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When Is Quoting Van Halen a Crime?(FIRE,gun)
reason.com ^ | 14 March, 2012 | Jacob Sullum

Posted on 03/15/2012 2:36:40 AM PDT by marktwain

This week Gary D. Russi, president of Oakland University in Michigan, rejected a request from the Foundation for Inividual Rights in Education (FIRE) to reconsider the three-semester suspension imposed on a student for commenting on the attractiveness of his creative writing instructor in a journal he maintained as part of the course. The "daybook" was supposed to be "a place for a writer to try out ideas and record impressions and observations," including "freewriting/brainstorming" and "creative entries." The student, Joseph Corlett, says his instructor, Pamela Mitzelfeld, repeatedly assured him that no topic was off limits, which turned out to be not exactly true. In an entry titled "Hot for Teacher," Corlett reflected on the challenge of paying attention in classes taught by attractive instructors:

Then there's Mrs. Mitzelfeld, English 380. She walks in and I say to myself "Drop [the class], motherfucker, drop." Kee-rist, I'll never learn a thing. Tall, blond, stacked, skirt, heels, fingernails, smart, articulate, smile. I'm toast but I stay. I'll fuck up my whole Tuesday-Thursday class [schedule] thing. I'll search for something unattractive about her. No luck yet. Shit.

Two pages further in the journal, Corlett imagined a (fictional) warning from Mitzelfeld:

Dear Joseph:

While your writing is fair, it is completely inappropriate. I have broken your rule and torn out the offending pages. If this continues, I am obligated to report you to the Dean. Otherwise I shall consider the matter closed.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Mitzelfeld

Corlett nevertheless continued the "Hot for Teacher" theme. In an entry dated September 23, 2011, he likened Mitzelfeld to Ginger on Gilligan's Island while comparing another instructor to Maryanne. According to Corlett and FIRE, these two entries are the sole basis for Mitzelfeld's claim that he had sexually harassed her, which she made after collecting his journal at the beginning of November. In a November 29, 2011, memo to various colleagues, Mitzelfeld called Corlett a "Dangerous Student," citing letters he had written to the school newspaper "defending the right to carry concealed weapons on campus." Because of his Second Amendment advocacy, she said, "I cannot feel safe knowing that he might have a weapon on him at any time." She complained that Corlett's presence had created "an unacceptable and dangerous work environment" and concluded, "Either Mr. Corlett leaves campus or I do." As a result of Mitzelfeld's complaints, Corlett was banned from campus, suspended for three semesters, and ordered to undergo "sensitivity" training.

FIRE argues that Oakland University, as a government-run school, is bound to respect Corlett's First Amendment rights, which include "germane, class-related expression" such as the journal entries that offended Mitzelfeld. Adam Kissel, FIRE's vice president of programs, notes that Corlett's conduct falls far short of sexual harassment as it has been defined by the federal courts. Oakland's response, as expressed by Russi, General Counsel Boyd C. Farnam, and Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management Mary Beth Snyder, is that Corlett cannot use a First Amendment defense in an internal disciplinary proceeding and that the university's definition of "unlawful conduct" (the official charge against Corlett) need not conform to the case law dealing with sexual harassment. As Snyder put it, Corlett seeks to use "technical legal definitions and standards in defense to charges that are neither technical nor legal in nature, but rather, would be considered intimidating, harassing, threatening or assaultive behavior in the context of the University's academic, educational environment." In essence, says FIRE President Greg Lukianoff, "Oakland University made up its own definition of the 'law' in order to punish a student for his creative writing."

If you reject FIRE's premise that a state-sponsored university should face different legal constrants in policing student speech than a private university would, you may agree with Oakland's adminstrators that the First Amendment is irrelevant in this situation. But there is still the question of whether an institution supposedly devoted to free inquiry should be punishing students for writing things that offend their teachers. It's pretty clear that Corlett's journal entries did not amount to sexual harassment. Are they nevertheless a kind of disruptive speech that universities should punish? If so, was Corlett's penalty proportionate? Is your answer affected by the knowledge that Corlett is a middle-aged man who has been married for three decades? And what, if anything, do his views on gun control have to do with it?

