Colorado College: Students Found Guilty for Satirical Flyer

Category: Cases, Free Speech
Schools: Colorado College

Two male students were found responsible for violating the school’s "violence" policy for posting a flyer that parodied a flyer from the Feminist and Gender Studies program. Colorado College’s "Feminist and Gender Studies Interns" had distributed a flyer called "The Monthly Rag," which included a reference to "male castration," an announcement about a lecture on "feminist porn," and an explanation of "packing" (pretending to have a phallus). As a parody of "The Monthly Rag," the two male students distributed a flyer called "The Monthly Bag" under the pseudonym "Coalition of Some Dudes." The flyer included references to "tough guy wisdom," "chainsaw etiquette," the shooting range of a sniper rifle, and a quotation about "female violence and abuse" of men from the website batteredmen.com. The college subjected them to an hours-long hearing and found them responsible because of their "juxtaposition of weaponry and sexuality" on their flyer. Disciplinary letters were placed in their official files.




















  • The Monthly Bag

    February 10, 2008 | » Read More

  • The Monthly Rag

    February 01, 2008 | » Read More

    • Chainsaw Etiquette at Colorado College

      April 25, 2008

      Chainsaw Etiquette at Colorado College    

      » Read More

    • Joking students called on the carpet

      April 12, 2008

      A satirical response to a feminist publication at Colorado College has landed the college and two of its students in the middle of a fierce debate over freedom of speech. Chris Robinson and another student at the Colorado Springs institution decided to print “The Monthly Bag” after seeing copies of a feminist and gender studies newsletter, “The Monthly Rag,” in restrooms around campus. The edition of “The Monthly Rag” that prompted action included an announcement for a talk on feminist pornography, information on gender-bending practices, and a tidbit about a myth involving male castration. According to Robinson, it was representative […]

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    • Flyers spark free speech debate at CC

      April 2, 2008

      Two Colorado College students are drawing criticism for posting a flyer on campus that mocked a feminist publication and, the college says, made violent references. Chris Robinson, a senior Political Science major at Colorado College, says he and friend published “The Monthly Bag” as a joke, a parody of a Feminist and Gender Studies student publication “The Monthly Rag”. “It was a satirical journal of guy stuff,” Robinson said. However, the college didn’t see it as a joke. The flyers were taken down the morning they were put up, according to Robinson. “I thought that maybe we had struck a […]

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    • Quick Takes from Inside Higher Ed: Double Standard Alleged

      April 1, 2008

      The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is criticizing Colorado College for punishing students who distributed a flyer that mocked a flyer distributed by feminist students on the campus. The feminist students’ flyer is called “The Monthly Rag” and the leaflet mocking it is called “The Monthly Bag.” When the latter appeared, with its authors identified only as “the coalition of some dudes,” college officials asked those responsible to come forward. When they did, FIRE asserted, they were ordered to hold a campus forum after being found guilty of violating the student code against violence. FIRE called this inconsistent and […]

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    • Colorado College satire causes a stir

      March 31, 2008

      A Colorado college has found two students guilty of violating the conduct code against violence after the students distributed a satirical flyer poking fun at the college’s Feminist and Gender Studies program. Chris Robinson and a second student who wished to remain nameless now must hold a campus forum to discuss the very issues that landed them in hot water. The controversy began when Colorado College’s “Feminist and Gender Studies Interns” distributed their newsletter entitled The Monthly Rag. The newsletter contained information pertaining to the women’s studies program and also highlighted information on a lecture to be delivered by a […]

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    • ‘What Can The Virginia Tech Tragedy Do For Me?’

      August 7, 2013

      by Greg Lukianoff The Huffington Post In the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy, we all knew things on college campuses were going to change. Even the most cynical among us, however, probably didn’t think to themselves, “Hey, how can I use this horrible tragedy to my advantage?” But regardless of whether that despicable thought ever popped into college administrators’ heads or not, the simple fact is that some administrators have been using the campus shootings of the past two years as an excuse to justify cracking down on speech they don’t like. The most dramatic recent example of college […]

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    • CC’s free-speech fears

      August 7, 2013

      by Vincent Carroll Rocky Mountain News   Chris Robinson is a one-man free-speech movement. Colorado College, where Robinson is a senior majoring in political science, believes free speech on certain topics is worrisome and must be corralled. So its thought police subjected Robinson and a fellow student (who has chosen to remain anonymous) to an inquisition last month after they published a parody of a campus feminist flier known as The Monthly Rag. For good measure, dean of students Mike Edmonds reached into his bag of tricks two weeks later and found Robinson and his colleague guilty of the farcical […]

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    • Face The State’s Interview with Adam Kissel of FIRE

