Syracuse University

Location: Syracuse, New York
Type: Private
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Speech Code Rating

Syracuse University has been given the speech code rating Red. A red light university has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech. Read more
  • Sexual & Relationship Violence: SRV Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: February 19, 2019

    1. Harassment – intentional, unwanted and unwelcome words or conduct directed at a specific person that alarms, threatens or causes fear for that person. Sexual harassment is a form of sexual discrimination. It is unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that relates to the gender, sex or sexual identity of an individu... Read More
  • 2017–2018 Sexual and Relationship Violence Resource Guide for Syracuse University Students

    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: February 19, 2019

    Sexual harassment is prohibited. It is a form of sexual discrimination. It is unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that relates to the gender, sex or sexual identity of an individual. Even without creating an intimidating or hostile environment for study, work, or social living, unwelcome behavior of a sexual natur... Read More
  • Syracuse University Policies: Code of Student Conduct

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: February 19, 2019

    Harassment, whether physical, verbal or electronic, oral, written or video, which is beyond the bounds of protected free speech, directed at a specific individual(s), easily construed as “fighting words,” and likely to cause an immediate breach of the peace. Conduct, whether physical, verbal or electronic, oral, wri... Read More
  • STOP Bias

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: February 19, 2019

    What is Bias? Bias is defined as behavior that constitutes an expression of hostility against a person or property of another because of the targeted person’s age, creed, disability, ethnic or national origin, gender, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, political or social affiliation, race, religion... Read More
  • Syracuse University Policies: Anti-Harassment Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: February 19, 2019

    Harassment is defined at the University as unwelcome conduct or speech directed at an individual or group of individuals, based on a Protected Category, which is so severe or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, terms of employment, educational program participation, or it... Read More
  • Syracuse University Policies: Campus Disruption Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: February 19, 2019

    Syracuse University is committed to the principle that freedom of discussion is essential to the search for truth and, consequently, welcomes and encourages the expression of dissent. Read More
  • Syracuse University Policies: Information Technology Resources Acceptable Use Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: February 19, 2019

    IT Resources are not to be used in a way that is unlawful, or inconsistent with the University’s mission or policies, including: … Use to intimidate, harass, incite, threaten or otherwise do harm to others, beyond the bounds of protected free speech. Read More
  • Syracuse University: Denial of Recognition of Young Americans for Freedom Chapter

    March 4, 2019

    In February 2019, students at Syracuse University sought to organize a chapter of Young Americans for Freedom, a conservative group that operates as a project of the Young America’s Foundation. A board at Syracuse denied the application, citing some structural defects with the application, but also cited the group’s affiliation with Young America’s Foundation, whose… Read more

  • Syracuse University: Students threatened with expulsion for satirical fraternity ‘roast’; fires professor who defended free speech

    May 7, 2018

    A Syracuse University engineering fraternity has been dismantled and its members face possible expulsion after videos of a satirical “roast” leaked from a private Facebook page last month. An adjunct professor who questioned the university’s response to the incident was also dismissed.

  • Syracuse University: Education Student Expelled over Facebook Comments

    January 10, 2012

    Syracuse University’s School of Education effectively expelled a graduate student from its teaching program after he complained on Facebook about a racially charged comment made in his presence by a community leader that student teachers were coming from Syracuse rather than historically black colleges. Matthew Werenczak was required to undergo a special course of diversity training and… Read more

  • Syracuse University: Police Threaten to Censor Halloween Costumes

    November 18, 2010

    Anthony Callisto, Director of Syracuse University’s Department of Public Safety, told student newspaper The Daily Orange that DPS would require students to remove “offensive” Halloween costumes and would report students wearing such costumes to Syracuse’s Office of Judicial Affairs. Callisto said that “If we detect that there’s a person with an offensive costume, we’d likely require them to… Read more

  • Syracuse University: Disciplinary Investigations of Satirical Law School Blog

    October 25, 2010

    Syracuse University College of Law (SUCOL) student Len Audaer was told on October 18, 2010, that he was being investigated for harassment for his alleged involvement with the anonymous, satirical blog SUCOLitis about life in law school, which was meant to emulate The Onion. The blog included a disclaimer stating, “No actual news stories appear… Read more