FIRE's latest update, which includes links to relevant documents, is here.

Addendum: As I noted, the "warning" from Mitzelfeld was fictional, written by Corlett himself before she had seen the journal, so it is not the case that he persisted after being asked to stop.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Extended News; Government; US: Michigan
KEYWORDS: banglist; campus; ccw; mi
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Public universities are creatures of the state.
1 posted on 03/15/2012 2:36:49 AM PDT by marktwain
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To: marktwain

disgusting cretin belongs in 4th grade at best


2 posted on 03/15/2012 2:53:51 AM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: marktwain

Van Halen was/is a crime in itself. First nail in the coffin of Rock and Roll IMO!


3 posted on 03/15/2012 3:09:43 AM PDT by gr8eman (Ron Swanson for President!)
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To: marktwain

So the comely wench waltzes into class in tight, sexy clothing (apparently) and gets OH so offended when a young, male student points out the fact that he has a hard-on for her (deny all you want; that’s precisely the effect she was going for).

Give me one huge, honkin’ break.

More P.C. Run Amok nonsense. Her sorry-assed excuse for getting him booted centered around his defense of 2nd Amendment principles. See how offensive the Constitution is to the drooling Left?

Universities are expensive sewers; nothing more.


4 posted on 03/15/2012 3:17:48 AM PDT by RightOnline (I am Andrew Breitbart!)
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To: marktwain

If you’re bored, google images: “Pamela Mitzelfeld Oakland University”.

She’s borderline hot, but mixed in with those images are pics of the “perp”. He’s not an eighteen year old with a woody for teach, he’s a FIFTY year old dork with a (viagra-enhanced?) woody for teach.

Whole thing is pretty silly if you ask me, but it makes more sense after I learned *that* small fact.


5 posted on 03/15/2012 3:31:18 AM PDT by Nervous Tick (Trust in God, but row away from the rocks!)
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To: marktwain
Photo of teacher here

The 'student' is a married, for over 30 years, 56 year old.

6 posted on 03/15/2012 3:34:25 AM PDT by kanawa
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To: RightOnline

“More P.C. run amok nonsense...”

PC doesn’t have to be running amok to be amok. Its mere existence as part of our reality is more than enough.


7 posted on 03/15/2012 3:35:08 AM PDT by equaviator
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To: marktwain

Nowadays; it is far more likely that teacher is going to be HOT for you...especially if you are a male under the age of 18.


8 posted on 03/15/2012 3:45:45 AM PDT by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: RightOnline

Mr. Corlett is 56 and has been married 30 years.


9 posted on 03/15/2012 4:06:09 AM PDT by iowamark (The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves)
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To: marktwain
Never cared for van halen (or their obnoxious fans) despite eddies awesome guitar playing.

to wit, there was the story of a man standing on a ledge high above the street below where the song "Jump!" blasted from one clever youth's automobile.

10 posted on 03/15/2012 4:27:47 AM PDT by the invisib1e hand (knowledge puffeth; information deludeth.)
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To: marktwain

The teacher and every person approving this in the administration should be fired.

She herself came out and stated it was because of his politics.

This is clearly a civil rights case - HIS civil rights.

I’m sick of the Left.


11 posted on 03/15/2012 4:51:00 AM PDT by Eldon Tyrell
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To: Nervous Tick

Thanks for the tip. Regardless of the merits of the case (and I have to come down on the side of free speech here), there is no denying that the “student” is an a-hole. The “teacher”, especially given the assignment, should have a thicker skin and let it just roll off her back... but there’s no doubt about it... the “student” is an a-hole.


12 posted on 03/15/2012 5:00:59 AM PDT by samtheman
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To: samtheman
Teach made the assignment ~ she set the stage ~ now she doesn't like it.

