“allows people to anonymously report incidents that could be perceived as biased”
Bias reporting systems are basically snitch lines. They should have no place in higher education.
Campus Reform reports:
EXCLUSIVE: UMaine operates allegedly unconstitutional reporting system
The University of Maine (UMaine) may be operating an unconstitutional on-campus reporting system, Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF) claims.
SLF sent a legal demand letter to the Orono campus on Oct. 3 that took aim at its bias reporting system for allegedly violating students’ First Amendment rights, engaging in viewpoint discrimination, and chilling speech.
Campus Reform obtained an exclusive copy of this letter.
“We are concerned that the policies infringe on students’ First Amendment rights because they allow officials to discriminate against the content and viewpoint of speech,” the letter reads.
“The policies also unconstitutionally chill freedom of expression because they allow anyone on campus to report students for perceived bias incidents. As such, we demand that the University revise these unconstitutional policies.”
Kenda Scheele, Associate Vice President for Student Life at UMaine, told Campus Reform that the university received the letter.
“We have not yet responded but expect to do so shortly,” she explained.
UMaine’s “Bias Response Team” allows people to anonymously report incidents that could be perceived as biased. Bias incidents are defined as “acts of hate and bias unacceptable and antithetical to [UMaine’s] commitment to an inclusive and respectful community,” reads its website.
The reports are forwarded to a variety of department heads for review, including Acting Deputy Title IX Coordinator and Senior Associate Dean of Students Kenda Scheele, Director of Community Standards, Rights and Responsibilities David Fiacco, and Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Anila Karunakar.
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