  • Syracuse University finally concedes that its free speech promises are worthless

    March 29, 2019

    In court documents recently filed by Syracuse University in response to a student’s lawsuit alleging free speech and due process violations, SU admits that it does not promise its students free speech. The admission is the culmination of SU’s disappointing history of violating its students’ expressive freedoms. SU’s concession puts in words what FIRE has… Read more

  • Syracuse denies recognition of student group, says conservative views and support of U.S. Constitution are ‘not inclusive’

    February 22, 2019

    Syracuse University denied official recognition to a student group earlier this month, in part because it said the group’s conservative ideology and a requirement that prospective members believe in the superiority of the U.S. Constitution were “unreasonable and not inclusive.” FIRE wrote a letter to SU today, asking the university to clarify that it will… Read more

  • 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech: 2019

    February 12, 2019

    Every January, FIRE staffers convene to compile our list of the previous year’s worst colleges for free speech. Reviewing the lowlights of the year reminds each of us that campus censors can be pretty creative. Just when you think you’ve seen everything — and over FIRE’s 20-year history, we’ve seen a lot — some enterprising… Read more

  • New York court upholds Syracuse Theta Tau students’ punishment despite finding their speech was protected

    January 17, 2019

    A New York court denied the Syracuse University Theta Tau students’ petition to overturn their suspension, holding that SU can punish the students for their private, satirical skit even though their expression is protected under First Amendment standards. The flawed decision is a setback for the students who sought to hold SU accountable for breaking… Read more

  • Lawsuits by Syracuse Theta Tau students against SU seeing signs of success

    October 17, 2018

    Lawsuits filed by Syracuse University Theta Tau fraternity members against SU in state and federal court are showing promising signs as they seek to vindicate their free speech rights. The lawsuits have the potential to help establish that private universities must follow through on their promises to protect the free speech rights of their students…. Read more

  • FIRE calls on Syracuse University to reverse suspensions over fraternity videos

    June 14, 2018

    Yesterday, FIRE sent Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud a letter calling on his administration to overturn the suspensions of 15 members of the SU Theta Tau fraternity chapter for their protected expression. The letter details how a flawed disciplinary hearing resulted in SU betraying its promises to uphold the free speech and due process rights… Read more

  • Syracuse slams students with multi-year suspensions for satirical fraternity roast

    June 8, 2018

    Fifteen students who “roasted” each other in private were suspended for up to two years after a video of their skits leaked to Facebook several weeks later They were found guilty of “an immediate breach of the peace” (which did not occur) and expression that went “beyond the bounds of protected speech” (it didn’t) SYRACUSE, N.Y.,… Read more

  • Syracuse University threatens to expel students for satirical fraternity ‘roast’; fires professor who defended free speech

    May 7, 2018

    SYRACUSE, N.Y., May 7, 2018 — A Syracuse University engineering fraternity has been dismantled and its members face possible expulsion after videos of a satirical “roast” leaked from a private Facebook page last month. An adjunct professor who questioned the university’s response to the incident was also dismissed. On Friday, the Foundation for Individual Rights… Read more

  • FIRE article calls on Syracuse University students to eliminate speech codes

    January 31, 2018

    A recent article in the Syracuse Post-Standard encourages SU students to make their school a better place for free speech. In the piece, FIRE’s Zach Greenberg lays out why his alma mater must revise its speech codes: As an educational institution, SU should promote constructive academic debate rather than punish students for potentially causing offense…. Read more

  • Syracuse Opens Free Speech Policies to Public Comment

    November 7, 2016

    Lately, Syracuse University has been trying to act in closer accordance with its stated commitment to free speech. In September, the administration stepped in to re-invite Israeli filmmaker Shimon Dotan after he had been disinvited. Most recently, the university assembled a Working Group on Free Speech to make recommendations on how to best revise the… Read more

