Binghamton University, State University of New York

Location: Binghamton, New York
Website: http://www.binghamton.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 2nd Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Binghamton University, State University of New York has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more here.

  • Binghamton University: Social Work Student Expelled

    September 21, 2009

    Binghamton University graduate student Michael Gutsell was expelled by the Department of Social Work following two incidents where his classroom speech drew complaints from fellow students. Despite the fact that the speech was relevant to the class and broke no university or department rules, the hearing panel recommended his dismissal. After appealing the decision, however, Gutsell learned that these two incidents were “not the primary basis” for his expulsion, and that BU may have determined that he was unfit for social work because he was not conforming to others’ subjective expectations about individuals’ proper conversational style, even outside of the […]

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  • Binghamton University: Student Suspended for Posters Criticizing Department of Social Work and Government Agency

    October 29, 2008

    Under pressure from FIRE, Binghamton University (formerly SUNY-Binghamton) abandoned its attempt to suspend or expel a student who put up posters challenging the Department of Social Work. Social work master’s student Andre Massena thought the Binghamton Housing Authority (BHA) was responsible for social injustice, so he put up pseudonymous posters challenging the department for having hired the BHA’s executive director as a faculty member. The department then ordered that Massena leave the program for one year with no guarantee of return, required him to apologize, and demanded that he publicly disavow his own views. When Massena appealed, the department’s chair […]

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Yellow Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Code of Student Conduct 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Stalking or communicating in a manner likely to cause injury, distress, or emotional or physical discomfort and which serves no legitimate purpose.

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  • Student Handbook: Other University Policies- Advertising on Campus 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Posting Policies

    Advertisements should avoid demeaning, sexist or discriminatory portrayal of individuals.

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  • Student Handbook: Annual Security Report- Hate Crimes Prevention 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech

    In addition to preventing and prosecuting hate/bias crimes, New York State University Police, staff in the Division of Student Affairs, the University Ombudsman and the Affirmative Action Office assist in addressing bias-related activities that do not rise to the level of a crime. These activities, referred to as bias incidents and defined by the University as acts of bigotry, harassment or intimidation
    directed at a member or group within the Binghamton University community based on national origin, ethnicity, race, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, color, creed or marital status, may be addressed through the State University of New York’s Discrimination Complaint Procedure or the Rules of Student Conduct. Bias incidents may be reported to University Police
    or to staff as noted above.

    » Read More


Green Light Policies
  • Information Technology Services: Computer and Network Use Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies

    No user may use the University’s computers or networks to libel, slander or harass any other person.

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  • Office of the University Ombudsman: Free Speech 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    The First Amendment protects freedom of speech, of the press, of association, of assembly, and of petition from suppression by the government. These constitutional guarantees, collectively known as the right to freedom of expression, are essential to the mission of Binghamton University.

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  • Student Handbook: Code of Student Conduct 12-13

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    The term "sexual harassment" means unwelcomed sexual advances, requests for
    sexual favors, and/or other unwelcomed verbal or physical conduct of a sexual
    nature that substantially interferes with a person’s performance or creates an
    intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.

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  • Student Handbook: Becoming a More Inclusive Campus Community- Academic Freedom 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    Throughout its history, Binghamton has maintained a tradition of open communication and freedom of expression. It recognizes that the university is a traditional sphere of free expression fundamental to the functioning of our society. The Binghamton President’s Commission on Free Speech and Academic Freedom (1992) affirms the academic freedom of students as well as professors: “Students have freedom to exercise their intellectual curiosity, to draw conclusions for themselves and to express their own opinions, no matter how controversial, [and] without fear [of reprisal].”

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  • Student Handbook: Other University Policies- Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    The concepts of academic freedom and an open exchange of ideas are essential to the mission of any educational institution. Binghamton University is committed to these ideals, and as a public institution is legally obligated to protect its members’ First Amendment right of freedom of expression. Respect for this right requires that members of the University tolerate the expression of views that are contrary to their own, and recognize that the expression of ideas that are intolerant, bigoted or deeply offensive are entitled to First Amendment protection. Equally important, however, is the understanding that free expression carries with it the responsibility of civility and respect for others. The University views conduct intended to disparage or demean others as contrary to the pursuit of knowledge and rational discourse. So-called “speech codes” have been deemed unconstitutional by the courts. Therefore, while Binghamton University does not condone incivility within the campus community, it has not adopted a policy to prohibit offensive speech. Moreover, Binghamton has a proud history of inviting and encouraging the expression of diverse views.

