Campus Free Speech

Public University Threatens To Monitor and Punish Off-Campus Student Behavior

Doing the wrong thing at an off-campus party could lead to on-campus consequences.

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In May, the University of Oregon's Board of Trustees approved a policy change to expand the school's jurisdiction to punish students for off-campus actions. This revision to the student conduct code redefines the scope of disciplinary authority over the private lives of students.

The amended policy now reads, "The University may apply the Student Conduct Code to Student behavior which occurs off-campus in which the University can demonstrate a clear and distinct interest as an academic institution regardless of where the conduct occurs." According to the student newspaper, possible consequences for off-campus code violations include suspension, disciplinary probation, or educational sanctions.

The decision follows unruly parties at private residences near campus earlier this month that drew ire from the surrounding community amid ongoing COVID-19 concerns. One event shut down by police went viral on social media after a crowd of over 500 partygoers were reportedly hostile to officers as they dispersed.

In a tweet, the university responded: "UO is limited in the actions it can take with individuals who live in private homes. However, the office of student conduct and community standards is investigating complaints involving this photo [of an off-campus party] and will take any necessary appropriate actions."

As such, the Board of Trustees met in the following weeks to "[clarify] the University's nexus," according to meeting notes. Though the policy change was never proposed to the university's senate, there was no opposition from the Student Conduct Advisory Committee. The meeting notes even go as far as to assert that "this language has been consistently upheld in court."

This, however, is plainly untrue. Presently, a similar case concerning a violation of student freedoms is being considered in the Supreme Court. In Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L., a Pennsylvania high school cheerleader who was suspended for complaining she did not make the varsity squad in a profane Snapchat post is now suing the school district for violating her off-campus speech rights.

Though the Supreme Court's infamous 1969 decision in Tinker v. Des Moines asserted that teachers and students do not "shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gates," the Mahanoy case and the University of Oregon policy call into question whether public schools wield additional authority to monitor and punish off-campus activity.

Such policies, expanded due to the pandemic, could have lasting implications in defining the delineation between campus life and private life. And as a public university, UO is held to a higher standard than private universities in its obligation to uphold the constitutional rights of its students.

Last week, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) asserted that the university "must disavow this unsound policy and implement a lawful one instead." UO's jurisdictional bloat sets an alarming precedent for student privacy and freedom.

NEXT: The U.K. Is Accelerating Resettlement Efforts for Afghan Interpreters. The U.S. Should Do the Same.

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  1. We’re just trying to stop the next Brett Kavanaugh.

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  2. “UO is limited in the actions it can take with individuals who live in private homes. However, the office of student conduct and community standards is investigating complaints involving this photo [of an off-campus party] and will take any necessary appropriate actions.”‘

    So UO thinks it has “jurisdiction” over what students do on non-UO properties? Gee. Students behaving like students. Socrates also complained about it. Nothing new here. Get over it.

    1. I wonder if they feel the same way about commuter students in homes much further from campus. My guess most of the “neighbors” are UO faculty and staff who have been looking for a pretext to control the neighborhood and COVID gave them a golden opportunity.

      1. I’m sure the University views the area as “their” part of town. Somebody else bought it and pays the taxes, but it’s theirs

  3. >>drew ire from the surrounding community amid ongoing COVID-19 concerns

    nobody made you live next to a party campus and have delusions about covid.

    1. This is the university where they filmed Animal House and this story is basically the plot of the movie. How many of the neighborhood residents (many of whom I’m sure are professors) would appreciate being thought of as modern day Dean Wormers?

      1. Favorite Animal House Line – “If you mention extortion again, I’ll have your legs broken”

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        2. Mine is “Hey YOU fucked up, you trusted us”
          Because it seems to apply here.

          1. That line seems to apply to more situations every day.

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      2. In all fairness, the student body was already on double secret probation.

  4. Going to an off-campus party – grounds for expulsion.

    Going to an antifa riot, attacking journalists, and trying to burn down a courthouse – totes ok.

