Campus Free Speech

Northern Michigan University Might Have the 'Most Dangerous' Speech Code Ever

Students are prohibited from talking about their suicidal thoughts with others.

|

NMU
Antonio Guillem / Dreamstime

Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, writes that Northern Michigan University might just have "the most dangerous college speech code I've seen in my career."

Yeah, it's that bad.

NMU prohibits students from sharing "self-destructive thoughts" with other people, even their close friends. In practice, this means that NMU administrators have informed students who were going through difficult emotional episodes that they are prohibited from discussing such issues with other students.

According to New York Magazine's Jesse Singal, on March 25, 2015, Associate Dean of Students Mary Brundage told student Katerina Klawes who had been sexually assaulted and was seeking counseling "it is important that you refrain from discussing these issues with other students and use the appropriate resources listed below. If you involve other students in suicidal or self-destructive thoughts or actions you will face disciplinary action."

And Klawes wasn't the only one to receive such a warning. As recently as summer orientation 2016, incoming freshmen were told that talking about self-harming was prohibited, according to FIRE.

There's no sound medical reason to ban people from talking about self-harming. Students who are experiencing suicidal thoughts should talk about them—it's the first step toward getting help. The university seems to be concerned that permitting such discussions somehow promotes suicidal tendencies, but there's no science to back up that concern. It's much more dangerous to stigmatize people who are suffering emotionally and make them feel like they can't turn to their friends for help.

The policy also obviously violates students' free speech rights.

"NMU is imposing a gag order on students at a time when a conversation with a friend may be most needed," said FIRE Senior Program Officer Marieke Tuthill Beck-Coon in a statement. "Preventing students from simply reaching out to each other for help cuts off the most basic exercise of the right to speak freely."

The university should reverse itself immediately and make clear to students that they will not be sanctioned for talking about their mental health issues.

Advertisement

NEXT: The origin of House of Representatives v. Burwell

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Daredevil doesn’t treat her well enough.

    1. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail,,,,,,,

      ——————>>> http://www.highpay90.com

    2. My best friend’s sister makes $89 an hour on the internet . She has been out of a job for six months but last month her check was $14750 just working on the internet for a few hours. Go this website and click tech tab to start your work… Now this website… http://goo.gl/bvaZx7

    3. My best friend’s sister makes $89 an hour on the internet . She has been out of a job for six months but last month her check was $14750 just working on the internet for a few hours. Go this website and click tech tab to start your work… Now this website… http://goo.gl/bvaZx7

  2. Associate Dean of Students Mary Brundage told student Katerina Klawes who had been sexually assaulted and was seeking counseling “it is important that you refrain from discussing these issues with other students and use the appropriate resources listed below. If you involve other students in suicidal or self-destructive thoughts or actions you will face disciplinary action.”

    And Klawes wasn’t the only one to receive such a warning. As recently as summer orientation 2016, incoming freshmen were told that talking about self-harming was prohibited, according to FIRE.

    She went on to say, “killing yourself is also prohibited, you weak, whiney bitch.”

    1. The “disciplinary action” will be self-delivered. Makes sense.

    2. But if she walked around carrying a mattress that would be fine.

        1. Don’t. Stick. It. In. Crazy!

          1. Buckcherry disagrees.

            But would not. She is not hot.

            1. Mind your Bubba-he speaks the truth

        2. Emma Sulkowicz Reclaims Her Identity

          Uhm, no one ever took it from her.

        3. I’m lost. Is the mattress a metaphor? Or does she use the same one she has sex in?

          I dunno this is reminding me of the great ‘how many Wile E. Coyotes’ are there?

          1. All she has to doo is fall backward and take the money…

    3. “Don’t commit suicide: It is illegal to destroy government property.”

  3. At some point, one must be wary of any creature which chooses to identify as FIRE Senior Program Officer Marieke Tuthill Beck-Coon.

    1. She has a wife, you know.

      1. I will not have my Senior Pwogwam Officer’s wife widiculed by the common soldiery!

        1. Thank you. Perfect.

  4. The university should reverse itself immediately and make clear to students that they will not be sanctioned for talking about their mental health issues.

    And risk the triggering of confidants? Are you mad?