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  • Student Handbook: Sexual Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Binghamton University’s policy against sexual harassment accords with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines originally issued in 1980 and updated in 1990. The EEOC defines sexual harassment as “Unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when … such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.”

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  • Student Handbook: Other University Policies- Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Harassment is generally understood to occur when the conduct of an individual or group of individuals has the intent or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s or group of individuals’ educational or work environment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) describes harassment based on protected class, including sexual harassment, as offensive conduct that is so severe, pervasive or objectively offensive that it creates an unreasonable and substantial interference with the ability of a member of a protected class to participate in the academic or employment setting.

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  • Student Handbook: University Expectations 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    The tradition at Binghamton, a public university, is that the full exercise of First Amendment rights is encouraged and protected.

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  • BR Sits Down With FIRE’s Adam Kissel

    August 7, 2013

    Binghamton Review   Attached Files BR Sits Down With FIRE’s Adam Kissel, PDF, 203 KB , Binghamton Review

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  • Outing Campus Censors in ‘U.S. News & World Report’

    August 6, 2013

    by Greg Lukianoff The Huffington post   Today, for the third year in a row, my organization, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, took out a full-page ad in the college rankings edition of U.S. News & World Report to highlight abuses of free speech on campus. This year, the ad focuses on the outrageous case of Andre Massena at SUNY Binghamton. We also prepared a short video about his case: While the complete details of Massena’s case would be enough for a full-length documentary or a feature article, a quick summary of the case goes like this: Andre […]

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  • ‘Best of’ edition includes list of ‘worst’ colleges

    August 6, 2013

    Civil-rights organization highlights universities that are ‘unrepentant’ violators by Bob Unruh WorldNetDaily   A permanent blemish on a student’s record for a parody, an attempted expulsion for criticism of a “social injustice” and the formal censorship of a political satire: All of these actions have earned American colleges and universities a citation in a full-page ad in U.S. News & World Report’s 2011 edition of its “Best Colleges” issue. The ad warns parents and students to “think twice” about considering attending the schools. The ad was taken out by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which highlighted Bucknell University, […]

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  • Students Create Free Speech Walls to Celebrate First Amendment

    September 27, 2013

    Students at colleges across the country are encouraging their peers to exercise their right to free speech by building “free speech walls” on their campuses—displays where students can write or draw whatever they want.  Free speech walls are a great way for students to share ideas in a public way. For example, student group Dorm Room Diplomacy at Binghamton University in New York set up a wall last week that was filled with everything “from animal drawings to political statements,” according to Pipe Dream, the school’s student newspaper. Pipe Dream reported: Although most of the postings on the wall were […]

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  • Posting Policies Frequently Restrict Student Expression

    October 30, 2012

    This fall, FIRE is writing a blog series about how schools can reform their problematic speech codes and earn a “green light” rating from FIRE—a distinction currently awarded to just 16 of the more than 400 schools in our Spotlight database, but one we hope to be able to award to many more in the years to come. In this series, we are discussing common problems with campus speech codes, focusing on examples from schools that are just a few small changes away from earning a green light rating. So far, we have examined how universities restrict speech by mandating “civility,” […]

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  • Binghamton’s Place on FIRE’s ’12 Worst’ List, Revisited

    February 2, 2011

    The Pipe Dream, an independent student newspaper at Binghamton University in New York, writes this week on Binghamton’s inclusion on FIRE’s “12 Worst Schools for Free Speech,” as featured in The Huffington Post. Azhar has already done quite a nice job for FIRE in explaining what Binghamton has done to earn its place on the list—namely, the near-expulsion of social work student Andre Massena and the successful expulsion of social work student Michael Gutsell—so I suggest you read his post if you haven’t. Binghamton Senior Director of Media and Public Relations Gail Glover offered brief comments for the article, however, which […]

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  • Why Binghamton University is One of Our ’12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech’

