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DOE vs. University of Michigan

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Zeinab Kahera

on 12 March 2013

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Transcript of DOE vs. University of Michigan

So whats the Issue? 1. Is the Policy (Speech Code) unconstitutionally vague and over broad?
2. Did the University attempt to protect one's first Amendment rights through their enforcement of the policy? The policy was over-broad and vague, so university officials picked and choose which speech to prosecute and sanction.
The University could not create a policy that censors the speech they agree with or that does not fit into their desired message.
The court found that the University must give fair warning as to what is prohibited and protected under the policy.
The University cannot regulate “obscenity” without defining what qualifies as “obscene” within the policy.
If the policy does not offer parameters, then the students and faculty cannot be expected to abide by it, if they do not understand which behaviors and/or speech are prohibited. Reasoning Decision Court ruled in favor of Mr. Doe Holding 1. Yes; the university can have policies to protect against harassment, discrimination, threats, and assaults AS LONG AS they are specific and do not censor speech based on opinions or arbitrary reasoning.
The policy drafted did not fall within these lines
2. No they did not attempt to protect one's first amendment rights.
DOE vs. University of Michigan Last of the Facts...for now Facts University of Michigan had some issues with discrimination issues
Open Season fliers
Racist jokes on the Radio
KKK Uniform State House of Representatives got involved
United Coalition Against Racism (UCAR) threatened a lawsuit
Investigation showed that discrimination complaints were not handled properly
Created under the acting President
Three-tiered system
Policy applied to: "educational and academic centers, such as classroom buildings, libraries, research laboratories,
recreation and study centers." Some More Facts Any member of the University community could initiate the process leading to sanctions
If a hearing is needed the panel would consist of four students and one tenured faculty member
"Depending on the intent of the accused student, the effect of the conduct, and whether the accused student is a repeat offender, one or more of the following sanctions may be imposed: (1) formal reprimand; (2) community service; (3) class attendance; (4) restitution; (5) removal from University housing; (6) suspension from specific courses and activities; (7) suspension; (8) expulsion." Mr. Doe
Psychology graduate student
Took issue with policy because of possible ramifications as a result of potential discussions in his course. Remember the rights of your students!

http://www.westga.edu/handbook/113.php#Freedom%20of%20Expression Implications for Practice
Full transcript