Department of Justice to Universities: Title IX Requires You to Violate First Amendment

 

shutterstock_3359855The feds are once again pushing an unconstitutional definition of harassment on universities. The latest push, coming in the form of a “findings letter” issued to the University of New Mexico, is all the more concerning because it’s coming directly from the Department of Justice. Universities are forced to choose between adopting a wildly unconstitutional definition of harassment or face the possibility of losing their federal funding and the wrath of the DOJ.

As FIRE writes in our new press release:

The shockingly broad conception of sexual harassment mandated by DOJ all but guarantees that colleges and universities nationwide will subject students and faculty to months-long investigations—or worse—for protected speech. In recent years, unjust “sexual harassment” investigations into protected student and faculty speech have generated national headlines and widespread concern. Examples include:

  • Northwestern University Professor Laura Kipnis was investigated for months for writing a newspaper article questioning “sexual paranoia” on campus and how Title IX investigations are conducted.
  • Syracuse University law student Len Audaer was investigated for harassment for comedic articles he posted on a satirical law school blog patterned after The Onion.
  • A female student at the University of Oregon was investigated and charged with harassment and four other charges for jokingly yelling “I hit it first” out a window at a couple.
  • The Sun Star, a student newspaper at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, was investigated for nearly a year for an April Fools’ Day issue of the newspaper and for reporting on hateful messages posted to an anonymous “UAF Confessions” Facebook page.
  • And just two weeks ago, a police officer at the University of Delaware ordered students to censor a “free speech ball”—put up as part of a demonstration in favor of free speech—because it had the word “penis” and an accompanying drawing on it, claiming that it could violate the university’s sexual misconduct policy.

The feds’ expansion of anti-discrimination law at the expense of the First Amendment has been going on in different forms for years, and it’s time that university presidents and elected officials put a stop to it. Please read more about this at thefire.org (We will be writing a lot more about this in coming days) and ask that your representatives and alma maters finally fight back against this executive overreach.

There are 15 comments.

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  1. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    It’s the end of humor on campus. This one made me laugh:

    Greg Lukianoff: A female student at the University of Oregon was investigated and charged with harassment and four other charges for jokingly yelling “I hit it first” out a window at a couple.

    • #1
  2. donald todd Inactive
    donald todd
    @donaldtodd

    The progressives are eating their own kids.  I hope it makes them sick.

    • #2
  3. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Gregg,

    This one is really out of 1984. First, a concept called sexual harassment is coined specifically to stop sexual extortion where one party has power over another. Next, we go through the looking glass and distort the meaning to any speech that is sexual whether hurtful or even directed at anyone. Finally, we attach a process that is anything but due process.

    There you have it a witch hunt to end all witch hunts. Obama’s Dept. of Injustice makes another “contribution” to the law.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #3
  4. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    drlorentz:It’s the end of humor on campus. This one made me laugh:

    Greg Lukianoff: A female student at the University of Oregon was investigated and charged with harassment and four other charges for jokingly yelling “I hit it first” out a window at a couple.

    Holy [redacted].  Did you read the link?

    “According to the student, looking out of the dormitory window, she spotted a male and female student walking together (she did not know either of them) and shouted “I hit it first” at them in jest. The female of the couple responded with two profanities and the couple reported the student’s comment to the Resident Assistant of the dorm. The Resident Assistant located the student and insisted that she apologize to the couple for her remark. The student readily obliged. [emphasis added]”

    “the student was shocked to receive a “Notice of Allegation” letter charging her with five separate conduct violations for her four-word joke. In addition to dubious allegations of violating the residence hall’s noise and guest policies, UO charged the student with “[h]arassment,” “disruption,” and “[d]isorderly conduct.”

    Okay, first off, the other students swore at her, she didn’t swear at them – so why aren’t they charged with the same thing?

    But leaving that aside, who does that?  What kind of emotional cripple do you have to be to go to the trouble of tracking down a complete stranger who yelled something stupid from a  window and file charges?

    • #4
  5. Bob W Member
    Bob W
    @WBob

    I don’t even get the joke… I hit it first? Maybe I’m behind the times or something.

    • #5
  6. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Bob W:I don’t even get the joke… I hit it first? Maybe I’m behind the times or something.

    That’s probably not a bad thing.

    • #6
  7. Bob Laing Member
    Bob Laing
    @

    Bob W:I don’t even get the joke… I hit it first? Maybe I’m behind the times or something.

    Presumably she was implying that she had slept with the “man” before his current girlfriend.

    • #7
  8. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Bob W:I don’t even get the joke… I hit it first? Maybe I’m behind the times or something.

    It really doesn’t even make sense as a joke when directed at two people you don’t know.  I suppose among a group of people at least casually acquainted it might be funny in the right context.

    • #8
  9. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Bob Laing:

    Bob W:I don’t even get the joke… I hit it first? Maybe I’m behind the times or something.

    Presumably she was implying that she had slept with the “man” before his current girlfriend.

    Don’t be heteronormative.  She could have been implying she slept with the woman.

    • #9
  10. Greg Lukianoff Contributor
    Greg Lukianoff
    @GregLukianoff

    Bob W:I don’t even get the joke… I hit it first? Maybe I’m behind the times or something.

    I was just talking with my comms person about how so many readers have no idea what that means. We should have been clearer. “I hit it first” is slang for “I had sexual relations with your significant other prior to you.” Keep in mind it was a girl who thought she was being funny and it was not even clear whether it was directed to the male or female. It’s also a name of a pop song in which, ahem, Ray-J points out to Kanye West that, with regards to Kim Kardashian, that he… well, “hit it first.”

    • #10
  11. Z in MT Member
    Z in MT
    @ZinMT

    “Sometimes a society becomes too stupid to survive.”

    – Mark Steyn

    • #11
  12. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    Miffed White Male:Holy [redacted]. Did you read the link?

    Yes I did read it, including the complaint from the school. Holy [redacted] indeed. Still enjoyed the joke, though.

    • #12
  13. Man With the Axe Inactive
    Man With the Axe
    @ManWiththeAxe

    The good news is that the University of Oregon clearly does not have any real problems to address, and must have resources to burn.

    • #13
  14. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    Man With the Axe:The good news is that the University of Oregon clearly does not have any real problems to address, and must have resources to burn.

    Of course they have resources to burn:

    rising-student-debt

    • #14
  15. aardo vozz Member
    aardo vozz
    @aardovozz

    James Gawron:Gregg,

    This one is really out of 1984. First, a concept called sexual harassment is coined specifically to stop sexual extortion where one party has power over another. Next, we go through the looking glass and distort the meaning to any speech that is sexual whether hurtful or even directed at anyone. Finally, we attach a process that is anything but due process.

    In this case,less like due process,and more like doo-doo process(just tryin’ to avoid the CoC violation,folks.:))

    • #15

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