    February 1, 2011

    By now, I hope you’ve had a chance to read our list of the “12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech,” which we highlighted on The Huffington Post last week. Our “Dirty Dozen”—which is made up of the six colleges and universities on our Red Alert list, as well as six other institutions that have shown a profound disregard for free speech rights over the years—has quickly generated a good deal of attention and response. Peter explained on Friday why DePaul University was one of the schools outside of our Red Alert list to be selected for this dubious distinction. Today, […]

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  • FIRE in ‘The Huffington Post’ on America’s 12 Worst Schools for Free Speech

    January 27, 2011

    Today, The Huffington Post published FIRE’s list of America’s 12 Worst Schools for Free Speech. An expansion of FIRE’s Red Alert List of the “worst of the worst” schools for student and faculty rights, this “dirty dozen” slideshow includes the schools that come onto FIRE’s radar screen again and again for their repeated and egregious violations of fundamental rights, as well as schools whose policies are so bad that they simply had to be included. For longtime Torch readers, the presence of most of these schools on our list won’t come as a surprise. But we don’t want to give it all away here. Is […]

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  • Injustice at SUNY Binghamton

    August 31, 2010

    Andre Massena was almost expelled from SUNY Binghamton after he publicly criticized a faculty member he thought was responsible for social injustice. With FIRE’s help, Andre graduated.  

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  • Binghamton Part 2: A Focus on Speech Codes

    February 10, 2010

    The lead editorial in the current Binghamton Review, which calls for dramatic changes to the leadership of Binghamton University’s (BU’s) Department of Social Work (“FIRE Laura Bronstein”), points out that even with two dramatic violations of student rights in the department in the past twelve months, BU’s situation—on paper, at least—is far better than those of the majority of their fellow colleges and universities. The Review explains that  compared to other colleges, Binghamton University is one of the most free, at least in terms of commitment to free expression. According to a report by FIRE, over 70% of colleges and universities restrict the speech of their […]

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  • Binghamton’s Social Work Department Strikes Again, Expelling Student Without Feeling the Need to Tell Him Why

    February 9, 2010

    A year after The Torch was so populated with eye-popping accounts of Binghamton University’s (BU’s) attempts to force graduate student Andre Massena out of its Masters of Social Work (MSW) program, the student newspaper the Binghamton Review lays bare the case of another MSW student, Michael Gutsell, caught in the crosswinds of the Department of Social Work’s vague and unforgiving disciplinary system. Unfortunately, despite FIRE’s appeals to the BU administration to apply basic fairness and respect for students’ First Amendment rights to his case, Gutsell was expelled from the MSW program without knowing why, much less having a chance to […]

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  • FIRE Laura Bronstein

    February 1, 2010

    FIRE Laura Bronstein                                              

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  • FIRE and the State of Speech on Campuses

    February 1, 2010

    FIRE and the State of Speech on Campuses                                              

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  • The Systematic Attack on Free Expression in Binghamton University’s Masters of Social Work Program

    January 1, 2010

    Michael Gutsell Review Article                                              

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  • FIRE Letter to Binghamton University President Lois B. DeFleur

    December 11, 2009

    December 11, 2009 Lois B. DeFleur President, Binghamton University Office of the President P.O. Box 6000 Binghamton, New York 13902-6000 URGENT Sent via U.S. Mail and Facsimile (607-777-2533) Dear President DeFleur: The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is disappointed to be writing you once again about violations of the rights of a student in the Department of Social Work at Binghamton University (BU). FIRE last wrote you on October 29, 2008, after the department punished Master in Social Work (MSW) student Andre Massena for his protected speech. Today, FIRE is concerned about the threats to freedom of expression, […]

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  • Rights in the News: FIRE’s Thought Reform Efforts Continue to Resonate

    May 1, 2009

    It seems like every week we’re reporting that FIRE’s short film on the University of Delaware’s experiment in thought reform has doubled the amount of views received on YouTube from the week before—a trend I’m all too happy to continue. This week the folks at Reason (which—throwback!—published Alan Charles Kors’ article “Thought Reform 101″ back in 2000) gave FIRE an extra hand by blogging about the video on their website, helping to push it toward 50,000 views. Thought reform at Delaware was also the subject of Robert’s article this week for Pajamas Media. Robert also discussed Virginia Tech’s efforts at […]