  5. Talk is cheap.

    1. Seriously, shit or get off the pot.

  6. I think we’re being too harsh. The University’s heart is in the right place. We all know, that the best way to stop a suicidal person is to isolate them and prevent them from discussing their problems with other people. As we all know, people who feel lonely and disconnected from society rarely commit suicide. It’s access to guns that causes the problem, and those guns often are taken from acquaintances.

    1. 9/10

      It’d have been better if you had said “those guns often are supplied by acquaintances” instead.

    2. I see you are acquainted with Trigger Warning Theory. Needless to say, we should commend NMU’s policy here; how else are we going to refute decades of scientific research suggesting that the opposite of these policies is the proven therapeutic way to heal these individuals.

      Why can’t we just keep experimenting with Social Marxism until it works? According to a fat*, wealthy*, unemployed*, idiot* named Karl and his wealthy*, fat*, daddy-job-inheriting* friend Friedrich, people are just better off being mathemagically equalized.*

      *These statements currently under review by the Committee for Racial Appropriation in America Politburo (CRAP): German and Ashkenazie Heritage Division (GAHD), with Sensitivity Oversight undertaken by the three member Jewish Youth for Independent Policy Division (JYIPD).

    3. [citizenkaneclapping.gif]

  7. Sounds like a 7 figure payoff in the works for some family.

  8. If you involve other students in suicidal or self-destructive thoughts or actions you will face disciplinary action.

    1. If somebody helps, it becomes a question about whether it was, in fact, a suicide.
    2. Whaddyagonnado?

    1. 2. Whaddyagonnado?

      If you’re depressed and suicidal, ignore the university’s stupid policy and talk shit out with your closest friends like normal fucking people who don’t need some authority figure’s permission to treat each other like human fucking beings?

      1. And if they try to discipline you in any way you just got your tuition paid for all 4 years courtesy of their legal defense fund.

    2. I’d just tell them that if they took disciplinary action against me, I’d kill myself.

  9. Was that Brundage or Umbridge?

    1. Avery or Doris? Both awful.

    2. Seriously though, have you seen the shitty email she sent to students regarding this policy? She signed it WARM REGARDS!!! http://wnmufm.org/post/nmu-ema…..l#stream/0

  10. I have to guess that they don’t want these precious snowflakes discussing how they’re thinking of ending it all due to the cafeteria not offering free-range fair-trade non-GMO organic chai latte whatever and risk being told to just go kill themselves. Which I imagine they get told forty or fifty times a day.

  11. I wonder if NMU’s enrollment numbers have anything to do with this. Not that I think the University is committing suicide or that I’m talking about it. I’m just asking. You know… for a friend.

  12. You know who else had suicidal thoughts…

    1. Any number of defeated Samurai?

    2. Japanese Zero fighter pilots?

    3. Damnit. I need to get off work earlier! That was going to be my”you know who else”!

  13. I can’t wait for a student to actually kill themselves and their parents sue the school over this.

    (Well, I mean, I’d love to wait because it should never happen … but especially with this policy, it will happen, and they’re just asking for a lawsuit.)

  14. The question, once again. Are these people:
    a. Stupid
    b. Evil
    c. Both

    1. It’s always “C”.

    2. Never assume stupidity when malice is an equally supportable explanation.

  15. Personally, I think we should all simply be limited to using the word “mongoose.” Nobody can be offended when language is reduced to a single word for every situation.

    Mongoose.

    1. Mongoose MONgoo monGuse.

      1. Take back what you said about my mother.

    2. You never know what word is safe – didn’t a student at Penn get in trouble for telling some noisy girls they sounded “like a herd of water buffaloes?”

      1. No. Do you think he’d have got trouble if he said they sounded like a herd of mongeese? No.

    3. Soooooo sex is

      /mongander

    4. That probably explains what happened at some point in the past on planet Marklar

    5. I agree, like “laughing Hyena” to discribe SJW’s? Wait, Iam sorry, that is an adjective already assigned to Hillary, and boy does it make the SJWs upset. Don’t use this Hyena word in a safe place, it will trigger them and hurt thier feelings. (The word “yapping” also triggers them, reminding them of Hillary in a negative way).

    6. The hard G in mongoose is problematic. Monghoose is better, but only if you’re, in fact, some sort of weasel. Otherwise just shut your cis-shitlord mouth.

  16. “Look-if you talk about it, other people may find out. And, that would make us look bad. You don’t want the college’s image to be damaged, do you?