    1. You can even get tenure doing the latter.

    2. Not just OK, but required course material

    3. You get extra grade points.

      1. Some of the rioters in Portland are known professors from the local college.
        Include a number of them in BLM.

  5. They must be made to understand that they have to obey, no matter where or when. Otherwise, they might get the idea that they can do something without permission from their betters.

    1. It’s for their own good.

  6. I went to a boarding school where this was the rule. If you did something against school policy, off campus, you’d be disciplined. I had a friend who was disciplined for doing something with his parents!

    The differences were that the school was run by protestant fanatics, it was a private institution, and we were all children. The Jesus freaks compare favorably. Public universities are run by progressive fanatics, they treat adults like children, and the protestant fanatics did believe in redemption.

    Progressive fanatics clearly don’t believe in redemption. I found myself in trouble for sneaking out at night with a girl, like I’d committed a crime, but at least the protestant fanatics didn’t treat heterosexuality itself as original sin. That’s more of a Catholic and progressive thing.

    1. People often misattribute the left and communism as seeking to go to atheism and end religion. That’s not their goal. Their goal is to replace religion.

      1. I’m not going to say it’s impossible to end religion. But, it’s extremely difficult. And the majority of people claiming to want to do away with religion probably want only to replace it with their own creed.

        1. I maintain that our neocortex evolved the way it did to accommodate the advantages conferred by language and religion. The main advantages of religion appear to have been about group cohesion, group size, etc.

          “Robin Dunbar argues that the critical event in the evolution of the neocortex took place at the speciation of archaic Homo sapiens about 500,000 years ago. His study indicates that only after the speciation event is the neocortex large enough to process complex social phenomena such as language and religion. The study is based on a regression analysis of neocortex size plotted against a number of social behaviors of living and extinct hominids.[16]

          Stephen Jay Gould suggests that religion may have grown out of evolutionary changes which favored larger brains as a means of cementing group coherence among savannah hunters, after that larger brain enabled reflection on the inevitability of personal mortality.[17]

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_origin_of_religions#Increased_brain_size

          If the religious compulsion was baked into our neocortex through evolution, getting rid of it is probably absurd. Even if we’re not talking about belief in the supernatural with progressives, people still want to be a part of something greater than themselves, make sacrifices for a cause, and feel like their lives are meaningful. Progressivism scratches all those itches. They even have an environmental apocalypse to avoid and a heaven of racial harmony and perfect equity that we could enjoy–if only we resist the temptations of selfishness, racism, etc. and turn our backs on the sinful non-progressives.

          Maybe think of it this way, back when people lacked the scientific knowledge we have today, they may have believed that the cause of plague, or why rainbows happen, etc. were because of the will of God, but that didn’t make him supernatural the way we think of it today. That just made God an integral part of their natural world. It’s our minds, today, that came to think of God as supernatural. Progressives are like that. They may not believe in a supernatural God, but their thinking is still religious in the ways I outlined in terms of wanting to sacrifice, having a greater purpose, feeling like a part if something, etc.

          To some of the protestants I grew up with, angels and demons were as real to them as the natural force of gravity, and it seems to me that progressives have returned to that state of mind. They don’t believe in the supernatural, but some of the protestants I grew up with didn’t think of angels and demons as supernatural forces either. Getting rid of the supernatural elements of religion just makes progressives able to become true believers.

          1. Great analysis. Add “original sin” as a key current element for the white progressives.

            My understanding is that a new religion best succeeds by destroying and replacing the previous. Pagan winter ceremonies were supplanted by Christmas, etc. Modern progressivism replaces humankind’s original sin (the embrace of knowledge) wit:

            (a) the original sin of European whites bringing African slavery to the New World (never mind that Africa itself helped foster all different kinds of slavery well before 1619).
            (b) the sin of capitalism.

