Tufts University: 'Cox' T-shirt
In April 2012, members of the men's crew team wore T-shirts at Tufts' Spring Fling featuring a silhouette of a rowing team on a boat and the phrase "check out our cox" (referring to a boat's coxswain). According to multiple accounts, several members were suspended from the team after a bias incident report was submitted due to the shirt's content, two senior captains were removed from their positions, and team members had to write apology letters. The accounts reported a dean exerting disciplinary pressure on the team, stating that the shirts promoted rape and aggression toward women. Additionally, a confidential source reported to FIRE that Tufts' rowing director ordered his assistants to choose a punishment, which he and the dean's office would then approve. After intervention from FIRE, Tufts President Tony Monaco reinstated the suspended members of the men's crew team in May 2012.
- "Email from Tufts University President Anthony P. Monaco to Adam Kissel, May 4, 2012," May 4, 2012
- "Letter to Men's Crew Team from President Anthony P. Monaco, May 3, 2012," May 3, 2012
- "Letter from FIRE to Tufts University President Anthony P. Monaco, May 2, 2012," May 2, 2012
- "'Cox' T-shirt," May 2, 2012
- "Free Speech at Tufts University "Deja Vu" All Over Again," March 27, 2000: Twelve years after FIRE cofounder Harvey Silverglate helped slay the Tufts speech code, he returns to face the threat of a new code there.
- "Tufts President Responds to FIRE in 'Cox' Case," by Adam Kissel, May 10, 2012
- "Victory at Tufts after Crew Team Members Suspended for ‘Cox’ T-shirts," by Adam Kissel, May 4, 2012: Facing a rising tide of criticism and intervention from FIRE, Tufts University President Tony Monaco reinstated the suspended members of the men’s crew team late on Thursday. After the members wore T-shirts reading “check out our cox” (referring to a team’s coxswain), the university had suspended them, pressed as many as four team captains to resign, and asked the members to deliver apologies for the “offense” caused by the T-shirts.
- "Censorship of ‘Cox’ T-shirt Creates Waves of Outrage as FIRE Intervenes," by Peter Bonilla, May 3, 2012
- "Tufts Cuts Off 'Cox' T-shirt," by Alison Meyer, May 2, 2012