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  • Rights in the News: FIRE Issues Get the Lou Dobbs Treatment

    March 13, 2009

    As Will wrote earlier in the week, FIRE has seen far too many instances of students’ First Amendment rights being thrown out the window when used to support Second Amendment rights. FIRE has been all over the news concerning the most recent instance of this, in which a student at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) was reported to the police by his professor and subjected to an interrogation on the basis of a class presentation he had given in favor of concealed carry rights on campus. Building on a FoxNews.com front-page story (tipped this week in an editorial on the […]

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  • Liberty in Peril: Speech Codes on our Nation’s College Campuses

    February 23, 2009

    FIRE’s Adam Kissel traveled to Binghamton University (BU) to deliver a speech on “Liberty in Peril: Speech Codes on our Nation’s College Campuses.” The speech, which was followed by an hour-long question-and-answer period, discussed speech codes nationwide and drew particular attention to FIRE’s recent case at BU involving Andre Massena and BU’s Department of Social Work. Massena was threatened with suspension and then expulsion after he posted flyers around campus that criticized the Binghamton Housing Authority’s director, David Tanenhaus, and criticized the Department of Social Work for having hired him. Although the department dropped the charges against Massena under pressure […]

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  • Adam Kissel’s Lecture at Binghamton University Featured in Latest Podcast

    February 23, 2009

    This week’s episode of FIREside Chats features part one of Adam Kissel’s lecture at Binghamton University last week. “Liberty in Peril: Speech Codes on our Nation’s College Campuses” discusses speech codes nationwide and the recent events at BU involving Andre Massena and the Department of Social Work. Check back next week for part two of Adam’s speech.

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  • Rights in the News: FIRE Brings the Heat to Binghamton

    February 21, 2009

    Adam’s speech at Binghamton University (BU) came at a time of high tensions on the public university campus, as the BU social work faculty continues its assault on graduate student Andre Massena. The Binghamton Review (also one of the joint hosts of Adam’s speech) sat down with Adam for an interview on Binghamton’s speech codes prior to his visit, in addition to publishing an article on BU’s attempts at academic retaliation against Massena, and FIRE’s efforts to win justice on his behalf. FIRE figures as well in an article examining proposed changes to BU’s code of conduct, and is given […]

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  • Braving the Binghamton Snow to Deliver Speech on Campus

    February 20, 2009

    On Wednesday, FIRE’s Adam Kissel traveled through wintry weather to Binghamton University (BU) to deliver a speech on”Liberty in Peril: Speech Codes on our Nation’s College Campuses.” The speech, which was followed by an hour-long question-and-answer period, discussed speech codes nationwide and drew particular attention to FIRE’s recent case at BU involving Andre Massena and BU’s Department of Social Work. Massena was threatened with suspension and then expulsion after he posted flyers around campus that criticized the Binghamton Housing Authority’s director, David Tanenhaus, and criticized the Department of Social Work for having hired him. Although the department dropped the charges […]

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  • Episode 202: Adam Kissel at Binghamton University

    February 20, 2009

    This week’s episode of FIREside Chats features part one of Adam Kissel’s lecture at Binghamton University last week. “Liberty in Peril: Speech Codes on our Nation’s College Campuses” discusses speech codes nationwide and the recent events at BU involving Andre Massena and the Department of Social Work. Check back next week for part two of Adam’s speech.

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  • Interview in ‘Review’ Sets Stage for Adam’s Visit to Binghamton University

    February 18, 2009

    This month’s issue of the Binghamton Review features an interview with Adam Kissel, Director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program, in which Adam discusses FIRE’s speech code ratings and what has earned Binghamton University (BU) its current “yellow-light” rating on Spotlight: The Campus Freedom Resource. The interview, conducted by CFN member Adam Shamah ’11, is timely, given the problems FIRE has confronted at Binghamton in recent months. Torch readers should be well aware of the abhorrent treatment of social work graduate student Andre Massena by the BU Department of Social Work, which ordered his suspension for posting flyers critical of […]

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  • FIRE on FOX40 News Binghamton

    February 18, 2009

    After Adam Kissel’s visit to Binghamton University to speak about FIRE’s recent case at BU involving Andre Massena and BU’s Department of Social Work, the local FOX News affiliate ran a story on the event.  