      August 7, 2013

      Face the State   In town this week to discuss the state of Free Speech on America’s college campuses, Adam Kissel, director of the individual rights defense program for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, sat down with Face The State for an interview. FTS: So Mr. Kissel, what brought you here? AK: I was invited to speak at Colorado College to address the controversy over the punishment and censorship of students who distributed a satirical flier. The flier was a parody was of an earlier leaflet posted by the school’s Feminist and Gender Studies program, called “The Monthly […]

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    • What we’re buying at college

      August 7, 2013

      by Mona Charen Townhall.com   This week millions of high school seniors across the nation will mail forms and checks to colleges announcing their intention to matriculate. It’s the culmination of what some say was the toughest year ever to pry open the golden doors of academe. My husband and I are still a few years away from writing those whopping checks to doubtless already well-endowed institutions, but a spirit of rebellion stirs in my soul at the thought of it. We tamely fork over tens of thousands of dollars (about $45,000 per year) for the privilege of having our […]

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    • The Unique Free Speech Challenges Facing Student Satire and Humor

      February 1, 2013

      As we wrap up Free Press Week, we take a look today at the unique challenges that college students face when engaging in satire and humor on campus, from humor magazines and editorial cartoons to satirical flyers and blogs. Like newspaper theft and denial of newspaper funding (which we have already explored this week), this is an issue that FIRE has seen time and time again on university campuses over the years. For any number of reasons, parody, jokes, and satire-whether in print or otherwise—tend to rankle students and university administrators alike as few other forms of expression do. Consequently, […]

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    • Colorado College Remains in the ‘Red’

      June 21, 2012

      Colorado College (CC) has long been associated with one color here at FIRE: red, as in our Red Alert list, on which CC remains for violating the free speech rights of two students back in 2008. But recent actions have demonstrated that this association is warranted for another reason: CC’s continued maintenance of “red light” speech codes restricting all kinds of student expression. Despite FIRE’s efforts, CC has not seen fit to improve its red light status, meaning that campus expression is constantly in danger of being censored and punished—just as was the case in 2008. Longtime Torch readers will […]

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    • This Month in FIRE History: Controversy at Colorado College

      March 18, 2011

      Three years ago this month, FIRE began a battle for free speech and individual rights at Colorado College that continues to this day. FIRE first became involved at Colorado College when the school targeted two students for distributing a parody mocking a Feminist and Gender Studies program newsletter, “The Monthly Rag,” a publication that had included a reference to “male castration,” an announcement about a lecture on “feminist porn” by a “world-famous prostitute and porn star,” an explanation of “packing” (pretending to have a phallus), and a quotation from The Bitch Manifesto. In response, the two students had produced their own […]

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    • Time for Colorado College to get off FIRE’s Red Alert List

      September 10, 2010

      For the third consecutive year, Colorado College is called out for its shameful disregard of free speech in FIRE’s full-page U.S. News & World Report advertisement. As with its fellow Red Alert list members, we would dearly like to take it off the list, and for Colorado College to earn its way off would be simple. First, though, the matter of how it got on the list to begin with. Torch readers may remember that in 2008 Colorado College student Chris Robinson, along with one other student, parodied a flyer called “The Monthly Rag,” which had been distributed on campus […]

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    • FIRE Launches New Video Series With Short Film on Censorship of Gun-Related Speech

      June 30, 2010

      PHILADELPHIA, June 30, 2010—Today, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is proud to release a new short film, “Empty Holsters: Gun Speech on America’s Campuses,” highlighting widespread campus censorship of student speech about guns. The film is the first in a new FIRE series focusing on how colleges and universities across America are preventing students and faculty members from speaking out on the weightiest political issues of the day. “In the wake of Monday’s Supreme Court decision in McDonald v. Chicago, debate about the Second Amendment and gun rights is sure to be hotter than ever,” said FIRE […]

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    • Changes in Leadership Give Red Alert Schools Golden Opportunity to Restore Free Speech

      May 19, 2010

      The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that Richard F. Celeste will step down as President of Colorado College at the end of the next academic year. This latest announcement means that four of the six schools on FIRE’s Red Alert list will undergo changes in leadership in the next year. Bucknell University President Brian C. Mitchell announced last year his intention to retire from Bucknell’s presidency, exiting Bucknell on June 30; Lawrence S. Bacow has announced his intention to leave Tufts University in June 2011; and embattled Brandeis University President Jehuda Reinharz plans to exit his post by then as […]

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    • Still Looking for a New Year’s Resolution, Red Alert Schools?

      January 14, 2010

      Here’s an easy New Year’s resolution that Brandeis University, Bucknell University, Colorado College, Johns Hopkins University, Michigan State University, and Tufts University can make: get off of FIRE’s Red Alert list of America’s worst violators of campus liberty! This week, FIRE sent the presidents of each of the six Red Alert schools a letter reminding them of their schools’ serious and ongoing violations of student and faculty rights, and just how easy it is for each of them to remedy their mistakes and reaffirm their commitment to freedom of expression. FIRE also included with each letter a copy of the […]

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    • How Can Colorado College Get Off FIRE’s Red Alert List?