            Both sins require public repentance. Capitalism is on its way to replacement with a twisted form of asceticism and austerity brought about by socialist redistribution.

            Yes it’s a religion, and these are monsters who need to be stopped.

    2. The difference is that most of these private schools were not Federally Funded using Federal Tax Dollars. Universities, both public and private, are funded by state and Federal governments, and as such must adhere to the First Amendment (among others).

      1. Universities, both public and private, are funded by state and Federal governments, and as such must adhere to the First Amendment (among others).

        And where they don’t (e.g.) they’re up front about it and, with the belief in redemption, generally act in good faith.

      2. I said it was a private institution, and the similarities between progressives and religious fanatics are more interesting than the differences between private and public institutions.

        1. the similarities between progressives and religious fanatics are more interesting than the differences between private and public institutions

          Not when it comes the question of whether or not the actions of the latter are legal/proper.

    3. I had a friend who was disciplined for doing something with his parents!

      Gross!

    4. and we were all children

      I think that’s a pretty key difference. Children don’t have the same degree of responsibility as adults and probably shouldn’t have the same degree of autonomy. Parents have a reasonable expectation that a boarding school is going to act in loco parentis as their agents. I don’t think the waiting list for admittance to the Jack Merridew Academy would be terribly long.

    5. “The differences were that the school was run by protestant fanatics”

      That’s not a difference at all.
      Progressivism is the direct evolution of protestant fanatics.

      1. The point was about the similarities between progressives and religious fanatics.

    6. “That’s more of a Catholic and progressive thing.”

      It’s certainly a progressive thing, and while it may be found among American Catholics, it will almost certainly be the laity.

      Because the root if it is Puritanism.

      1. That was half tongue in cheek, with progressives, but c’mon . . . treating heterosexuality as original sin is more of a Catholic thing!

        https://www.catholic.com/qa/was-having-sex-the-original-sin

        1. Not really sure that link says what you think it says.

          1. Probably be worth noting that it’s Protestants who have historically had the problem with public dancing…

        2. The vapid Popes and clergy certainly had no problem with buggering little children.

    7. Sounds like it was a Baptist school.
      I was forced to attend a Baptist Church when young. Hated every minute of it.

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  8. The private/public barrier must not be an impediment to the Thought Police. If you live off campus and do stuff off campus, them the Federally Funded University Campus Thought Police (FFUCTP) still gets to knock heads together in the name of justice and Joe Biden.

  9. In May, the University of Oregon’s Board of Trustees approved a policy change to expand the school’s jurisdiction to punish students for off-campus actions.

    Open borders FTW!

    1. Iz what happens when Oregon lets Californians in.

  10. Wait’ll they get wind of what the non-students are up to.

  11. The decision follows unruly parties at private residences near campus earlier this month that drew ire from the surrounding community obnoxious Karens amid ongoing COVID-19 concerns pants shitting.

    FTFY.

  12. Flashing back to my own teen/college years I realize how prophetic some of the tunes were https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fu9sEdi48Tg

  13. “Snapchat post is now suing the school district for violating her off-campus speech rights.”

    That is certainly not true even if they did issue what some call punishment.
    Make no mistake that punishment is a motive/belief and NOT an action as coercion is.

  14. I mean it’s Oregon. Washington, Oregon, and California have governors and legislatures that think they’re autocrats while their cities are filling with roving gangs of leftist thugs/fascist shitheads, homeless people shitting on the sidewalk, and junkies overdosing on shuttered business stoops.

    We need to start a campaign that every July 5th everyone sends their leftover 4th fireworks to the San Andreas fault. We dump em in all up and down the fault, run a few hundred miles of primer cord, and hope that one year it sets it off and launches the entire coast into the pacific, never to be seen again.

