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Emerson College Denies Appeal of ‘Bias’ Charge Against Conservative Student Group Over China Criticism

Emerson College Denies Appeal of ‘Bias’ Charge Against Conservative Student Group Over China Criticism

Emerson College said TPUSA violated the “Bias Related Behavior” policy for distributing stickers critical of the Chinese government.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D378CAjaFq4

The Turning Point USA chapter at Emerson College in Boston is being punished for distributing stickers that are critical of the Chinese Communist Party. We mentioned this story in a Quick Take.

TPUSA appealed a bias charge over this and now the school is doubling down.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has gotten involved in the case and is taking it very seriously.

From the FIRE blog:

STICKER SHOCK: Emerson College doubles down on censorship, denies TPUSA chapter’s appeal of ‘bias’ charge for distributing stickers criticizing China’s government

Criticizing a foreign government is a serious offense at Emerson College. That’s the message Emerson’s administration sent on Friday by denying the appeal of a conservative student group that passed out stickers critical of the Chinese government.

“Emerson’s actions from start to finish are extremely worrying,” said Sam Neves, president of Emerson’s Turning Point USA chapter. “They’re trying to bully us into submission, and we will use all the tools at our disposal to make sure they won’t. They can’t cancel us if we don’t let them.”

After Emerson initially suspended the campus chapter of TPUSA for distributing the stickers, Emerson’s conduct board found the group responsible for violating the school’s “Bias Related Behavior” policy and issued them a “formal warning.”

“FIRE is issuing a ‘formal warning’ to Emerson,” said FIRE attorney Adam Steinbaugh, who wrote FIRE’s initial Oct. 5 letter to Emerson. “Emerson violated its own promises by making it clear that speech criticizing foreign governments will not be tolerated if it angers supporters of those states. Authoritarian censorship should be rejected, not embraced, by any institution committed to freedom of expression — as Emerson claims to be.”

As an alum of Emerson College, I find this story particularly troubling. Emerson claims to care about free expression. The school motto is “Expression Necessary to Evolution.” The idea of censorship of any kind was abhorred by students when I was there in the early 1990s.

By the way, this is the sticker that’s causing all the fuss:

Here is the Emerson College statement on free expression:

Statement on Freedom of Expression

As an institution dedicated to Communication and the Arts, the first amendment of the US Constitution is of high importance. The right to freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of political belief and affiliation, freedom from discrimination, freedom of peaceful assembly, and petition of redress or grievances is not only a right but a community responsibility. It is equally important that all community members be granted the right to be free from improper and illegal discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, religion, political views, sexual orientation, age, sex, military or other uniformed service, disability or any other characteristic protected under applicable local, state, or federal law. Please see Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation.

The College encourages students to present ideas, express their individuality and culture, and be open to thoughts or life styles that differ from their own. The College expects all students will present themselves in a respectful manner that does not endanger, threaten, or infringe on the rights of others. The College also expects students will not conduct themselves in a manner that will infringe on another individual’s education or the mission of the College.

It looks as if TPUSA is being targeted on the basis of politics. It’s outrageous.

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Comments

I wonder if they would have suspended a leftist group for criticizing Israel?

    henrybowman in reply to Dennis. | November 18, 2021 at 10:09 am

    Back in the ’70s, Emerson students routinely criticized the foreign government of South Africa for its internal apartheid passports, as well as the Polaroid corporation for selling them the equipment needed to create those photo IDs.
    What changed?
    American Marxism.

      casualobserver in reply to henrybowman. | November 18, 2021 at 11:05 am

      The change came in the form of $$$, not principles or ideology. Wherever you see extreme positions, you will find tons of money. And you will RARELY find any threat to the overall financial well-being of either the institutions or the administrators in taking and defending those extreme positions. Simply look at the role of the massively exploding increases in admin staff – almost all of it associates with the extreme ideas and positions. Look for any financial sacrifice for publicly stating and defending the positions, and you almost never find it. Donors continue to donate, often increasing their generosity. States and feds continue to fund. Not saying all the $$ is in support of the extreme ideas, just that there aren’t any consequences.

      The education “industry” has other financial problems, but those aren’t a result of a decrease of public money or private money. Only to an insufficient INCREASE perhaps. So, why would any administrator in a position of power change course on ideology? They just need to find more $$$ sources, including more students on the public dime.

      randian in reply to henrybowman. | November 18, 2021 at 8:20 pm

      They’re putting apartheid passports back in vogue.

    markm in reply to Dennis. | November 19, 2021 at 9:43 am

    “I wonder if they would have suspended a leftist group for criticizing Israel?” Of course not. Israel is not an enemy of the USA.

LIBERAL ARTS ?

LIBERAL ARTS ?

May be we need to change the term to Gestapo Arts ?

    JohnSmith100 in reply to Ben Kent. | November 18, 2021 at 10:52 am

    How about Loser Arts, in that jobs for people with LA are rather hard to come by. Most certainly a broad liberal arts background is useful, but without any other skills, they are dime a dozen.

The College expects all students will present themselves in a respectful manner that does not endanger, threaten, or infringe on the rights of others.

The College expects conservative students will present themselves in a respectful manner that does not endanger, threaten, infringe on the rights, or hurt the feelings of leftist students.

FIFY

American fascism is so race obsessive a man literally committing a genocide is good if he is non-white.

When you can’t criticize a totalitarian Communist dictatorship on an American college campus, something is very rotten in Denmark

“The Turning Point USA chapter at Emerson College in Boston is being punished for distributing stickers that are critical of the Chinese Communist Party. ”

Remind me again. Who’s the world’s superpower?

Remind me again. What country can kill 800,000 American citizens and 5,000,000 worldwide and face no consequences?

What country is the world’s superpower?

Demand a list of countries that can be criticized.

    henrybowman in reply to Real American. | November 18, 2021 at 2:22 pm

    “If you would know who controls you see who you may not criticise.”

    (I won’t even attempt to attribute this. Various sources claim/deny Voltaire, Orwell, Tacitus, and even a neo-Nazi blogger.)

Wonder how much money Emerson College gets from China?

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