      August 31, 2009

      FIRE’s full-page ad in the current issue of U.S. News & World Report, right next to the annual college rankings, exposes the colleges and universities that are the “worst of the worst” when it comes to individual rights. These are schools where policies and past practices are so bad that FIRE actively warns students and faculty members to think twice before joining a community that violates its constitutional or contractual obligations to respect freedom of expression and due process. Schools don’t have to stay on the list forever. Last year, for example, FIRE’s U.S. News ad featured Valdosta State University, which quickly changed its […]

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    • CC dinged over free speech issue

      August 28, 2009

      The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has rated Colorado College as being among “the worst of the worst” when it comes to liberty on campus. The nonprofit civil rights group took out a full page ad of “Red Alert” schools in the 2010 edition of U.S. News and World Report’s America’s Best Colleges issue, released this week. The organization monitors schools for what it sees as violations of free speech, due process, religious liberty and other civil rights issues. CC was singled out for finding two students guilty of violence for posting a flier that satirized a racy feminist […]

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    • This Month in FIRE History: Students Found Guilty for Satirical Flyer at Colorado College

      April 23, 2009

      I hardly have to “look back” in order to find the most disturbing April case in our 10-year history. Just last year Colorado College gained its place on our Red Alert (worst of the worst) list through its treatment of the satirical flyer “The Monthly Bag” and the students responsible for it. In January 2008, a group of students identifying themselves as the “Feminist and Gender Studies Interns” published a flyer entitled “The Monthly Rag.” The flyer contained, among other things, a reference to “male castration,” an announcement about a lecture on “feminist porn” by a “world-famous prostitute and porn […]

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    • Exploitation of ‘Violence’ Charges Makes Colorado College One of 2008′s Worst Offenders

      December 30, 2008

      It’s a difficult task encapsulating FIRE’s efforts in 2008 in a single sentence, much less a single word. After all, the breadth of FIRE’s victories on campus this year ranges from the exoneration of a student at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis who was the subject of a disgraceful investigation stemming from reading a book with the words “Ku Klux Klan” in the title to securing the rights of an instructor at Temple College in Texas to display a quote by Nietzsche on his office door. In between, FIRE clarified the right to political expression at the University of Oklahoma in […]

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    • Stop Invoking Virginia Tech to Punish Protected Speech

      November 24, 2008

      Of particular note in the court order in Barnes v. Zaccari, the federal civil rights lawsuit filed after former Valdosta State University (VSU) student Hayden Barnes was expelled for posting a collage on Facebook.com protesting the construction of new parking facilities at VSU, is this excerpt: For purposes of the motion to dismiss, the court determines that the inclusion of the word “memorial” by its mere utterance in a photo collage that was posted on an internet website simply cannot be rationally construed as likely to incite immediate violence, even in the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy that the […]

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    • This Month in FIRE History: IUSB and Double Standards for Student Speech

      September 18, 2008

      In our nearly ten-year history, FIRE has seen many absurd cases in which students have been punished for exercising their First Amendment rights. One of our more interesting cases was finally resolved last September, when Indiana University–South Bend overturned its punishment of student reporter Robert Francis, whose only offense was asking questions of an actress in the cast of The Vagina Monologues. The play, which includes a great deal of graphic language and sexual content, is dedicated to the “celebration of female sexuality,” but Francis’s questions in a similar vein were deemed “lewd, indecent or obscene.” Francis got in trouble […]

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    • How Can Colorado College Get Off FIRE’s Red Alert List?

      August 26, 2008

      The current edition of U.S. News and World Report‘s “America’s Best Colleges” issue, released on Monday, includes a full-page advertisement by FIRE highlighting the five colleges and universities that have earned FIRE’s Red Alert distinction for being the “worst of the worst” when it comes to liberty on campus. Students should think twice before choosing to attend one of the Red Alert schools: Brandeis University, Colorado College, Johns Hopkins University, Tufts University, or Valdosta State University. These schools got on the list because they not only have committed egregious violations of individual rights but even after sustained public scrutiny they […]

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    • FIRE Exposes Unrepentant Abusers of Liberty in ‘U.S. News’ College Rankings Issue

      August 25, 2008

      PHILADELPHIA, August 25, 2008—The 2009 edition of U.S. News and World Report‘s America’s Best Colleges issue, released today, includes a full-page advertisement from FIRE highlighting the five colleges and universities that have earned FIRE’s Red Alert distinction for being the “worst of the worst” when it comes to liberty on campus. Students should think twice before choosing to attend Red Alert schools, which include Brandeis University, Colorado College, Johns Hopkins University, Tufts University, and Valdosta State University. “Every year, millions of students and parents turn to U.S. News and World Report to see the latest college rankings,” said FIRE President […]