  15. Muh priVatE coMpanY, oh wait…

  16. The Hair is not going to like that you’re stepping on his turf!

  17. This is not one of the military academies, with a harsh code of conduct but even there some leniency is shown. Way back when,
    Cadet U.S. Grant and his roommate swiped a neighbor farmer’s turkey and were cooking it, against the rules, in their room. An upperclassman named Grier caught them, but -not being an 1840s version of “Karen”- decided not to turn them in (which would have meant immediate dismissal from the Point). Some of you may have heard of the later exploits of General and President Grant. Had Grier not shown compassion, Grant would have finished his days a drunken no account bum. Grant eventually returned the favor, naming Grier as Colonel of the 3rd U.S. Cavalry.

    1. I believe that “leniency” and “compassion” are code words for White Privilege.

      1. You mean black privilege.

  18. One event shut down by police went viral on social media after a crowd of over 500 partygoers were reportedly hostile to officers as they dispersed.

    Why would this even be news?

    1. Sounds like they were mostly peaceful.

  19. “Though the Supreme Court’s infamous 1969 decision in Tinker v. Des Moines asserted that teachers and students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gates,” the Mahanoy case and the University of Oregon policy call into question whether public schools wield additional authority to monitor and punish off-campus activity.”

    Why do you term the Tinker decision as “infamous,” a term usually reserved for decisions like Plessy, Dred Scott and Korematsu?

  20. “Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”

    HL Mencken

    1. Now substitute Puritanism with progressivism.

  21. Such policies, expanded due to the pandemic, could have lasting implications in defining the delineation between campus life and private life.

    Good. As a taxpayer, I hope students at public universities will be held to a high standard of personal conduct.

  22. Why does the author refer to the Tinker decision as “infamous”?

  23. the Board of Trustees met in the following weeks to “[clarify] the University’s nexus,” according to meeting notes. Though the policy change was never proposed to the university’s senate, there was no opposition from the Student Conduct Advisory
    https://wapexclusive.com ,Committee. The meeting notes even go as far as to assert that “this language has been consistently upheld in court.”

  24. About ten years ago a local High School suspended several students. Their crime was that they went on a trip to Germany with their parents. The trip was during Summer vacation when school wasn’t in session. Pictures were posted showing the students drinking beer. They were with their parents and were of LEGAL age in Germany. A Judge threw out the suspensions, but, upheld the School’s right to revoke all privileges and extracurricular activities. The reason cited by the School was that the students agreed to abide by the School’s Code of Conduct.

    1. … during the summer?

  25. And how many kids got sick with The Coof after the party? I’m guessing it’s a nice, round number.

    1. If Trump were president, 500. Since he’s not & it’s Biden, 0 (zero).

  26. It really is amazing how much people care about what other people are doing.

  27. Can the students apply this standard to the trustees? Maybe follow them around and see what rules they break off campus. This is suppression of their first amendment rights. OU should have absolutely no authority over an adult student once they leave campus unless it is on a school funded excursion.

  28. So UO thinks it has “jurisdiction” over what students do on non-UO properties? Gee. Students behaving like students. Socrates also complained about it. Nothing new here. Get over it. https://wapexclusive.com/

  29. This is just another reason not to attend some worthless college or university, staffed by Marxists and socialists.
    Spend four or five years of your life pursuing an utterly worthless degree, that has no marketable value, end up working at a dollar store for $7.50/hr and spend the next thirty years paying off the loan debt.
    A college degree is a waste of time and money. Besides most of what is being taught is socialism anyway. Go to a tech school and learn a real skill. Learn HVAC, electrical, plumbing, welding, auto service and repair, A&P…. that’s airframe and powerplant, there is a need for new airline pilots as the older ones are retiring. Many of these skilled jobs are or will be begging for new people.
    Some stupid college degree that ends with “Studies” is as useless as tits on a bull.

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  31. Maybe other posters have already said: this seems like an outgrowth of campuses having and increasing campus police forces. In my hometown, it seems like there are more campus police cars milling about town than there are municipal police vehicles or staties.

  32. University officialdom/officialdumb, take your pick, needs to be told where to get off, in plain, unmistakable English.

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