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  • 2008 Highlights: FIRE Places Full-Page Ad in ‘U.S. News & World Report’ Calling Out ‘Red Alert’ Schools

    December 31, 2008

    While FIRE works on cases from hundreds of schools in a given year, we have a special list for those schools that have shown unique intransigence in the face of criticism from FIRE for abusing student and faculty rights. We call that special list our Red Alert list, and right now five schools have earned a spot among the “worst of the worst.”  This summer, we decided to step up our campaign for reform at Red Alert schools by running a full-page ad in the 2009 edition of U.S. News & World Report‘s all-important America’s Best Colleges issue, right next […]

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  • SUNY-Binghamton Student Accuses Social-Work Department of Retaliation

    December 23, 2008

    The State University of New York at Binghamton tried unsuccessfully this fall to suspend a social-work student after he displayed posters criticizing an adjunct instructor at the university. Now, the student says, the social-work department is trying to force him out by unfairly giving him bad grades. The student – Andre Massena – is enrolled in the master’s program in social work. Last summer he tacked up posters on the campus criticizing the Binghamton Housing Authority for evicting a single mother and her children, and asking people to call the social-work department to complain. David K. Tanenhaus, the housing authority’s […]

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  • Binghamton University Continues War on Social Work Student by Other Means

    December 22, 2008

    After FIRE intervened in defense of Binghamton University Department of Social Work student Andre Massena, we announced that the department had backed down from its attempts to suspend or expel him because of his political activism against a professor who was also head of the Binghamton Housing Authority—activism which had embarrassed the department. It seems that the department is now trying to expel him by other means. One angry student, the pseudonymous “Lisa White,” has reported that students have noticed the changes in how professors are treating and grading Massena, and that she and at least one other student are […]

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  • Binghamton University Student Alleges Retaliation, More Problems in Department of Social Work

    December 22, 2008

    Binghamton University student “Lisa White” (apparently a pseudonym) has sent FIRE and many Binghamton administrators and students an e-mail with some very disturbing allegations that the BU Department of Social Work is actively retaliating against master’s student Andre Massena, whom the chair tried to expel earlier this semester for his political activism. (Read the Binghamton Review‘s account of the exceedingly shameful tale here.) When FIRE exposed this shameful case to national public outcry, Massena was able to avoid “advancement” (which, believe it or not, is the Department of Social Work’s Orwellian term for expulsion) from the program. Unfortunately (but not […]

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  • ‘Binghamton Review’ Blasts Binghamton Social Work Department in Activism Case

    December 22, 2008

    Binghamton University’s Department of Social Work still has a lot to answer for in the case of social work master’s student Andre Massena, whom the chair tried to expel after he placed posters on campus criticizing the department for what he thought was its social injustice. In the December issue of the Binghamton Review, student Adam Shamah has written a 1,000-word piece on the case under the title, “Lighting a F.I.R.E. Under the Social Work Department.” Shamah’s strong article chronicles this outlandish case to the utter shame of the department. The story is so compelling that I include most of […]

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  • Weekly Media Round-Up: Quick Victory at Binghamton Keeps FIRE Looming Large

    November 21, 2008

    It’s a good day when FIRE is able to declare victory in a nasty dispute before the waves of attention generated by our initial involvement have had time to settle. Such was the case with Binghamton University’s (BU’s) Department of Social Work, which dropped its investigation of graduate student Andre Massena within a day of FIRE exposing his egregious treatment at the hands of BU administrators. The Volokh Conspiracy, which picked up FIRE’s press release detailing BU’s appalling violations of Massena’s constitutional rights within hours of its being issued, was equally quick to report FIRE’s victory. Students for Academic Freedom […]

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  • Victory for Freedom of Speech at Binghamton University Department of Social Work

    November 17, 2008

    I reported last Thursday and Friday on the case of Binghamton University (formerly SUNY–Binghamton) social work master’s student Andre Massena, who faced suspension or expulsion after he put up posters challenging the Department of Social Work. The department had ordered that he leave the program for one year with no guarantee of return, required him to apologize, and demanded that he publicly disavow his own views after his pseudonymous posters challenged the department for having hired the executive director of the Binghamton Housing Authority (BHA)—an agency Massena thought was responsible for social injustice. When Massena appealed, the department’s chair, Laura […]