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    • FIRE Again Urges Colorado College President to Demonstrate His Recommitment to Free Speech

      July 31, 2008

      FIRE gave Colorado College President Richard Celeste another opportunity yesterday to restore the tarnished image of his school by once again calling on him to remove any disciplinary letters from the files of two CC students. Loyal Torch readers will remember this amazing case in which students were punished simply for posting satirical flyers. Back in February, a group calling themselves “the Feminist and Gender Studies Interns” posted a flyer around campus entitled “The Monthly Rag.” The flyer contained references to an upcoming lecture by “world-famous prostitute and porn star” Annie Sprinkle and male castration. In response, two CC students […]

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    • Weekly Media Round-up: IUPUI Heats up the News Cycle, and Richard Celeste Continues to Get it Wrong

      July 18, 2008

      FIRE’s public efforts on behalf of Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) student-employee Keith John Sampson, who was convicted of racial harassment for reading the book Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan, received a major boost this week, courtesy of the Associated Press. The AP ran a story covering IUPUI Chancellor Charles Bantz’s belated apology to Sampson following months of contemptible treatment at the hands of the university and IUPUI’s Affirmative Action office. The article, which first appeared on July 14, has been picked up by more than 200 separate news outlets, including […]

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    • Colorado College President Blogs on ‘Monthly Bag’ Case, Makes Errors, Spins Untruths

      July 17, 2008

      This week the President of Colorado College (CC), Richard Celeste, blogged for a second time in the disgraceful case of two male students convicted of “violence” after they posted a parody of a feminist newsletter. The story is well known to Torch readers, but Celeste gets some of his facts wrong and shamefully spins others. Here is his entire post from July 14, with commentary: Follow-up to ‘The Monthly Bag’ I’d like to keep you updated on “The Monthly Bag” and one group’s reaction to the college’s response. See my previous blog entry for the beginning of this story. This […]

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    • FIRE’s ‘Test for Free Speech’

      July 16, 2008

      In a recent entry on his blog Flow of Ideas, Colorado College President Dick Celeste writes of FIRE: An interesting note: In 2007, FIRE reviewed 346 colleges and universities, and fully 96 percent of them did not pass its test for free speech (only 2% passed; 2% were unrated). Celeste arrives at this figure by combining the number of schools that received either a “red light” or a “yellow light” rating in FIRE’s 2007 report Spotlight on Speech Codes 2007: The State of Free Speech on Our Nation’s Campuses. By FIRE’s definition, “red light” schools maintain policies that both clearly […]

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    • Group scolds CC for free-speech violations

      June 28, 2008

      A national watchdog group has put Colorado College on its “worst offender” list for free-speech violations after two students were reprimanded for writing a satirical newsletter. CC joins a “red alert” list with four other U.S. colleges that The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, considers to post the most serious threat to free speech and civil liberties. It urges parents and students to “think twice” before going there. “While abuses occur on many campuses, Red Alert campuses have policies and/ or practices that pose a particularly dangerous threat to basic freedoms,” FIRE states on its Web site. […]

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    • Whence is Colorado College’s Board of Trustees Getting Its False Information?

      June 26, 2008

      Today we report in a press release that the Chair of Colorado College’s (CC’s) Board of Trustees has affirmed the school’s actions in finding that two students violated CC’s “violence” policy for posting a flyer that parodied a flyer of the Feminist and Gender Studies program. In a letter to FIRE, Board of Trustees Chair David van Diest Skilling wrote that “the College acted correctly in their handling of the students’ behavior” and that “there is no need for further action.” But it seems that the Trustees were not given either true or complete information about the case. Torch readers […]

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    • Colorado College Board of Trustees Backs School in Punishing Students for ‘Violent’ Parody

      June 26, 2008

      COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., June 26, 2008—The Chair of Colorado College’s (CC’s) Board of Trustees has affirmed the school’s actions in finding that student Chris Robinson and another student wishing to remain anonymous violated CC’s “violence” policy for posting a flyer that parodied a flyer of the Feminist and Gender Studies program. In a letter to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), Board of Trustees Chair David van Diest Skilling wrote that “the College acted correctly in their handling of the students’ behavior” and that “there is no need for further action.” FIRE continues to call on CC to […]

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    • Colorado College’s President Misses the Point (Again)

      June 25, 2008

      A friend of FIRE at Colorado College recently passed along a copy of the May 9th edition of The Catalyst, the school’s student newspaper, which featured a column written by Colorado College President Richard Celeste. The column, aptly titled “Trials and Tribulations of 07/08,” is a look back at the year’s controversies, including the most recent flap over a satirical flyer published by a handful of students. As many of our readers know, the flyer, entitled “The Monthly Bag,” was a parody of a publication by the “Feminist and Gender Studies Interns” entitled “The Monthly Rag.” The students involved were […]

