Friday, July 24, 2009

You'd Think That Smart People Would Run Colleges

You might think that, but sometimes--more often than any of us would like--you'd be wrong:

Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) has failed to lift an unconstitutional ban on "unofficial" use of the initials "SRJC" in private e-mail addresses and website domain names, chilling the expression of students and faculty. After a faculty member came to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help, FIRE asked SRJC to lift its overbroad ban and to clarify the First Amendment rights of SRJC community members. SRJC, however, has told FIRE it intends to continue with its unconstitutional efforts to ban unofficial use of the college's name...

On May 5, Vice President of Academic Affairs/Assistant Superintendent Mary Kay Rudolph e-mailed faculty members and other SRJC community members a notice claiming that any "use of 'Santa Rosa Junior College' or any abbreviation of the college name" is a violation of California Education Code 72000(b)(4). The code prohibits, among other activities, speech that implies the college's official endorsement or affiliation. However, Rudolph stated in the e-mail that any use of "SRJC" was illegal, that violators would be commanded to "immediately cease using Santa Rosa Junior College or SRJC in their domain name or e-mail addresses," and that "failure to comply could result in legal action."


Perhaps they'll sue me because I'm using the letters SRJC in this post.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am puzzled. How does the school wish to be named, if not by its name or initials? "JC-who-shall-not-be-named"?

-Mark Roulo

Henry said...

Given the code cited, this would only apply if a reasonable person believed the activity was being passed off as coming from SRJC.

David said...

A few years ago, Emory University made legal threats against local businesses using the word "Emory" as part of their names, as in "Emory Cleaners" or "Emory Flower Shop."

The FAA operates an aviation radiobeacon named EMORY, but as far as I know, the university hasn't gone after them yet...

MikeAT said...

“You'd Think That Smart People Would Run Colleges”

Come on Darren…you know better not to confuse educated and intelligent!