    Now, run along, and go see a Lady Goo-goo Doll, or, whatever it is you kids do.”

  17. OT – Once again, a prog writer makes the case for Gary Johnson –

    “…Johnson embraces a few Millennial-friendly positions like marijuana legalization, reproductive rights, and a non-interventionist foreign policy.

    “But dive just a little deeper and the case for former members of Bernie’s revolution to support Johnson falls apart.

    “People power versus corporate power…

    “Down with TPP…

    “Let [the climate] burn…

    “Tear down the [social safety] nets…

    “The opposite of free [education]…

    “A $15 difference [i. e., the minimum wage issue]…

    “Medicare for none…

    “This should not be appealing to former Bernie Sanders supporters. But, up until now, it has been. And whether it remains that way could have a big impact on the outcome of the 2016 election.”

    1. They really are terrified.

      1. “Hey! Remember the free stuff!!”

      2. “Hey! Remember the free stuff!!”

        1. ‘Member Bernie Sanders? ‘Member free shit? /member berries

  18. I think the most dangerous thing about any University today is the danger to any male who goes near one.

    1. Danger to males? What about the danger to females? Aren’t 5 out of every 1 female college students raped on a daily basis?

      1. Yeah, but they like it and the guys get into trouble anyway.

  19. It’s true that sometimes people don’t want to hear about other peoples’ self-destructive thoughts.

    1. Great. So you don’t want to hear somebody suicidal thought. Tell him to shut up then. And then he goes ahead and kills himself. Great.

    2. I also don’t want to hear I have cancer, but keeping quiet about it doesn’t make the problem go away.

  20. Hillary’s freaking out, she’s freaking out, man

    I DOUBLE DOG DARE you to turn off the audio and watch this. If that doesn’t creep you the fuck out, you’re too jaded even for my taste

    1. Even without sound I could only take it for 10 seconds. She is a frightful ghoul

      1. She looks like a more evil and demented female Hitler. Seriously, that is terrifying.

      2. I’d still do her before Feinstein.

        1. 40 years ago, maybe — Hillary was actually cute then. (I can’t believe I said that.)

        2. Thanks if I need a boner-killer at any stage I’ll just recall that comment.

    2. Why aren’t you 50 points ahead?

      Because you’re a hateful corrupt old shrew and as much as people dislike the orange blowhard, a lot of them dislike hateful corrupt old shrews more?

    3. Why is she yelling at me?

      Jeeze ma, I’ll take out the freakin’ garbage, don’t have a conniption fit.

    4. She’ll “fight back against so-called ‘right to work'”? Fuck you, Hillary. Workers don’t need the mob to skim their paychecks to buy hookers and blow for politicians.

      -jcr

    5. You can’t blame her. It’s a brain disease.

  21. Sometimes I try to do things and it just doesn’t work out the way I want it to
    And I get real frustrated, and its like
    And I try hard to do it and take my time
    And it just doesn’t work out the way I want it to
    It’s like I concentrate on it real hard but it just doesn’t work out
    And everything I do and everything I try, it never turns out
    It’s like I need time to figure these things out
    But there’s always someone there going

    Hey Mike: You know we’ve been noticing you’ve been having a lot of problems lately
    You know, maybe you get away, and like maybe you should talk about it,
    You’ll feel a lot better

    And I go: No it’s okay, you know I’ll figure it out
    Just leave me alone I’ll figure it out
    You know I’ll just work it on myself,

    And they go: Well you know if you want to talk about it I’ll be here, you know
    And you’ll probably feel a lot better if you talk about it, so want don’t you talk about it

    And I go: No I don’t want to, I’m okay, I’ll figure it out myself
    And they just keep bugging me and they just keep bugging me
    And it builds up inside

    1. No one knows what it’s like to feel these feelings like I do – and I blame you.

      1. +1

        I don’t want to know what’s behind those blue eyes…

    2. I’m not crazy. You’re the one who’s crazy.

      1. Nice.

  22. Wtf. Step one is learning that your friends are also full of self doubt.

    1. Step 2: ???

      Step 3: Harden the fuck up and accept that life sucks and people are bastard coated bastards with bastard filling. Deal with it.