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    • When Schools Punish Creative Work

      May 20, 2008

      As Samantha points out this morning, today’s Wall Street Journal features an excellent article by Elizabeth Bernstein on schools that punish students for their creative work—sometimes with good intentions, when there is a real chance that the work signifies that someone is dangerous—and sometimes vindictively, such as in the case of student T. Hayden Barnes at Valdosta State University. Barnes, an environmentalist who was protesting against new parking garages, was expelled after he published an innocent collage (see for yourself) on Facebook.com that Valdosta’s president disingenuously chose to interpret as a threat to his life. The WSJ piece explains that […]

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    • Colorado College Joins Worst Offenders of Liberty on FIRE’s Red Alert List

      May 15, 2008

      Thanks to its disregard for protected speech, obvious display of double standards, and lack of a fair judicial process, Colorado College has earned the dubious distinction of being placed on FIRE’s Red Alert list. Institutions on the Red Alert list are unrepentant offenders against basic rights that are guaranteed either by the U.S. Constitution or the schools themselves, and they have policies and/or practices that demonstrate a serious and ongoing threat to present and future students. Although given numerous opportunities to reverse the finding that student Chris Robinson and another student, who wishes to remain anonymous, violated the school’s “violence” […]

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    • EDITORIAL: Punished for the crime of satire

      May 1, 2008

      What do Colorado College administrators have in common with Islamic radicals? Besides having absolutely no sense of humor, they share the insane opinion that any satirization of their sensibilities constitutes an act of violence. Recall the international furor created more than two years ago when a Danish newspaper published a dozen cartoons of the prophet Muhammad. An exercise in free speech spawned waves of deadly protests around the world and calls from leaders of Muslim theocracies to prosecute the editors and artists involved. When dumbfounded Europeans tried to explain that free expression is a core Western liberty that makes the […]

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    • Colorado College Press Strategy: Parse Words, Ignore Substance

      April 29, 2008

      As we’ve mentioned in this space before, Colorado College President Richard Celeste is the former Governor of Ohio. And after reading the following exchange between Adam Kissel, Director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program, and Colorado College Media Relations Director Jane Turnis, it’s obvious Celeste has taught his staff some old political tricks—like parsing opposing arguments to suit your tastes, substance be damned. Let’s examine the exchange. Turnis first wrote FIRE late yesterday evening, deeming yesterday’s press release—which stated that “Colorado College has denied student Chris Robinson’s appeal of its finding that he and another student violated the school’s ‘violence’ […]

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    • New Colorado College Video Now Up on Multimedia Page

      April 29, 2008

      If you’re interested in the continuing saga of our latest case at Colorado College, don’t miss the latest video installment on our multimedia page. We’ve just posted video of Adam Kissel’s appearance on Jon Caldara’s television show, Independent Thinking, on KBDI Channel 12 in Colorado. Adam discusses the Colorado College case and its implications with the Independence Institute’s Jessica Corry. This appearance was one of many Adam made on his recent media tour of Colorado, and is an excellent dialogue on the case. Check it out!

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    • Colorado College Denies Students’ Appeal of Guilty Finding

      April 28, 2008

      Today’s press release unveils some disappointing news from Colorado College (CC). CC denied the appeal of student Chris Robinson who, with another student who wishes to remain anonymous, was found guilty of having violated the school’s “violence” policy for posting a flyer mocking a flyer distributed by the Feminist and Gender Studies program. Robinson is one of the creators of “The Monthly Bag,” a parody of the Feminist and Gender Studies Interns’ flyer “The Monthly Rag.” While the “Rag” hit on issues like the fear of male castration, feminist porn, and the like, the “Bag” threw back references to chainsaw […]

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    • Adam Kissel’s Colorado College Lecture Available on Multimedia Page

      April 28, 2008

      On April 21, FIRE’s Adam Kissel visited Colorado College to give a speech on “The Free Expression Myth on America’s Campuses.” Adam has blogged about his lecture and media tour, and now we are able to offer you the entire audio of his speech, along with a Q&A session with the students and faculty at Colorado College. Visit our multimedia page for this latest episode of FIREside Chats and be sure to check back next Monday when we will be talking with Hayden Barnes about his on-going lawsuit against Valdosta State University.

