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iamswwg

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  1. Why would a political science department decide what sort of political ideology is acceptable from students? Is this like a religious school where all students come from the same religion? If not, then why can't students have different opinions, beliefs, ideas, etc? If you are in a public school and you are censoring students and/or rejecting them for having a different opinion than you then yes, you are violating their free speech. Most of the questions you ask have to do with differences of opinions/ideology and since students at public universities have a right to free speech then these kinds of things will fall under that purview (but I am not a lawyer so this is not legal advice nor do can I answer about students disrupting classes as I do not know if that falls under free speech or not). The question is, why can't you tolerate people who have different opinions/ideology than you? And if you can't tolerate it then why would you work in a public university? Here is one case regarding a student refusing to counsel gay people and the university disciplining her for it that I thought may interest you and perhaps answer some of your questions-- https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/12/11/university-and-student-settle-lawsuit-over-requirement-counseling-gay-people This is another case that may interest you as well, it basically makes it clear that public universities cannot discriminate against students who have different ideologies than administration/, faculty, staff, etc -- http://www.lifenews.com/2013/11/22/eastern-michigan-university-will-stop-discriminating-against-pro-life-group/ In regards to the admissions process at your school, do you not accept the most qualified applicants? Do you divide them into categories based on race, religions, gender, political views, etc and then take 50% percent from each group? Or do you rate some people higher than others depending on their race, religion, gender, political views, etc? How exactly does that work in terms of figuring out "good fit" and "competency" if you are basing the admissions process on race, religion, gender, political views, etc and just accepting applicants based on that?
  2. We don't really know what happened in Golden Girl's situation so how can we possibly judge it and decide if rights have been violated? It is possible that Golden Girl wrote about religion or politics or being undocumented and it made her feel uncomfortable talking about it in a group scenario since it was private and personal. I can understand how someone would become flustered if they are singled out in a group and asked about it but that doesn't seem like a legitimate reason to reject someone. Especially since these are protected categories that are apparently illegal to ask at job interviews so it would only be logical that it would be illegal to ask at school interviews as well. Unfortunately, it seems as though there are no laws regarding school interviews so not sure what to say. Except that the US courts have made it clear that students do not lose their rights to free speech so I would presume that the schools cannot just ask any question they feel like asking. I will consult with some lawyers and see if I can get any more insight about this topic. @Golden girl it would be best if you consult with a lawyer instead of saying anything further on this thread. Perhaps you can update us about it if you feel comfortable.
  3. Thank you, Sketchitar. I have been doing some research on this topic but most of the cases have been about grade school. In Tinker vs De Moines Independent School District, the US supreme court stated that "students do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate". In other cases, courts agreed that public schools can limit some or certain forms of free speech since grade school students are minors. However, that may not be the case with universities because they are dealing with adults. In the case of "Doe vs University of Michigan" courts have ruled against speech codes at public university. I am trying to find more cases regarding free speech on public universities and will post as I find them. If anyone else knows of any relevant cases, please post them as well. And we shouldn't judge posters who say their rights were violated because it is possible that it happened but if we silent people then there would be no one to fight against it and would defeat the purpose of this thread. Thank you.
  4. For the particular program I have in mind, students are required to take a basic research class (maybe two research classes) but they are not doing it for any professor nor are they getting funded for it.
  5. I think there are two separate issues at hand here. First, you keep talking about research so I will assume that you are talking about Ph.D. programs. When I started the thread, I was more thinking of terminal masters degrees since that is where this topic came up in the first place. So lets break it apart and talk about each issue separately. For the Ph.D., professors typically secure external funding to do research and are usually funding students who work in the lab and do research on the behalf of the professor.That would put it in the category of a job since the student is being paid to do work so it would be understandable if the professor conducts interviews to ensure "good fit" as this is similar to employment. In terms of a terminal masters degree where the program can accept 500-1000 applicants who do not work for or get paid by any particular professor but are taking regular classes, then having interviews to determine "good fit" is ridiculous. How do you determine if someone is a "good fit" if you are accepting at least 500+ students? Surely, the applicant will find someone in the program who they can relate to and be friends with so as long as they are capable of doing the work (which certainly cannot be determined by an interview) then everything else is irrelevant. So why would a program that just offers regular classes, that is open to all students, interview applicants if they are not monitoring the thoughts, feelings, opinions, etc of people and accepting applicants based on what they said in the interview? And if the acceptance/rejection is based on what the applicant said in the interview, then how does not violate the free speech/first amendment rights of said applicant and why should that be allowed especially if it is a public university and students are still entitled to free speech?
