Iowa State University Threatens Withholding Degree if Students Refuse to Undergo Harassment Training

, Spencer Irvine, Leave a comment

This sounds like a threat on college students’ First Amendment rights, no?

ISU students are told that they must abide by the school’s policy against “harassment” of anyone in the university community. Students must complete a “training program” consisting of 118 slides online, covering the university’s non-harassment policies and procedures, and then pledge never to violate them.

But what if a student thinks that the ISU policy goes way beyond preventing true harassment and amounts to an abridgement of his rights under the First Amendment?

In that case, ISU reserves the right to withhold the student’s degree. So either the student agrees to abide by the policy even though it may well keep him from speaking out as he’d like to, or have his academic work go for naught. This is the exact dilemma an ISU student, Robert Dunn finds himself in.

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