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    • Colorado College Travelogue, Part II: Media Tour

      April 28, 2008

      In my lecture at Colorado College (CC) on Monday—see Part I of this travelogue and listen to the podcast version—I noted: There is a good reason why the media in Colorado Springs, in Denver, and around the country have been all over this case. What has happened to the Dudes is profoundly unjust. The media continue to follow this amazingly shameful case. On Monday night before the lecture, I spoke with some of the top members of the Catalyst, the college’s student paper, and about 15 other students ranging from “very liberal” to pretty conservative. The students were fired up, […]

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    • Colorado College Denies Appeal of Students Responsible for ‘Violent’ Parody

      April 28, 2008

      COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., April 28, 2008—Colorado College has denied student Chris Robinson’s appeal of its finding that he and another student violated the school’s “violence” policy for posting a flyer that parodied a flyer of the Feminist and Gender Studies program. The school also has decided not to remove any letters about the case from the students’ files until after graduation. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is assisting Robinson in his case against the school. “First, Colorado College trampled over Chris Robinson’s right to engage in an obvious parody, and now the school has further embarrassed itself […]

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    • Colorado College Travelogue, Part I: Lecture at CC

      April 24, 2008

      I returned yesterday after two days in Colorado Springs and Denver for a lecture at Colorado College and a media tour in the shameful case of Colorado College’s censorship and punishment of students for “violence” after they posted a parody called “The Monthly Bag.” (I will describe the media tour in another blog post soon.) On Monday night, having been invited by the Political Science Department and the Journalism Minor at Colorado College, I delivered my lecture to over 100 students and faculty. The audience was engaged and respectful (unlike some folks at the University of Delaware), asked great questions, […]

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    • Adam Kissel Speaking at Colorado College Tonight

      April 21, 2008

      FIRE’s Director of the Individual Rights Defense Program, Adam Kissel, will be visiting Colorado College for several speaking engagements over the next two days. Tonight at 9:00 p.m., he will be giving a speech at an event sponsored by Colorado College’s Political Science department, on “The Free Expression Myth on America’s Campuses.” This event is open to the public and will be held in Bemis Great Hall. If you’re in the Denver or Colorado Springs area, be sure to tune in to Adam’s radio and TV appearances on Tuesday. At 10:00 a.m., he’ll be discussing FIRE’s case at Colorado College […]

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    • Colorado College and LSSU Media Round-Up

      April 18, 2008

      April has been a media-friendly month here at FIRE and we’d like to take a minute to catch you up on all the latest coverage of our cases, specifically articles on Colorado College and Lake Superior State University. As Torch readers know, the controversy at Colorado College continues, with student Chris Robinson awaiting the decision of his appeal for being punished for posting a satirical flyer on campus. Media from all over Colorado have been covering the case persistently, including the Denver Post, the Rocky Mountain News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, and numerous television news outlets. At Lake Superior State […]

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    • Colorado College Feminists Do Not Seek Dialogue

      April 16, 2008

      Today’s Rocky Mountain News prints a very misleading letter from Tomi-Ann Roberts, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Program in Feminist and Gender Studies program at Colorado College. The paper headlined her letter “SPEAKOUT: Feminists at CC seek dialogue.” See below for my detailed responses to Roberts’s letter and for the simultaneous response from Vincent Carroll, editor of the paper’s editorial pages. I thought I would join the dialogue rather than speak merely as an outsider, so I requested to join the Feminist and Gender Studies listserv. Here’s the response I got from Roberts: You have requested to join […]

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    • What Did President Celeste Really Think About The Monthly Bag?

      April 16, 2008

      In my piece examining Colorado College President Dick Celeste’s blog entry about his administration’s censorship of the satirical “Monthly Bag” newsletter and the punishment of its authors, I asserted that Celeste didn’t really believe that there was any violence threatened by the flyer. I wrote: I am trying to follow Celeste’s thought process on this. He has a flyer that he has decided is threatening because it talks about guns and chainsaws and sex and whatnot. So in order to get to the bottom of this and figure out who on campus is ready to make Colorado College the next […]

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    • The Coalition of Some Other Dudes and the Range of an M1-A1 Tank

      April 16, 2008

      In response to the censorship and punishment by Colorado College of a flyer that was an obvious parody, another group of students has published a new issue of “The Monthly Bag.” These authors, again pseudonymous, are The Coalition of Some Other Dudes. These dudes are, by report, three men and one woman. Yes, women can be dudes. These authors also juxtapose “weaponry and sexuality.” This time, information about another sexual position is juxtaposed with statistics on the range of the M1-A1 tank and commentary about “Men’s roles in modern warfare.” President Celeste, Colorado College can never be too careful. This […]

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    • Star Chamber at CC

      April 16, 2008

      I’m delighted to hear from the director of Colorado College’s Feminist and Gender Studies Program that many of her colleagues “disagreed” with the abominable way that two male students were recently treated after publishing a satire of a radical feminist flier called the Monthly Rag (see today’s Speakout, “Feminists at CC seek dialogue”). Not that professor Tomi-Ann Roberts actually uses the word “abominable.” She is too busy building her case that the satiric flier was a “hostile” voice – which it was not, and which you can verify by reviewing it and the publication it parodied at the Web site […]

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    • Can State Officials Condemn Without Censoring?