  • Syracuse Will Update Free Speech Policies After Israeli Filmmaker Disinvited, Reinvited

    September 7, 2016

    Syracuse University announced yesterday in a campus-wide email that it will revamp its free speech policies, which currently earn FIRE’s poorest, “red light” rating. While SU Chancellor Kent Syverud ascribed the changes to a summer spent reviewing policy recommendations from a campus coalition, including SU’s Working Group on Free Speech, the move is an undeniably… Read more

  • Syracuse Dean Emeritus Calls for ‘Less Safety and More Honesty’

    December 28, 2015

    In a guest column yesterday for The Post-Standard’s Syracuse.com, Syracuse University professor and former dean of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, David Rubin, called for “fewer self-validating listening sessions and more edgy dialogues.” He wrote the opinion piece after attending an SU “listening session” on student concerns about race relations on campus that… Read more

  • Greg Reviews ‘The Upside of Your Dark Side’ in ‘The Huffington Post’

    January 28, 2015

    As FIRE President Greg Lukianoff writes in The Huffington Post today, last year was full of thought-provoking popular non-fiction, with one book standing out to him: The Upside of Your Dark Side: Why Being Your Whole Self—Not Just Your “Good” Self—Drives Success and Fulfillment by psychologists Todd Kashdan and Robert Biswas-Diener. The book focuses on… Read more

  • ‘Green Light’ Policy Proposed to Replace ‘Red Light’ Speech Code at Syracuse

    October 14, 2014

    Syracuse University (SU) College of Law student Zachary Greenberg has inspired his peers to take a significant step toward revising an unconstitutional speech code: the university’s overbroad and vague policy on online harassment. SU’s only “red light” policy (that is, one that clearly and substantially restricts constitutionally protected speech) prohibits using the university computer system… Read more

  • Australian Plan to Rate Social Media Posts Offends First Amendment Principles

    July 18, 2014

    The United States is unique among nations for its liberal approach to free expression—and we’re fortunate to have this approach written into our law through the First Amendment. However, people from other countries often do not share the American ethos of free speech. So the results of a recent study on attitudes towards social media among members of university communities in Australia and New Zealand were lamentable but not surprising.

  • Vandals at Syracuse University Demonstrate How Not to Advocate for Free Speech

    December 10, 2013

    The Daily Orange reports that in an unfortunate incident, a number of buildings at Syracuse University were vandalized with spray paint on Sunday night. It’s not yet clear who is behind the vandalism. What makes this incident noteworthy for FIRE is the content of one of the vandal’s (or vandals’) messages. Scrawled on the wall of the… Read more

  • Speech Code of the Month: Syracuse University

    September 6, 2013

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for September 2013: Syracuse University.  Syracuse has just one “red light” speech code on its books, but it’s a doozy. The university’s Computing and Electronic Communications Policy (PDF) prohibits using its computer systems to send “offensive messages,” including “sexually, ethnically, racially, or religiously offensive messages.” This broad… Read more

  • Censorship at Syracuse, Part II: No Excuse at Syracuse for Gagging Student Satire (VIDEO)

    May 23, 2013

    "Syracuse University tried to derail my legal career simply because of a blog that satirized life in law school." In 2010, Syracuse University College of Law (SUCOL) student Len Audaer was summoned to a meeting with Associate Professor of Law Gregory Germain, where he was told he was being investigated for "extremely serious" charges, which… Read more

  • Censorship at Syracuse, Part I: School Expels Student Over Facebook Comments (VIDEO)

    May 9, 2013

    With three FIRE cases in the last three years, Syracuse University has been on FIRE’s list of serial violators of student and faculty free speech rights for some time now. In fact, in 2011 and 2012, the school was featured prominently on our annual Huffington Post "Worst Colleges for Free Speech" list. FIRE’s next few… Read more

  • The Unique Free Speech Challenges Facing Student Satire and Humor

    February 1, 2013

    As we wrap up Free Press Week, we take a look today at the unique challenges that college students face when engaging in satire and humor on campus, from humor magazines and editorial cartoons to satirical flyers and blogs. Like newspaper theft and denial of newspaper funding (which we have already explored this week), this… Read more

