University of Michigan

Students, professors take fight to universities to protect free speech

Legal fights are breaking out across the nation over university policies that curtail the free speech of students and academic freedom of professors. The advocacy group Speech First last week filed a lawsuit against the University of Michigan challenging the constitutionality of the school’s Bias Response Teams and content-based restrictions on speech. Nicole Neily, president of Speech First, said the University of Michigan’s attitude toward free speech is representative of the higher education landscape. “Bias Response Teams are fundamentally un-American and have no place on college campuses,” Ms. Neily said Tuesday in a statement. “We have an epidemic on our hands in the higher education system — universities are establishing rules and protocols that create a dangerous environment in which free speech protections under the First Amendment no longer exist.” A spokesperson for the University of Michigan declined to comment. The lawsuit says the university’s Bias Response Team has investigated more than 150 “expressions of bias” since April 2017. “In connection with these investigations, the BRT has acted aggressively to censor what it considers ‘expression of bias,’” the lawsuit says. “For example, the BRT has taken down signs, removed flyers, confronted faculty members, erased speech on whiteboards, and interrogated students accused of expressions of bias (whom the University calls ‘offenders’).” The lawsuit argues that the determination of bias is “completely subjective,” citing the university’s declaration that the “most important indication of bias is your own feelings” and that bias-related incidents “do not always result in unfair treatment that violates nondiscrimination laws.” “Under this regime, the most sensitive student on campus effectively dictates the terms under which others may speak,” the lawsuit contends. There are also signs that the state of free expression at the University of Michigan is trending in the wrong direction. The university announced last month that it would amend its Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities to prohibit “bias-related misconduct.” Speech First believes this will have a “profound chilling effect on protected expression” because of the “utter lack of clear notice about the line between permissible and prohibited conduct.” Speech First is a member organization that represents students at colleges across the nation. Plaintiffs in Tuesday’s lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, are students who attend the University of Michigan. A sophomore quoted in the lawsuit said free speech is permitted on campus “only if your ideals align with those the University imposed on us.” “In other words, people have their right to freedom of speech and expression,” the student said, “but only until their beliefs no longer align with the so-called ‘correct’ beliefs, then people are not allowed to freely express those opinions.” Another student acknowledged hiding “my political views and opinions from nearly everyone I have encountered here at the university” out of fear of reprisal. A third student recounted being called a racist for supporting President Trump. “I was talking to a friend in the hallway today, [who] also supported Donald Trump, and someone was listening into our conversation,” the student said. “After about 30 seconds of my friend and I having a private discussion, we were both called racists, which is simply not true.” The Ann Arbor institution is not the only university facing a lawsuit over its policies toward speech.

Indeed..  And, that’s good.  Colleges and universities in America used to be where there was lively debate and exchanges of ideas.  Now, the pc police and speech Nazis have taken over and if you don’t publicly espouse the “proper” (liberal, politically correct) opinion, they’ll come after you.  And, it’s just getting worse.  We support Speech First and other groups taking the fight to these fascist educational administrations.

Univ. of Michigan students demand no-whites-allowed space to plot ‘social justice’ activism

A student activist group at the University of Michigan is demanding campus officials provide them with “a permanent designated space on central campus for Black students and students of color to organize and do social justice work.” The demand is one of several lodged by “Students4Justice,” who this month ratcheted up campus demonstrations to pressure administrators to cave, complaining in a newly launched petition that President Mark Schlissel has snubbed their demands. The clamor for a segregated space for students of color to organize social justice efforts comes even as the public university builds a $10 million center for black students and others in the center of campus. The new center is considered a “multicultural” one open to all students, but is under construction at the behest of a student group called Being Black at the University of Michigan, whose members complained that black students are marginalized because the original multicultural center they use is located on the outskirts of campus. In their demands, students explain why the new multicultural student center is not enough, “because we want a space solely dedicated to community organizing and social justice work specifically for people of color.” “We want documentation of past, current, and future student activism and this should be a permanent space that is staffed, and has resources for students to organize and share resources,” the demand letter states. Leaders of “Students4Justice” did not respond to requests from The College Fix seeking comment. Campus spokesman Rick Fitzgerald told The Fix that at “this point, our colleagues in Student Life have been working with the Students4Justice leaders to better understand their concerns. This is our normal process.” The demands caught the attention of the Michigan Review, an independent student news outlet which first reported on the issue — and criticized it. “The same organization that criticizes the University for failing to create ‘an environment that engages in diversity, equity and inclusion,’ is calling upon the University to undermine these ideals by facilitating a sort of de facto segregation? One where space and resources are designated for students based solely on the color of their skin?” the Review wrote. “To advocate for the ideals of diversity, equity and inclusion, while simultaneously calling upon the University to sanction these spaces on campus is both unprincipled and laughably regressive,” it added. The demands were first presented last fall, but an updated version was refiled with administrators in late January after a series of incidents deemed racist, according to the demand letter. This list of demands also call for more support for “marginalized” students “when oppressive attacks occur,” increasing the affirmative action of “Black, Arab, and other PoC” in tenured faculty, more readily alerting students on campus of “bias incidents,” and offering more financial aid for those of lower socioeconomic status. Students4Justice bemoan what they perceive as a lack of action from campus leadership to these demands. In addition to the petition, earlier this month they held a sit-in, as well as a silent protest when prospective students visited campus. “Our president has blatantly ignored us and it is time for us to speak up. We have been told that our demands are ‘rude,’” the group states on Facebook in announcing its petition. “We are calling on someone to care about students’ concerns and to lead us with integrity and help us fight against the oppression and hateful acts that try to destroy us and our community.”

Oh, that’s rich..  It is these self-righteous, anti-white racist, entitlement-minded, extreme liberal, spoiled brat kids that are destroying their “community,” and the atmosphere at Univ. of MI.  If they want to have their protests and have their little activist club, then fine.  BUT, I highly doubt that the alums, and taxpayers of MI (who all fund this school), don’t want to see those monies squandered on silly politically correct nonsense like this.  Hopefully the school president will push back against these free speech, and racial, bullies…and tell them to get back to class, for crying out loud.  We’ll, of course, keep an eye on this story…

Univ. of Michigan student successfully changes preferred pronoun to ‘His Majesty’ on class roster

As Heat Street‘s Politics Editor Jillian Melchior reported this week, a new policy at the University of Michigan allows students to choose their preferred pronouns — including the gender-neutral “they” and “ze” — to appear on class rosters. With that in mind, one conservative student, Grant Strobl, who is also chairman of the Young Americans for Freedom board of governors, decided to troll the university administration by officially requesting his pronoun to be changed to “His Majesty.” Although Storbl says he has “no problem with students asking to be identified a certain way,” he thought it important to show just how ludicrous it is for universities to institutionalize the use of “arbitrary” pronouns and threaten disciplinary action if students and staff repeatedly fail to use them. “I henceforth shall be referred to as: His Majesty, Grant Strobl. I encourage all U-M students to go onto Wolverine Access, and insert the identity of their dreams,” he told the College Fix. The university vice president and provost of student life said employing preferred pronouns was “one of the most basic ways to show your respect for their identity and to cultivate an environment that respects all gender identities.”

HAHAHA!!!  Kudos to Grant for seizing on this ridiculous example of political correctness gone crazy at the Univ of MI!!  To read the rest of this, and get a good laugh at how embarrassingly foolish the administration is there, click on the text above.  Just another example of how insane our colleges and universities have become.  They are a complete joke…and becoming a national embarrassment.