      April 15, 2008

      Over at Popehat, a FIRE friend (pseudonymously “Ken”) takes me to task for my response to Colorado College president Richard Celeste’s false contention that the students who published the first issue of “The Monthly Bag” were not sanctioned or punished. Celeste’s sentence was: The students involved in creating this publication were found to have violated the college community’s standards, but they were not sanctioned or punished. In response, I wrote: The students were sanctioned and punished. Take a look at their letter of sanction by Dean of Students Mike Edmonds. Having a guilty finding on one’s record is a punishment. […]

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    • Colorado College President Celeste Blogs on “The Monthly Bag”

      April 14, 2008

      It turns out that Colorado College President (and former Ohio governor) Dick Celeste has his own blog, “Flow of Ideas,” on Colorado College’s site. This is a very progressive thing for a college president to do, and I think he is to be commended for this attempt to get down in the trenches in the battle of ideas. Unfortunately, his blog entry about the case of Chris Robinson, Colorado College’s most famously persecuted satirist, is a transparent and poorly-executed effort at spin that nobody could find convincing if they knew even one fact of the case outside the carefully selected […]

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    • “Muzzle Tov” to Brandeis and Valdosta State from Greg

      April 11, 2008

      In his latest Huffington Post blog, FIRE President Greg Lukianoff recaps the 2008 Jefferson Muzzle awards, bringing special attention to with “winners” at Brandeis University and Valdosta State University. He also puts in an early nomination for 2009′s Muzzles: Finally, while I know it’s only April, I already have two nominations for next year’s Jefferson Muzzles. First, I would like to nominate Colorado College, where administrators have used tragic school shootings of recent years as justification for finding two students guilty of “violence” for posting a flyer making fun of another flyer. I ask readers once again to compare these […]

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    • Greg’s New Blog for ‘The Huffington Post’ Questions Campus Speech Abuses in the Aftermath of Virginia Tech

      April 8, 2008

      In his latest blog for The Huffington Post, FIRE President Greg Lukianoff discusses university administrators who have been citing the rash of campus shootings to justify punishing protected speech. Greg writes: In the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy, we all knew things on college campuses were going to change. Even the most cynical among us, however, probably didn’t think to themselves, “Hey, how can I use this horrible tragedy to my advantage?” But regardless of whether that despicable thought ever popped into college administrators’ heads or not, the simple fact is that some administrators have been using the campus […]

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    • Latest FIREside Chats Episode Features Colorado College

      April 7, 2008

      This week’s podcast features Adam Kissel, director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program, and Robert Shibley, FIRE’s Vice President, discussing the ongoing case at Colorado College. As we mentioned in our press release and in numerous blog posts, two students at Colorado College were deemed “violent” and punished for posting a satirical flyer on campus. This episode of FIREside Chats highlights all case points and calls for Colorado College to reverse its decision and apologize to the students for not living up to the promise of free expression it guarantees for all students and faculty.

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    • Episode 108: FIRE’s Case at Colorado College

      April 7, 2008

      This week’s podcast features Adam Kissel, director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program, and Robert Shibley, FIRE’s Vice President, discussing the ongoing case at Colorado College. As we mentioned in our press release and in numerous blog posts, two students at Colorado College were deemed “violent” and punished for posting a satirical flyer on campus. This episode of FIREside Chats highlights all case points and calls for Colorado College to reverse its decision and apologize to the students for not living up to the promise of free expression it guarantees for all students and faculty.

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    • Professor of Political Science at Colorado College David Hendrickson’s Letter to ‘The Catalyst,’ April 4, 2008

      April 4, 2008

      Published in Colorado College’s student newspaper, The Catalyst, on April 4, 2008 The author is a Professor of Political Science at Colorado College and has been teaching there for over 25 years. He is also a graduate of the school.   To the Catalyst: I protest the disciplinary proceeding and verdict against Chris Robinson and another student. The students were found guilty of violating the student code of conduct forbidding threats of violence. I find that decision deeply troubling. Reacting to the regular appearance of “The Monthly Rag,” a poster put out by students associated with Feminist and Gender Studies, […]

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    • Colorado College Still Swarmed by Media

      April 3, 2008

      The case at Colorado College, where two students were found guilty of “violence” for parodying a flyer, has generated even more media coverage since yesterday. Last night, KRDO News Channel 13, the ABC affiliate in Colorado Springs, ran a story on the case during the 10 o’clock news. Adam Kissel, FIRE’s director of the Individual Rights Defense Program, was interviewed over the phone for that story and student Chris Robinson was interviewed for one on FOX 21. On the Internet, the blogs have been buzzing as well, with coverage from Instapundit, the Independent Women’s Forum, Men’s Activism, Students for Academic […]