  • Syracuse’s Troubled Relationship with Free Speech

    December 23, 2012

    Syracuse University can be a real puzzler. Renowned for its journalism school and home to the Tully Center for Free Speech, one would think that Syracuse, while private, would be a safe haven for freedom of expression and for the marketplace of ideas. One would be wrong. In fact, Syracuse has become a watchword around… Read more

  • ‘12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech’ List in the News

    March 30, 2012

    Tuesday, The Huffington Post released FIRE’s list of the 12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech in 2012. In addition to the social media storm the story generated, the list caught the attention of a number of media outlets:  University of Cincinnati’s appearance at the top of the list garnered the attention of Cincinnati City Beat…. Read more

  • The top 12 worst colleges for free speech

    March 28, 2012

    Who doesn’t love a good awards show? The gowns, the acceptance speeches, the brutal infringements of civil liberties … the excitement just never ends. Once again, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE, where I work), has sorted through the hundreds of colleges and universities across the nation that severely restrict the First Amendment rights of… Read more

  • FIRE’s 12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech in 2012

    March 27, 2012

    Here’s today’s press release:  PHILADELPHIA, March 27, 2012—The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) released its 2012 list of the 12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech in The Huffington Post today. Harvard is new to the list this year, joining Yale, Syracuse, and the University of Cincinnati at the top of the list. "These colleges and universities… Read more

  • Gregory Germain Isn’t the Only One at Syracuse Who Disdains Free Speech

    February 15, 2012

    Remember Syracuse University College of Law (SUCOL) “independent prosecutor” Gregory Germain, who complained at a law student meeting last year that “I think there are a lot of people who have a sense of entitlement to free speech”? He’s at it again, this time in Syracuse’s student newspaper, The Daily Orange, and he’s not the… Read more

  • Syracuse University’s Student Paper Laments Poor Speech Code Rating

    February 13, 2012

    The editorial board of The Daily Orange, the daily student newspaper at Syracuse University (SU), writes today of the effect that FIRE’s "red light" rating of the university’s speech codes may have on future admissions numbers: If the trend of incidents involving free speech continues at SU, it may have an effect on application numbers…. Read more

  • Robert in ‘Daily Caller’: Syracuse’s Free Speech Promises Are Worthless

    January 23, 2012

    FIRE Senior Vice President Robert Shibley’s latest piece for The Daily Caller highlights our recent case at Syracuse University’s School of Education, which effectively expelled graduate student Matthew Werenczak from its teaching program after he posted on Facebook about a racially charged comment made in his presence by a community leader. Thankfully, just hours after… Read more

  • Will to Discuss Syracuse Expulsion Case on ‘Vicki McKenna Show’: Tune In at 6

    January 19, 2012

    FIRE’s Will Creeley will be discussing our case at Syracuse University today at 6:09 p.m. Eastern Time on The Vicki McKenna Show, broadcasting in Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin.Tune in!

  • Victory: Syracuse Drops Expulsion Hours after FIRE Press Release

    January 19, 2012

    Here is today’s press release: SYRACUSE, N.Y., January 19, 2012—Syracuse University’s School of Education has readmitted a graduate student it had expelled from its teaching program after he complained on Facebook about a racially charged comment made in his presence by a community leader. Syracuse had told Matthew Werenczak that his only chance for reinstatement… Read more

  • At Syracuse, Expelling a Student without Charges or a Hearing is ‘Standard Process’

    January 19, 2012

    Today, FIRE announced a free speech victory at Syracuse University, whose School of Education (SOE) expelled a graduate student due to his expression of concern on Facebook over a city leader’s comment about hiring teachers from historically black colleges versus Syracuse University. SOE never filed any charges against the student, Matt Werenczak, and never gave… Read more

