Writing about Attraction to Professors Gets Student Suspended

February 10, 2012

Oakland University in Metro Detroit has suspended a student for three semesters, barred him from campus, and demanded he undergo “sensitivity” counseling because he wrote in a class assignment that he found his instructors attractive. While the course specifically permitted students to write creatively about any topic, the university bizarrely chose to classify his writing as “unlawful individual activities.” Joseph Corlett came to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help.
“This is a wild overreaction to a student’s creative writing,” said FIRE President Greg Lukianoff. “The university has essentially issued a straitjacket to every writing student to protect the delicate sensibilities of faculty and staff.”

Update, March 13, 2012: 'Hot For Teacher' Student's Appeal Denied, Suspension For Writing Essay Upheld

Oakland University has denied the appeal of a student barred from campus, suspended for three semesters, and required to undergo “sensitivity” counseling for authoring a class assignment in which he stated that he found his instructors attractive.

Oakland University made up its own definition of the ‘law’ in order to punish a student for his creative writing,” said FIRE President Greg Lukianoff. “The special irony here is that Joseph asked several times if it was really okay to write anything, and several times he was told it was. Now, because he took that instruction seriously, he is out of school and facing mandatory counseling. Having taken many, many writing classes myself, I know that essays often have racy topics, from drugs, to sex, to violence, but apparently a riff on a Van Halen song that seemed to be everywhere when I was a kid is a capital offense.”

Keep reading FIRE's press release here>>

Write to Oakland’s Board of Trustees and ask them to save the First Amendment at Oakland University today!

Board of Trustees Chair Henry Baskin

Oakland University
c/o The Baskin Law Firm, PC
355 South Old Woodward Ave.
Birmingham, MI 48009

President Gary D. Russi

Oakland University
204 Wilson Hall
2200 N. Squirrel Rd.
Rochester, MI 48309