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    • Flyers prompt free speech debate at Colorado College

      April 3, 2008

      A war of words at Colorado College. It has one student saying college leaders have a double-standard over free speech. It all comes down to two flyers—one put out by the Feminist and Gender Studies Program on campus, and the other by a male student who says he just meant to poke fun at the feminist flyer. Chris Robinson, a senior political science student, and a friend who wishes to remain anonymous, posted a flyer across campus. On it, you’ll find snippets like “Tough Guy Wisdom,” a recent study questioning the glass ceiling, and even graphic sex tips taken from […]

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    • Satirical Flier Raises Ire

      April 3, 2008

      Two Colorado Springs college students will appeal disciplinary action taken against them by the school for a flier that was meant to be a satirical response to a monthly feminist flier. Chris Robinson and a second unnamed student are being required by Colorado College to hold a forum to discuss the “issues and questions which (they) raised,” according to a disciplinary letter issued by Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Mike Edmonds. Operating under the name the Coalition Of Some Dudes, the two students distributed a flier, the “Monthly Bag,” which was meant as a satirical response […]

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    • Colorado Springs Abuzz over Punishment for Parody

      April 2, 2008

      It seems like a lot of people in Colorado Springs are talking about the case of two students at Colorado College being found guilty of “violence” after they published a parody of a feminist flyer. Their crime: the “juxtaposition of weaponry and sexuality.” The Gazette of Colorado Springs put the story on its front page, noting that this is just the latest in a series of controversial cases involving student speech and behavior. KOAA NBC News (Channels 5 and 30 in Colorado Springs and Pueblo) made the case one of its “top stories.” The station notes that the college’s president […]

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    • Colorado College President Defends “Violence” Finding against Satirical Flyer

      April 1, 2008

      This is startling. Scott Jaschik reports at Inside Higher Ed that Colorado College’s president, Richard Celeste, has defended the school’s finding that two students were guilty of “violence” for posting a satirical flyer. The flyer, called “The Monthly Bag,” had been posted anonymously by “The Coalition of Some Dudes” as a clear-as-day parody of a feminist flyer called “The Monthly Rag.” But the feminists did not like being parodied. They decided to go after the flyer by saying that they feared violence by the Dudes. Their ground was that the flyer mentioned “chainsaw etiquette” and the range of a sniper […]

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    • Free speech an issue at CC after satirical flier is prohibited

      April 1, 2008

      Chris Robinson would see the racy feminist flier The Monthly Rag posted in bathrooms at Colorado College, and thought it “begged to be satirized.” So he and another student penned The Monthly Bag under the pseudonym “the coalition of some dudes.” Their flier was laced with male stereotypes and political jabs and came out shortly after the Rag’s latest edition earlier this year. Both newsletters contained vulgarity befitting a bathroom stall. But The Monthly Bag was taken down by college staff the day it came out. Robinson and his friend, who has not been named publicly, were later told they […]

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    • Persecuted for Parody, Colorado College Student Fights Back in Op-Ed

      March 31, 2008

      As explained in today’s press release, Colorado College found two students guilty this month of violating the school’s policy against “violence” by publishing an anonymous parody of a publication of the Feminist and Gender Studies program. As Adam explains this morning, by punishing the students, Colorado College violates not only its own promises of freedom of expression, but also fundamental notions of fairness and common sense. Needless to say, as far as censorship on campus is concerned, this case is an instant classic. Luckily for his fellow students at Colorado College and all those who value free expression, Chris Robinson, […]

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    • Colorado College Punishes Students for “Violent” Satirical Flyer

      March 31, 2008

      In a press release today, FIRE exposes the preposterous injustice perpetrated by Colorado College when it found two students guilty of “violence” after they distributed a satirical flyer mocking a publication of the Feminist and Gender Studies program. For having violated the school’s conduct code regarding violence, student Chris Robinson and a second student have been required to hold a campus forum discussing issues brought up by their satirical publication. This case is serious, but the subject matter is truly laughable. In early 2008, Colorado College’s “Feminist and Gender Studies Interns” distributed a flyer called “The Monthly Rag.” The flyer […]

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    • Colorado College Punishes, Deems Students “Violent” for Satirical Flyer

      March 31, 2008

      COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., March 31, 2008—Two students at Colorado College were found guilty of violating the school’s conduct code regarding “violence” after they distributed a satirical flyer mocking a publication of the Feminist and Gender Studies program. As part of their punishment, student Chris Robinson and a second student have been required to hold a campus forum discussing issues brought up by their satirical publication. The students have turned to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. “One flyer that mentions ‘male castration’ is not violence, but a flyer that makes fun of it by mentioning ‘chainsaws’ […]

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