  • Victory: Syracuse Drops Expulsion Hours after FIRE Press Release

    January 19, 2012

    SYRACUSE, N.Y., January 19, 2012—Syracuse University’s School of Education has readmitted a graduate student it had expelled from its teaching program after he complained on Facebook about a racially charged comment made in his presence by a community leader. Syracuse had told Matthew Werenczak that his only chance for reinstatement was to undergo a special… Read more

  • Syracuse Folds on Ed Student’s Expulsion

    January 19, 2012

    Things have moved quickly at Syracuse University since FIRE issued its press release yesterday calling out Syracuse’s appalling treatment of graduate student Matthew Werenczak. As we reported, Werenczak was effectively expelled from Syracuse’s School of Education (SOE) after posting a comment on his Facebook page in response to a racially tinged remark made by a… Read more

  • Syracuse Expels Ed Student for Complaining on Facebook about Racial Comment

    January 18, 2012

    Here’s our press release today: SYRACUSE, N.Y., January 18, 2012—Syracuse University’s School of Education has effectively expelled a graduate student from its teaching program after he complained on Facebook about a racially charged comment made in his presence by a community leader. Syracuse told Matthew Werenczak that his only chance for reinstatement was to undergo… Read more

  • Syracuse Expels Ed Student for Complaining on Facebook about Racial Comment

    January 18, 2012

    SYRACUSE, N.Y., January 18, 2012—Syracuse University’s School of Education has effectively expelled a graduate student from its teaching program after he complained on Facebook about a racially charged comment made in his presence by a community leader. Syracuse told Matthew Werenczak that his only chance for reinstatement was to undergo a special course of diversity… Read more

  • ‘SUCOLitis’ Case at Syracuse Named One of 2010’s Most Notable Events in ‘Daily Orange’

    August 24, 2011

    As colleges and universities across the nation are welcoming back returning students and greeting the new ones, Syracuse University’s (SU’s) student newspaper The Daily Orange rounds up 10 notable events that happened during SU’s 2010-11 academic year. Interestingly, the investigation of Syracuse University College of Law (SUCOL) student Len Audaer is on the list. Audaer… Read more

  • Adam to Speak at American, Syracuse This Week

    April 13, 2011

    FIRE’s Vice President of Programs Adam Kissel will speak at two colleges this week whose recent free speech controversies have drawn FIRE’s scrutiny. Today, Adam will speak at American University (AU) in Washington, D.C. He will discuss AU’s speech codes, as well as a recent incident concerning the AU Student Government’s (AUSG’s) punishment of a… Read more

  • This Week in the News: Greg’s Dirty Dozen Causes Big Vibrations, and Syracuse Drops Investigation of Alleged Blogger

    February 4, 2011

    This has been quite the week for FIRE. No less than 21 articles mentioned our involvement in defending free speech on campus! Greg’s Huffington Post article, "The 12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech," was noted by numerous news sources across the country. Marshall University garnered the most numerous citations by far. Davin White, writing for… Read more

  • Victory: Syracuse University Drops Allegations Against Student Blogger

    February 2, 2011

    Syracuse University College of Law (SUCOL) has dropped its outrageous prosecution of law student Len Audaer more than three months after threatening him with severe punishment for “harassment” over his role in a fake-news parody blog about life in law school. “Independent prosecutor” and SUCOL professor Gregory Germain had threatened Audaer with expulsion over satire… Read more

  • Victory: Syracuse University Drops Allegations Against Student Blogger

    February 2, 2011

    SYRACUSE, N.Y., Feb. 2, 2011—Syracuse University College of Law (SUCOL) has dropped its prosecution of law student Len Audaer more than three months after threatening him with severe punishment for “harassment” over his role in a fake-news parody blog about life in law school. “Independent prosecutor” and SUCOL professor Gregory Germain had threatened Audaer with… Read more

  • Statement of February 1, 2011, from Len Audaer

    February 1, 2011

    It Ends February 1, 2011 Today I received a letter from Faculty Prosecutor Professor Gregory Germain via my lawyer Mark Blum. In the letter, Prof. Germain announced that he had decided that it was not in the best interests of the school to proceed with any charges. The SUCOLitis investigation is over, 109 days after… Read more

