The very first right guaranteed in Wesleyan University's student handbook, under the heading "Responsibility of the University to its Members," is freedom of assembly.
So students were understandably upset when, this past academic year, the Middletown, Connecticut, university announced a policy that would drastically reduce this first freedom. Or, for the less legalistic, a policy that potentially criminalized lunch.
In an attempt to control student life outside the campus confines, Wesleyan proposed a prohibition, to take effect in August, on certain activities in "private societies that are not recognized by the University," such as "taking meals" and "participating in social activities." Recognizing that the policy was strikingly broad, Wesleyan students protested; after all, even houses of worship are private societies. The university responded with a policy revision in May. Problem solved?
Not quite. Wesleyan simply replaced the words "private societies" with "Greek organizations," and left the rest of the language intact. Thus, a Wesleyan student can soon be punished for eating a meal or playing cards at a Greek organization unrecognized by the university. Ever hear of freedom of association, a close relative of freedom of speech?
For this, Wesleyan gets a Muzzle.
: News Features
, free speech, freedom of speech, News, More