Tough toenails teach.

13 posted on 03/15/2012 5:14:40 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: samtheman

How is he an a-hole, he did not describe any sexual fantasies or anything like that. All he did was to say that she was attractive and that it might interfere with his concentration. He then compared her to someone else. It was supposed to be a class where you write what you experience. The teacher and school are totally wrong on this.


14 posted on 03/15/2012 5:19:26 AM PDT by Ratman83
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To: samtheman

>> Regardless of the merits of the case (and I have to come down on the side of free speech here), ... The “teacher”, especially given the assignment, should have a thicker skin and let it just roll off her back...

I agree; the only thing that would change my mind is if there’s more to the student’s “advances” on the teacher than just his journal. If the journal was the ONLY thing, then yes, teacher (and school) are out of line; she TOLD the students (repeatedly) that “anything goes”.


15 posted on 03/15/2012 5:21:32 AM PDT by Nervous Tick (Trust in God, but row away from the rocks!)
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To: marktwain

That’s a 56 year old writing like that? Kick him and the professor off campus. Obviously there is no teaching or learning going on in this classroom.


16 posted on 03/15/2012 5:24:25 AM PDT by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: marktwain

Not saying she’s guilty but............I dont get the obsession.


17 posted on 03/15/2012 5:39:03 AM PDT by 03A3 (cONSERVATIVES TOO.)
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To: Ratman83

He’s a 56-year-old fat loser pretending to be interested in “writing”, probably there to oogle the students and happened to get interested in the teacher.

Again, free speech should triumph, especially given the nature of the assignment, and the teacher needs a tougher skin, especially given that she gave out this assignment, but I’d bet big bucks (if verifiable) that this guy is a creep out looking for masturbation fantasies. A harmless creep. But a 100% creepola creep.

If I had a daughter in that class I’d be tempted to take the guy aside and give him a bit of a talking to.

Exercise my free speech.


18 posted on 03/15/2012 5:40:18 AM PDT by samtheman
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To: Nervous Tick

Not all of us over fifty need viagra. If more fellas would lose some weight the would not need pills to play.


19 posted on 03/15/2012 5:41:45 AM PDT by Monterrosa-24 (...even more American that a French bikini and a Russian AK-47.)
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To: muawiyah
Tough toenails teach.
I agree.
20 posted on 03/15/2012 5:41:58 AM PDT by samtheman
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To: Incorrigible
That’s a 56 year old writing like that? Kick him and the professor off campus. Obviously there is no teaching or learning going on in this classroom.

The real crime here is the fact that the State of Michigan took money from some hard working taxpayers slogging through the daily grind trying to put food on the table for their families and give it to some academic tart so she can entertain some bored 56 year old.

Can't he pay for internet porn himself?

21 posted on 03/15/2012 5:44:37 AM PDT by ALPAPilot
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To: samtheman
He’s a 56-year-old fat loser pretending to be interested in “writing”, probably there to oogle the students and happened to get interested in the teacher.

Wow, how do you know this. It has not been reported anywhere so where did you get this info. Your are acting like the left, making things up and spreading misinformation.

If I had a daughter in that class I’d be tempted to take the guy aside and give him a bit of a talking to.

Pathetic and immature response. You would take him aside for what, being like you are being here, childish.

22 posted on 03/15/2012 5:51:43 AM PDT by Ratman83
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To: kanawa

Wo. Heebee-geebees, what a dog.


23 posted on 03/15/2012 5:54:27 AM PDT by onedoug
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To: gr8eman

“BRAND NEW OAKLAND SCARF”

Love VH they were fun and great music to party too!


24 posted on 03/15/2012 5:55:48 AM PDT by angcat (PLEASE GOD SAVE OUR COUNTRY!)
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To: Ratman83; samtheman

Not trying to speak for “samtheman”, but I think what he’s saying is that if some middle-aged fart happened to be in his daughter’s class and was ogling her (I’m not saying this particular guy was doing that), then he’d feel obliged to have words with him.