  • Syracuse Law Student Apologizes, Claims ‘School Betrays Promises Made In Negotiations’

    January 31, 2011

    Syracuse University and the Syracuse University College of Law have continued to botch the prosecution of an innocent student, but it looks like Syracuse might finally have a way out now that the student has apologized for having a role in the fake-news blog SUCOLitis. Law student Len Audaer has been under threat of expulsion for… Read more

  • Syracuse Statement Cements School’s Top Spot on ’12 Worst Schools for Free Speech’ List

    January 28, 2011

    Yesterday, FIRE placed Syracuse as number one on the list of the 12 Worst Schools for Free Speech that we published on The Huffington Post. Fittingly, on that very day Syracuse cemented its spot on the list by releasing a statement about its persecution of law student Len Audaer–a statement so deceptive and dishonest that we are frankly… Read more

  • Statement of January 28, 2011, from Len Audaer

    January 28, 2011

    School Betrays Promises Made In Negotiations January 28, 2011 In an act of staggering naïvety, Faculty Prosecutor Professor Gregory Germain today asked if I was still willing to take the deal that the school is offering me. That comes despite their utter betrayal yesterday by releasing a substantially more incendiary version than the last one… Read more

  • Adam on ‘The Big Talker’ to Discuss Syracuse and the other ‘Dirty Dozen’ Schools

    January 28, 2011

    FIRE Vice President of Programs Adam Kissel will be featured on Syracuse, New York’s The Big Talker radio show with Gary Nolan on WXTL 105.9 FM at 5 p.m. ET today. Tune in or listen live to hear him discuss why Syracuse landed at the top of our Huffington Post list of the 12 worst… Read more

  • FIRE in ‘The Huffington Post’ on America’s 12 Worst Schools for Free Speech

    January 27, 2011

    Today, The Huffington Post published FIRE’s list of America’s 12 Worst Schools for Free Speech. An expansion of FIRE’s Red Alert List of the “worst of the worst” schools for student and faculty rights, this “dirty dozen” slideshow includes the schools that come onto FIRE’s radar screen again and again for their repeated and egregious violations of fundamental rights, as… Read more

  • Syracuse Prosecutor: ‘There are a lot of people who have a sense of entitlement to free speech’

    January 24, 2011

    Last Tuesday, Syracuse University College of Law (SUCOL) faculty prosecutor Gregory Germain appeared before the SUCOL Law Student Bar Association to explain the latest developments in his absurd prosecution of a student for "harassment" based on the expression on a satirical law school blog called SUCOLitis. His comments reveal an unfortunately unsurprising lack of understanding… Read more

  • Syracuse Law School Blasted by ‘Daily Orange’ for Prosecution of Innocent Student

    January 24, 2011

    Over the weekend, Syracuse University student newspaper The Daily Orange blasted Syracuse University College of Law (SUCOL) for prosecuting innocent expression posted on a satirical blog called SUCOLitis, which made fun of life in law school—like SUCOL’s version of The Onion. For more than three months, law student Len Audaer has been under investigation with… Read more

  • Instead of Slaying a Beast, Syracuse Creates a Monster

    January 10, 2011

    Those who wish to censor are often shocked to discover that the harder they try to suppress speech, the more widely known it becomes. This phenomenon is certainly true for the investigation of Len Audaer, the alleged author of the satirical blog SUCOLitis at Syracuse University College of Law (SUCOL). Alex Piliouras of Syracuse Basement,… Read more

  • At Syracuse University, Does ‘Harassment’ Mean Whatever Gregory Germain Thinks It Means?

