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 was told on October 18, 2010, that he was being investigated for harassment for his alleged involvement with a blog called SUCOLitis, which was meant to emulate The Onion. The blog included a disclaimer stating, "No actual news stories appear on the site." Yet "independent prosecutor" and SUCOL professor Gregory Germain threatened Audaer with expulsion, without ever revealing what expression in particular justified the charges or even who was charging him.
The Daily Orange notes that FIRE not only ranks Syracuse as a red-light school in our Spotlight database, but that we also listed Syracuse at the top of our Huffington Post list of the 12 worst colleges for free speech in the nation. Just days after the Huffington Post article was published, Syracuse dropped the entire prosecution.
Thanks to The Daily Orange for reminding readers that free speech on campus cannot be suppressed in private, because the news will sooner or later embarrass the school in public!