      1. Step 4: Profit

    2. Who the fuck hangs out with people who doubts themselves? I don’t know enough about this, I guess… As a rule, I never doubt myself and exposes to ridicule anyone around me who does till they realise we aren’t a bunch of little children stuck on the reservation anymore. Why does anyone doubt himself? It’s kind of a crasy thing. I mean, we can see the facts, we can evaluate them by the light of nature and rational thought–What is there to doubt? Further, if a person can’t trust his own judgment, he can’t trust ANYONE judgment, since he lacks the judgment to assess the reliability of anyone else judgment. It’s insanity. I do know people who doubts themself. I can’t understand it. They are also people who have “self-esteem”, suffer “compulsions”, and worry about things like “who” they are and what everybody thinks and what’s the perfect label they can find for themselfs. I don’t even know what self-esteem is, and I took a class on it onced. There’s no explanation that makes any fucking sense. It seems like it requires a paradoxical imaginary vision in which a person is both himself and also some entity other than himself… and a bunch of other mystical crap that smacks of Jung and Pythagoras. Boring! Yeah, and they’re the same folks who have opinions and views and feelings about things and can’t seem to ever get up the nerf to just go ahead and speak their minds. If they got any minds that is. Or yabls for that matter. I have my doubts.

  23. Protest Vote, Oh Noes!

    The pants shitting brigade are out in full force these days.

    1. [Trump] is callously using black people as pawns in a Donnie-come-lately kinder-gentler campaign.

      *Project/tile/tion vomit*

    2. Authored by Charles M. Blow

  24. Letting them talk about their problems?
    That’s just CRAZY talk!

  25. What if I want to talk about hurting one of Santa’s toymakers? Is that allowed?

    1. That would be OK, since it falls under religious freedom… Zeusism to be exact… See details below…

      Me personally, I favor bombing Santa’s Workshop, his elves, all his reindeer, and all their lice, ticks, and fleas, too! They are all just entirely TOOO socialist! Bunch of CRAP, giving taxpayer’s toys to the corruptible, innocent young, just for supposedly being “good”! Teaches them to be mooches!

      You know the Greeks; they’re WAY socialist, to the point that they DO like freaks! Yet their Greek-socialist thunder-and-lightning God, Zeus, even HE can’t stand the excessive socialism of the reindeer! See what He did to a bunch of these mooching socialists, HERE: http://www.theverge.com/2016/8…..hy-science

  26. In the defense, making people listen to college age women talk about their problems (or anything else) really is a terrible thing to do.

    I’d rather listen to Yoko Ono sing.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfyN9oaoEHs

    1. In the words of Marcel Proust – and this applies to any woman in the world: If you can stay up and listen with a fair degree of attention to whatever garbage, no matter how stupid it is, that they’re coming out with, ’til ten minutes past four in the morning… you’re in.

      – George Spiggott

  27. Associate Dean of Students Mary Brundage has obviously never received an unexpected phone call that someone she loves has just killed himself. She would see this very differently.

  28. Given the winters in Marquette, I expect at least 40% of the students are suicidal at some point between November and May.

  29. Commence your Home Business right now. Hang out with your Family and Earn. Start bringing $75/hr just over a computer. Very easy way to choose your Life Happy and Earning continuously. Begin here….

    Copy This Link inYour Browser….

    +_+_+_+_+_+_+_+ http://www.BuzzNews10.Com

  30. I use to think Progressives were just ill informed. I am beginning to think they are mentally ill and actual dangerous to others. They can’t hold a civil conversation without threats.

    1. If you’re not progressive, you’re evil. If you hold a civil conversation with evil, that makes you just as evil.

      The logic really isn’t that hard. It’s completely fucked up, but it’s not hard.

  31. I am making $89/hour working from home. I never thought that it was legitimate but my best friend is earning $10 thousand a month by working online, that was really surprising for me, she recommended me to try it. just try it out on the following website.

    ===> http://www.NetNote70.com

  32. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go? to tech tab for work detail,,,,,,,
    ——————>>> http://www.4cyberworks.com

  33. Xavier . I can see what your saying… William `s posting is incredible… last monday I bought themselves a volvo after I been earnin $5905 this-past/5 weeks and-just over, 10k this past munth . without a doubt its the coolest job I’ve ever done . I actually started four months/ago and pretty much immediately brought home at least $69 p/h . look at this now

    ….. http://www.NewsJob3.com

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.