    December 30, 2010

    A couple of weeks ago, I reported on an e-mail conversation that Gregory Germain, the self-styled "independent prosecutor" in FIRE’s case at Syracuse University College of Law, had with me and with FIRE supporter David Ross. In the case, Germain is prosecuting law student Len Audaer because of satirical expression on an anonymous blog named… Read more

  • FIRE’s Kissel in ‘New York Post’ on Syracuse’s War on Satire

    December 21, 2010

    Yesterday’s New York Post featured an article by FIRE Vice President of Programs Adam Kissel about Syracuse University’s ongoing and unjustifiable war on satire and parody. Syracuse’s College of Law has been investigating student Len Audaer for more than two months over his alleged involvement in the anonymous SUCOLitis satire blog, which aimed to be like The… Read more

  • Q&A on the Syracuse Free Speech Case

    December 17, 2010

    FIRE has learned that Syracuse University Chancellor Nancy Cantor and Syracuse University College of Law (SUCOL) Dean Hannah Arterian have been replying to the many messages they have received from supporters of free speech in the case of the wrongful investigation of law student Len Audaer (see FIRE’s case page for details). Their replies essentially say… Read more

  • FIRE Supporters Making Voices Heard on Injustices at Syracuse

    December 16, 2010

    As FIRE supporter David Ross has illustrated, Syracuse University College of Law’s (SUCOL’s) chilling investigation of law student Len Audaer over the publication of an anonymous, satirical website has prompted strong reactions from supporters concerned about the state of free speech at Syracuse. Since we issued our press release, dozens (that we know of) have… Read more

  • Peter’s Letter to the Editor on Syracuse Case in ‘The Daily Orange’

    December 16, 2010

    FIRE’s Peter Bonilla has written an excellent letter to the editor appearing in The Daily Orange about our ongoing case at Syracuse University College of Law (SUCOL). We have written extensively about the astonishing case of SUCOL student Len Audaer here on The Torch recently, so I don’t need to do much in the way… Read more

  • ‘Chronicle of Higher Education’ and ‘Las Vegas Review-Journal’ on Syracuse Case

    December 15, 2010

    In the "Wired Campus" section of The Chronicle of Higher Education, Marc Parry writes about FIRE’s case at Syracuse University College of Law: SUCOLitis aspires to be something like The Onion of law-school life. The Syracuse, N.Y., satirical news blog has attracted thousands of views with fake headlines about beer pong, third-year students serving burritos, and the election of the university’s… Read more

  • Syracuse Faculty Prosecutor Melting Down: If You Can’t Stand the Heat …

    December 15, 2010

    One of FIRE’s longtime allies, David Ross, keeps a list of people interested in FIRE issues and of administrators who have been involved in some way in a FIRE case. When he gets a press release from FIRE about a violation of someone’s rights, he often copies this list when he writes the university to… Read more

  • Rogue Syracuse Prosecutor Reveals Gag Order and His Contempt for Free Speech

    December 15, 2010

    Yesterday, in a message that we will reveal soon, Syracuse University College of Law (SUCOL) Professor Gregory Germain (self-described as "the ‘Prosecutor’") revealed to a large group of e-mail recipients nationwide that he had filed a motion for a gag order on Len Audaer and his attorney Mark Blum in Audaer’s free speech case. We… Read more

  • ‘Normal Circumstances’ at Syracuse?

    December 15, 2010

    As you may know by now, Syracuse University College of Law (SUCOL) is asking the law school’s judicial system to issue a "protective order" (read: gag order) that would severely hamper Len Audaer’s efforts to bring public attention to SUCOL’s ongoing investigation of his protected expression.  In documents filed yesterday, faculty "prosecutor" Gregory Germain sheds… Read more

  • Syracuse University Threatens ‘Harassment’ Charges over Satirical Blog, Seeks Gag Order on Alleged Author

    December 14, 2010

    Today’s press release provides a sad update on FIRE’s case at Syracuse University College of Law (SUCOL), which has threatened a student with "harassment" charges for the last two months because of the content of a satirical blog about life in law school. Two months later, the university has refused to tell him what expression… Read more

  • SU’s STOP Bias Program Endangers a Wide Swath of Protected Speech

    November 29, 2010

    Last week, Adam wrote about Syracuse University (SU) encouraging its students to help them crack down on "offensive" Halloween costumes and other "bias incidents" as part of its STOP Bias program.  To help students detect "bias incidents," SU has a webpage that defines bias and provides examples. The definition and examples—which include things like "telling jokes" and… Read more