As a father of a bunch, including daughters, I’m quite inclined to agree with his sentiment.


25 posted on 03/15/2012 5:57:56 AM PDT by RightOnline (I am Andrew Breitbart!)
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To: Monterrosa-24

>> Not all of us over fifty need viagra. If more fellas would lose some weight the would not need pills to play.

Hey, no offense; I’m over fifty and I don’t either. I just threw that viagra thing in for some extra snarkiness. :-)


26 posted on 03/15/2012 5:58:36 AM PDT by Nervous Tick (Trust in God, but row away from the rocks!)
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To: RightOnline
That maybe what he is trying to say, but he is still accusing this particular man of doing that without any evidence that that is what the man was doing. It reminds me of the left always crying foul, also without evidence.

I have no girls only boys. If evidence that someone was doing something to them (that they could not handle themselves) then I would help also. I just do not think it is right to accuse someone of bad intentions without something to back it up.

27 posted on 03/15/2012 6:05:20 AM PDT by Ratman83
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To: marktwain

So many lessons here...

I worked with art school grads. The stories are endless. One example:

One guy told me that his art professor assigned his students to do something shocking, the following day.

“What could possibly go wrong?,” you ask facetiously.

You bourgeois simpleton!

Well, the first guy goes to the front of the class and takes a dump.

Yep.

The second guy goes to the front of the class and strangles a kitten.

That’s when the professor decided to cancel the assignment.

All this, for just $15k/year. You could stay home and defecate and abuse animals for far less.


28 posted on 03/15/2012 6:06:52 AM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas (Viva Christo Rey!)
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To: Ratman83; samtheman

>>Wow, how do you know this.

Well, Mr. “Eningeer”, maybe Sam acquired reading comprehension skills?

http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/300035/20120216/pamela-mitzelfeld-hot-teacher-corlett-oakland-university.htm

“has managed to make himself known in negative ways to so many other females on campus,”

Hmmm.


29 posted on 03/15/2012 6:23:56 AM PDT by LomanBill (Animals! The DemocRats blew up the windmill with an Acorn!)
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To: St_Thomas_Aquinas

>>You could stay home and
>>defecate and abuse animals for far less.

Yeah, but then it wouldn’t be “art”.


30 posted on 03/15/2012 6:29:43 AM PDT by LomanBill (Animals! The DemocRats blew up the windmill with an Acorn!)
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To: Ratman83
I'm with you on this one, Ratman. The guy seems harmless, the teacher does not. He didn't write anything overtly sexual or obscene. The assignment was under an "anything goes" recipe in a creative writing class, of all things. His literary abilities are beside the point, and unlike some here I wouldn't be quick to call a man married 30 years a "loser." Ditto a man alive enough upstairs to take a college course. Sure, maybe he's bored, but if he's looking for excitement, the teacher isn't the only hottie on campus. In any case, from the data presented, he deserves much benefit of the doubt.

Now my wild hunch. Liberal teacher is reacting mindlessly to his 2A politics, not his harmless scribblings. loser.

31 posted on 03/15/2012 6:30:12 AM PDT by Lady Lucky (Gingrich 2012: Open Throttle for America)
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To: marktwain

Sometimes there are NO “good guys” in a story. This sounds like one.


32 posted on 03/15/2012 6:32:09 AM PDT by jdsteel (Give me freedom, not more government.)
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To: LomanBill
you need to read the whole qoute

"Due to our recent discovery that Joseph Corlett has made his gun obsession obvious to other colleagues and has managed to make himself known in negative ways to so many other females on campus, I am feeling increasingly uncomfortable and unsafe," she wrote. "As he has written letters to our school newspaper defending the right to carry concealed weapons on campus, I cannot feel safe knowing that he might have a weapon with him at any time."

Typical leftist the guy rights letters to the school paper defending gun rights and therefore he is a threat.

If you feel this way also I have no use for you. I would consider you a "Fake but Accurate = FAIL".

