Contact: Gina Lauterio
Lawmakers Must Work to Stop Lawless Conduct on Campus
WASHINGTON / December 1, 2015 – After a month of an increasing level of death threats, physical assaults, and intimidation tactics, SAVE is calling on lawmakers to take the lead to assure civil conduct, free speech, and due process on campus.
This past weekend, a death threat was issued against University of Chicago students: “At 10 a.m. on Monday mourning I am going to the campus quad of the University of Chicago. I will be armed with a M-4 Carbine and 2 Desert Eagles all fully loaded. I will execute aproximately 16 white male students and or staff.” On Monday, Jabari Dean, 21 was arrested as the prime suspect in the case.
Physical assaults against students have been reported at the University of Missouri and elsewhere. At Dartmouth College, protesters pinned a woman to the wall while calling her a “filthy white b*tch.” At Occidental College, 400 students took over the school’s administrative building. At Towson University in Maryland, students occupied the president’s office until he agreed to institute mandatory campus “cultural competency” briefings.
A majority of colleges and universities across the country unlawfully deny students their free speech rights, often restricting such expressions to “Free Speech Zones.” These are a few examples
— The University of California has developed a list of verbal “microaggressions” that students and faculty must avoid lest they engage in behavior deemed to be racist.
— The words “American,” “illegal alien,” and “fathering” are deemed problematic by the University of New Hampshire’s Bias-Free Language Guide.
— At Washington State, a teacher of Women & Popular Culture threatened to fail any student who used “oppressive” expressions that refer to “women/men as females or males.
In 2011 the U.S. Department of Education issued a landmark sexual assault regulation. The regulation mandated that all allegations of felony sexual assaults be referred to campus sex tribunals and curtailed the due process rights of the accused. The Department did not seek prior public review and comment, in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.
As a result, dozens of lawsuits have been filed against colleges alleging unlawful violations of due process. Recently Georgia Tech was sued for expelling a student for sexual misconduct based on the recommendation of a single administrator with a “proven history of bias,” according to the student’s attorney.
“State lawmakers should be holding hearings, issuing resolutions, and enacting legislation to restore order on campus,” notes SAVE spokesperson Sheryle Hutter. “Colleges should be exemplars of peaceful protest and the rule of law.”
Stop Abusive and Violent Environments is working to protect free speech on campus and promote effective solutions to sexual assault: http://www.saveservices.org/