment by displaying sexually explicit images
    or sounds ....

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Green Light Policies
  • Nondiscrimination in Employment and Education Opportunity 09-10

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement
    Last updated: December 15, 2013

    Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical conduct, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: ... Such conduct has the purpose and effect of threatening an individual's employment; interfering with an individual's work or academic performance; or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment.

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  • Mohammed cartoon backlash hits Century College

    February 10, 2006

    The worldwide controversy regarding caricatures of the prophet Mohammed has reached White Bear Lake, though thus far with nonviolent results. Dozens of Muslim students at Century College — a two-year community college — protested to administrators this week about a display of the infamous caricatures, first published in a Danish newspaper, on a campus bulletin board. Karen Murdock, a part-time geography and earth science instructor who posted the cartoons — surrounded by news articles about the topic and blank “comment” sheets — said she simply wanted to spark discussion by allowing others to see the cartoons first-hand. But the postings, […]

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  • Is Nothing Sacred? Comedy Central Joins Many Universities in Caving to Threats of Violence for Depictions of Mohammed

    April 23, 2010

    Comedy Central’s cartoon hit South Park is famous for its shocking and offensive humor, targeted at subjects ranging from Queen Elizabeth to Scientology. The show’s renowned satire takes an unapologetic attitude towards goring sacred cows, and fans have come to regard South Park‘s principled stance on free speech as sacred in and of itself. This week, however, Comedy Central created headlines around the world by censoring a portion of a South Park episode. The episode continued last week’s plotline depicting Mohammed in a bear suit, which is considered blasphemous by some followers of Islam. Comedy Central’s usually laissez-faire approach to […]

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  • Professor Under Review for Saying 9/11 Might Be an ‘Inside Job’

    July 6, 2006

    The provost of the University of Wisconsin at Madison announced last week that the university would conduct a “review” of an instructor who has publicly stated that he believes the 9/11 attacks were an “inside job.” The instructor, Kevin Barrett, was a guest on a radio show last week where he defended his controversial views. Shortly thereafter a state representative called for Barrett’s immediate dismissal and UWM provost Patrick Farrell announced the review of Barrett’s course materials, syllabus, and evaluations.   “Mr. Barrett’s statements regarding the events of Sept. 11 have raised some legitimate concerns about the content and quality […]

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  • Minnesota Sees Resurgence of Outrage Over Mohammed Cartoons

    April 14, 2006

    On Monday, April 10, the president of Century College, Larry Litecky, among others, received an outraged e-mail from Farheen Hakeem—comedian, community activist, and candidate for Commissioner of Hennepin County in Minnesota. The e-mail addressed the actions of Professor Karen Murdock, who garnered a good amount of attention throughout February and March for posting the Danish Mohammed cartoons in the hallway outside her office at the suburban St. Paul community college. Ms. Hakeem’s e-mail stated: It is very clear to me that Century College is not a safe place for Muslims. Not only has there been no consequences given to Professor […]

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  • Possibly the Most Newsworthy Cartoons in History

    March 17, 2006

    It’s official: the editor who chose to republish some of the cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed at the University of Illinois has been fired by the paper’s board of directors. According to an article from CNN, “The Illini Media Co. board of directors, which comprises students and faculty, voted unanimously to fire the editor after a review ‘found that Gorton violated Daily Illini policies about thoughtful discussion of and preparation for the publication of inflammatory material,’ according to a statement.” Earlier, the chancellor of the university sent a public letter commenting on the paper’s decision. He wrote: I was saddened […]

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  • Avoiding Controversy at Century College

    March 16, 2006

    Weeks after the Mohammed cartoons were posted, torn down, posted behind a curtain, and then banished altogether, Century College is still working to keep controversy at bay. The Department of Social Sciences has decided to make the bulletin boards in its building “discipline-specific,” making future displays of controversial material impossible. At a meeting of the social sciences faculty on Tuesday, geography professor Karen Murdock proposed to turn the bulletin board outside of her office into a “free speech zone,” where information could be posted at will for a limited time. But Murdock reported that some faculty members expressed worries that […]

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  • Victory for Censorship at Century College

    March 9, 2006

    As today’s press release reveals, Minnesota’s Century College has repeatedly chosen silence over discussion as a means of dealing with the infamous Mohammed cartoons. The controversy hit Century’s campus on February 7, when Karen Murdock, an adjunct professor of geography, hung the twelve Danish cartoons on a bulletin board near her office. They were repeatedly torn down, and Muslim students expressed that they were “heartbroken” that the cartoons had been posted. While students are welcome to express their disagreement, that disagreement should never be parlayed into censorship. Yet Murdock reports that her division head and an administrator requested that she […]

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  • Minnesota Prof Censored for Posting Mohammed Cartoons

    March 9, 2006

    MINNEAPOLIS, March 9, 2006—The uproar over cartoons of the prophet Mohammed may be fading in some places, but not at Century College in Minnesota. After repeatedly encountering censorship of her display of the cartoons on a hallway bulletin board, Professor Karen Murdock finally posted them behind a curtain so that passers-by would not be offended. Yet even after assuring Murdock and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) that free speech is valued at Century, administrators allowed censors to tear down the hidden cartoons and insisted that she not put them back up. “Karen Murdock bent over backwards to […]

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  • Mohammed Cartoon Controversy Part II: Free Speech and the ‘Direct Assault’

    February 27, 2006

    A reader of The Torch recently responded to FIRE’s statement that colleges have a responsibility to allow publication of the infamous Mohammed cartoons by saying: Muslims all over the world got deeply hurt…and are in lot of pain. This is not an issue of freedom of expression, but amounts to direct assault. I hope and pray the people who opt to publish cartoons understand and respect our feelings. That the cartoons are legally protected speech is beyond question. FIRE, following decades of Supreme Court decisions, has long held that the First Amendment defends controversial speech, and that a cry of […]

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