This happened at Bowling Green State. The story below notes that this is basically a violation of free speech.

Campus Reform reports:

University suspends fraternity members over constitutionally protected speech

Bowling Green State University suspended nine students from participating in a fraternity for one year following a Halloween costume incident.

The nine Pi Kappa Alpha members dressed up as Mexican-American gang and posted photos on social media with the caption “your culture is my costume,” according to the Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune.

Following the incident, BGSU conducted a code of conduct investigation into the nine students for potential violations. The investigation concluded that the students did not violate the code of conduct, as their speech was protected by the First Amendment.

“While their actions were inappropriate and counter to BGSU’s Core Values on diversity and inclusion, the reported behavior is protected speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and our own policy on free speech and expression. Therefore, there was no violation of the student code of conduct,” BGSU President Rodney Rogers said in a statement, according to the report. “This type of speech and behavior has no place in our community, and we will always speak out against individuals and groups that espouse racism, intolerance, or hate.”

Although the school determined that the students were well within their constitutional rights, each of them will still have to meet with the office of the Dean of Students to talk about why their actions were wrong, and why those actions do not line up with the university’s values.


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