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  • Victory for Freedom of Speech at Binghamton University Department of Social Work

    November 17, 2008

    BINGHAMTON, N.Y., November 17, 2008—Binghamton University (formerly SUNY–Binghamton) has abandoned its attempt to suspend or expel a student who put up posters challenging the Department of Social Work. The department had ordered that social work master’s student Andre Massena leave the program for one year with no guarantee of return, required him to apologize, and demanded that he publicly disavow his own views after his pseudonymous posters challenged the department for having hired the executive director of the Binghamton Housing Authority (BHA)—an agency Massena thought was responsible for social injustice. When Massena appealed, the department’s chair added entirely new allegations […]

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  • Weekly Media Round-Up: Binghamton Case Hits National Stage, Temple and Lone Star Cases Continue to Reverberate

    November 14, 2008

    Yesterday, FIRE went public with its efforts to protect the constitutional rights of Binghamton University graduate student Andre Massena. As you’ve already seen from Adam’s earlier Torch post, yesterday’s press release quickly brought the issue to the national stage, with the story appearing at The Volokh Conspiracy and in The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required). Just as importantly, Adam’s post pointed to the unrest Binghamton’s treatment of Massena has fomented in the graduate student body, where the Graduate Student Organization of Binghamton University unanimously condemned the university’s actions yesterday in a letter to Binghamton President Lois DeFleur. Be sure […]

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  • Binghamton Social Work Case Gets National Attention, Student Government Support

    November 14, 2008

    The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) and The Volokh Conspiracy both have reported on the case of Binghamton University Department of Social Work master’s student Andre Massena, who was suspended for one year with no guarantee of return, required to apologize, required to disavow his own views, and required to make every effort to get others to stop complaining to the department after he put up posters that embarrassed his department. The posters challenged the department for having hired the executive director of the Binghamton Housing Authority, an agency Massena thought was responsible for social injustice. Massena remains in […]

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  • Social-work student lands in hot water over posters at Binghamton

    November 14, 2008

    The social-work department at the State University of New York at Binghamton wants a graduate student to withdraw for a year after he put up posters on the campus criticizing the Binghamton Housing Authority and an adjunct professor in the department who heads the authority. The student, Andre Massena, is enrolled in the master’s program in social work.   To read the complete article, you must have a subscription to The Chronicle online.

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  • Binghamton University Department of Social Work Declares War on Student for Posters Criticizing Department and Government Agency

    November 13, 2008

    Today’s press release paints a very disturbing picture of Binghamton University’s Department of Social Work. The department ordered the suspension of a master’s student for one year with no guarantee of return, required him to apologize, and demanded that he publicly disavow his own views after he put up posters challenging the department for having hired the executive director of the Binghamton Housing Authority (BHA)—an agency the student thought was responsible for social injustice. Student Andre Massena remains in school pending an appeal, which is to be heard tomorrow afternoon. On August 25, 2008, Massena put up posters on campus […]

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  • Binghamton University Department of Social Work Declares War on Student for Posters Criticizing Department and Government Agency

    November 13, 2008

    BINGHAMTON, N.Y., November 13, 2008—Binghamton University’s Department of Social Work ordered the suspension of a master’s student for one year with no guarantee of return, required him to apologize, and demanded that he publicly disavow his own views after he put up posters challenging the department for having hired the executive director of the Binghamton Housing Authority (BHA)—an agency the student thought was responsible for social injustice. Student Andre Massena, who remains in school pending an appeal, has turned to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. “This is an appallingly transparent attempt by Binghamton University’s Department […]

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  • It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green—

    September 23, 2005

    But it should be. All it takes for a university to earn a “green light” rating from FIRE is for the university not to maintain any policies that violate the First Amendment rights of its students and faculty. Sadly, however, few schools have a green light rating. One school, SUNY Binghamton, is so close to a green light that FIRE wants to take this opportunity to draw attention to its policies in the hopes that it will decide to fully honor its own stated commitments to freedom of speech by upholding the First Amendment rights of its students and faculty. […]

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