SUNY Oswego Victory Makes Media Splash

November 20, 2012

Earlier this month, FIRE exposed a shocking case at the State University of New York College at Oswego (SUNY Oswego), where a student was suspended and ordered to vacate campus simply for writing emails. 

Alexander Myers, an exchange student from Australia, contacted three hockey coaches from other institutions, as research for a class assignment he was writing about SUNY Oswego men’s hockey coach Ed Gosek. In his email, he wrote that "what you say about Mr Gosek does not have to be positive." The next day, Myers received a letter from SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley, which placed him on interim suspension and charged him with "disruptive behavior," on the grounds that SUNY Oswego policy prohibited emails that "defame, harass, intimidate, or threaten another individual or group."  

If you find his suspension outrageous, you’re not the only one! Once FIRE broke the news, media outlets across the country picked up the story, calling much-needed attention to SUNY Oswego and its disciplinary practices. Here’s a quick summary of the coverage:

Student press outlets have picked up the story, too. 

We’ve been pleased to see Myers’ case receive the sunlight it deserves. We hope that, between FIRE’s correspondence and this media attention, SUNY Oswego thinks long and hard before overzealously punishing student speech again.

Schools:  State University of New York – Oswego

Cases:  State University of New York College at Oswego: Student Suspended for Emails to Hockey Coaches