  • National Public Radio Affiliate Latest to Cover Syracuse’s Investigation of Law Student

    November 16, 2010

    National Public Radio affiliate WRVO, in Oswego, NY, published a story Friday on FIRE’s ongoing case at Syracuse University College of Law (SUCOL), where law student Len Audaer continues to face possible disciplinary charges for his alleged role with the satirical blog SUCOLitis. Torch readers will remember that Audaer is being investigated for harassment due… Read more

  • Syracuse University College of Law Still Investigating Alleged Author of Satirical Blog

    November 10, 2010

    Syracuse University College of Law (SUCOL) student Len Audaer is still being investigated for "harassment" by his school, which suspects that he authored anonymous posts for the explicitly satirical blog SUCOLitis. (For our previous posts on this issue, click here, here, here, and here.)  On October 25, 2010, FIRE sent a letter to Syracuse University Chancellor Nancy… Read more

  • Robert Takes On Syracuse University College of Law in ‘Pajamas Media’

    October 29, 2010

    Today in Pajamas Media, Robert criticizes Syracuse University College of Law’s (SUCOL’s) investigation of the satirical blog SUCOLitis and one of its alleged authors. These lines about sum it up: Nobody forced Syracuse to build a giant building with the First Amendment emblazoned on the side. Having done so, however, one would think that the… Read more

  • Media Interest Heightens in Syracuse’s Investigation of Satirical Law Blog as FIRE Intervenes

    October 27, 2010

    Public interest continues to heighten over the Syracuse University College of Law (SUCOL) investigation of SUCOL student Len Audaer, an alleged author behind the anonymous satirical blog SUCOLitis. Audaer, as we reported here earlier, is currently being investigated for “harassment” on the basis of the blog’s content—though he remains unaware of the identity of whomever… Read more

  • ‘Above the Law’ on Syracuse Law School Parody Site

    October 21, 2010

    Popular legal blog Above the Law comments this afternoon on the controversy sparked by a satirical student blog at Syracuse University College of Law, a contretemps Peter discussed here on The Torch earlier today. Above the Law‘s analysis of the situation is a must read, and I can’t help but share some of author Elie… Read more

  • Syracuse University Law Student Charged with Harassment for Satirical Website

    October 21, 2010

    At the Syracuse University College of Law (SUCOL), student Len Audaer is being investigated—by both the law school and Syracuse University’s judicial affairs office—for allegedly being one of the writers of a satirical blog called SUCOLitis, which lampoons the people and affairs of the law school. According to student paper The Daily Orange in an article… Read more

  • Syracuse Ends Limits on Distribution of Student Magazine

    February 19, 2010

    Syracuse University’s alternative monthly publication Jerk Magazine was at the center of a campus debate about freedom of the press this week after it was told by administrators from the school’s Dining Services department that no publication except the official Daily Orange student newspaper was allowed in the dining halls. When the students asked why, they were… Read more

  • Facebook and the Campus Communication Explosion

    January 12, 2007

    Looking back on FIRE’s work last year, several trends stand out: the disturbing rise of student-led censorship, the increased public awareness of the importance of the right of private conscience, the continued pervasiveness of speech codes and the often willful misinterpretation of “harassment” to squelch speech. One trend, however, strikes me as being truly unique to… Read more

  • Emmett Hogan on 2006: The More Things Change…?

    January 5, 2007

    Emmett Hogan is a student at University of Michigan Law School and a luminary early FIRE employee. As we looked back on 2006 in campus rights and abuses I wanted to check in with him for his thoughts on the past year in FIRE history. This was his thoughtful response: One of FIRE’s most gripping… Read more

  • ‘I Am All for Free Speech—But I Draw the Line at People Making Fun of Me!’

    May 30, 2006

    For those of you who didn’t get to see me on MSNBC this weekend, it was a fun time, and a chance to talk about the striking rise we have noticed in students getting into trouble for their speech on sites like MySpace.com or Facebook.com. As loyal Torch readers know, FIRE recently successfully aided a… Read more