Monday, August 31, 2009

Don't SPAM Your Faculty

This is one way to deal with students who complain, label complaints as SPAM and punish them. Michigan State University: Serious Student Complaints = Spam
Today, as part of a national ad campaign, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education placed a half-page ad in Michigan State University's student newspaper criticizing the university's absurdly overbroad spam policy:


The ad refers to the case of Kara Spencer, a student who, after sending a respectful and serious e-mail to select members of the faculty about the university's decision to reduce the school year by several days, was brought up on charges of spamming. She was then found guilty of spamming and had a formal 'Warning' placed in her file, potentially hurting her chances of obtaining employment or attending graduate school. After the intervention of FIRE and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, along with the support of eleven other civil liberties organizations, MSU withdrew the charges against Kara and promised to reform its spam policy. Unfortunately, the university has put in its place a new spam policy that is not much of an improvement. In fact, according to reports, an administrator admitted that Kara Spencer would still have been found guilty under the revised policy!

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