FIRE to Hamline: Stop Stonewalling
November 13, 2007
We remain particularly troubled by Hamline’s continuing refusal to be fully forthcoming regarding the reasons for Scheffler’s suspension. The third determining factor you cite in your June 11, 2007, letter—i.e., the input of individuals who “came forward on their own prior to the April emails, expressing their concerns about Mr. Scheffler”—remains frustratingly cryptic, as you refuse to inform Scheffler of the nature of these concerns or the identity of his accusers. In addition to violating Hamline’s Dean of Students’ “Student Judicial System” policy, such a refusal mocks our society’s conceptions of judicial fairness. This stonewalling in the face of eminently reasonable requests for due process in accordance with your school’s own policies is a completely inappropriate institutional stance for a modern liberal arts university.
To be clear: Scheffler’s education has been interrupted due to speech entirely protected by both the Constitution and Hamline’s own policies. If he has been punished for other reasons, Hamline has an established duty to afford Scheffler the due process promised him by Hamline’s own policies.