  6. Great, then students are not entitled to receive tax dollars (aka federal and state funding) and should find their own way to pay for school if they want an education. Thank you for clarifying.
  7. Grading criteria has already been discussed upthread--seems as though there are laws about it (as per US courts) but perhaps someone could elaborate more about that so that we can all understand how it would not violate a persons free speech. What is the reason why a public university graduate program would need applicants to write essays about themselves? And then have an interview on top of it? You say that the program has limited resources and is looking for qualified applicants but wouldn't it go against the mission of the university which is to educate all students? Isn't the goal of the public university to educate the public regardless of how ignorant an applicant is? If an applicant demonstrates what you believe is ignorance about the moon or anything else for that matter, then is the applicant no longer entitled to an education at a public university funded by tax dollars? If you are rejecting applicants based on their personal views (which you decided is ignorant) then why bother having an educational facility in the first place? Unless you are saying that the university is a place of indoctrination, then I would understand why it would be important for all applicants to have the same beliefs and opinions as the faculty at the school but if schools are about the exchange of ideas and challenging each other to think differently (as someone else mentioned upthread) then rejecting applicants who have different opinions than the faculty proves that such a facility is a place of indoctrination instead of a place of learning. Why would anyone want to attend such a program? And why should such a program be funded by taxpayers?
  8. Free speech applies to all government bodies (not just congress) as well public universities by extension. The US courts have generally upheld freedom of speech on public universities. There may be some minor limitations but I don't know them offhand. There is an organization called Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) that deals with free speech on campuses, feel free to look them up to learn more about free speech on college campuses.
  9. It is very interesting that you mention jobs because the original poster said that for a job the company/agency would want to know more about the skills, experiences, competency, ability to do the job, etc. Companies/Agencies will also do background checks, fingerprinting, drug tests, etc depending on the nature of the company/agency. For govt jobs, applicants would take a civil exam to qualify for the job and then have to go through a background check and other things as well. But in this case, applicants are simply trying to get an education in order to be competent when they are ready to apply to real jobs so the thoughts, opinions, feelings, etc of applicants is irrelevant and shouldn't come into play at all. Public universities, that only accept certain people (under the guise of "good fit"--what does it mean anyway if it is a public university designed to educate the public so how can someone not be a good fit) are discriminating against all applicants and are violating their first amendments rights as well. I mean, is someone really not entitled to an public university education because the interviewer didn't like what was said in the interview? As to your second point, I do think there should be some kind of meet and greet but only after the admissions process is over and the school cannot rescind an acceptance anymore. Before then, there are informational sessions that students can attend but beyond that there is no reason why a public university should interview applicants because it is unconstitutional since it violates the free speech/first amendment rights of students.
  10. This came up on another thread and I thought it was a fascinating topic so I decided to start a new thread about it. I would love to hear your opinions. The poster said that federally funded public graduate schools/programs may be violating the free speech/first amendment rights of applicants if they require an interview as part of the admissions process. The argument was that if the school is a federally funded public university then they should not be interviewing applicants to determine whether the applicant is a "good fit" for the program since there is no way to do so without violating the free speech/first amendment rights of applicants. Essentially, the school is monitoring the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, etc of students to determine "good fit" which is unconstitutional. Do you believe that federally funded public universities are violating the first amendment rights of applicants by conducting the interview and/or asking for writing samples? Do you think that there is such a thing as "good fit" when it comes to federally funded public universities? Should the interview be eliminated altogether? Why or why not?
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