33 posted on 03/15/2012 6:40:02 AM PDT by Ratman83
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To: samtheman
He’s a 56-year-old fat loser

Not sure how you arrive at that conclusion, though people arrived at that conclusion on Socrates so I guess it is not impossible.

The schoolmarm sounds like a loser, hypocrite and whiner to me.

34 posted on 03/15/2012 6:41:35 AM PDT by Lady Lucky (Gingrich 2012: Open Throttle for America)
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To: LomanBill; Ratman83

I’ve already said I think the teacher and the school are on the wrong side.

I’m just voicing my suspicions regarding the character and the motives of this 56-year-old writing “student”.

As for “Eningeer”, I know it’s bad form to criticize typos in posts, especially in FR where you can’t go back and correct your posts (which is a good thing... I don’t want people editing history).

But your profile page? Ratman83? Really.

Just a tip from a writing teacher. (I have taught writing in the past, though I don’t do that now.)


35 posted on 03/15/2012 6:43:41 AM PDT by samtheman
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To: Lady Lucky

I’ve read Socrates.

This guy is no Socrates.


36 posted on 03/15/2012 6:46:40 AM PDT by samtheman
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To: marktwain

I just saw Van Halen two weeks ago, they totally rocked, it was awesome ... It was great to see David Lee Roth back with them.


37 posted on 03/15/2012 6:48:29 AM PDT by Scythian
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To: Lady Lucky; LomanBill
Thank you, Lady Lucky. I have not seen any reporting on others be suspended for this

It seems Mitzelfeld has succeeded in making an impact on her students. RateMyProfessors.com, a popular website used by college students to evaluate professors, gives Mitzelfeld a 4.9 out of 5 stars in overall quality. Students' comments indicate that Mitzelfeld is "one of the best professors," "extremely helpful," "very helpful, passionate about English literature," and "cool."

However, it also seems Corlett was not the only student to notice Mitzelfeld's looks. Students on RateMyProfessors.com repeatedly comment that Miztelfeld is"hot" and she has received a "red hot chili" for the "hotness" rating on the site. What do you have to say about this from the article that you linked to LomanBill. Why are all the students who rated her not suspended? Where is your outrage.

38 posted on 03/15/2012 6:48:29 AM PDT by Ratman83
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To: Lady Lucky; Ratman83

Pardon my bad editing, with the “loser” fragment at the end. I really need to get this monitor out of the sunlight.


39 posted on 03/15/2012 6:49:12 AM PDT by Lady Lucky (Gingrich 2012: Open Throttle for America)
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To: samtheman

I just KNEW that was coming. Shame on you.


40 posted on 03/15/2012 6:52:39 AM PDT by Lady Lucky (Gingrich 2012: Open Throttle for America)
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To: Lady Lucky

You set it up, as obvious as could be, just so you could cry “shame” when the obvious response was too tempting to pass up?

I think “shame on you” is fair turnaround.

However, before we get too deeply into this let me say I agree with you about Gingrich so can we just agree to disagree on some of the particulars here (especially given the fact that I agree with everyone here that the teacher and the school are basically on the wrong side on this)?


41 posted on 03/15/2012 6:55:26 AM PDT by samtheman
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To: samtheman

Wow bad form, you want to criticize my profile page, get a freaking life. You who do not even have one. I can see that it will be useless to continue a discussion with you, so have nice day.


42 posted on 03/15/2012 6:59:03 AM PDT by Ratman83
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To: Lady Lucky

It did not bother me. I do not worry about those types of things, the real issues are more important. I think that people who must resort to criticisms of spelling and grammar are usually doing it because they cannot win the argument through logic.


43 posted on 03/15/2012 7:05:35 AM PDT by Ratman83
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To: Ratman83

Why not just fix it? It will take you one second.


44 posted on 03/15/2012 7:12:26 AM PDT by samtheman
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To: Ratman83; Lady Lucky

It’s ironic that you two are so huffy and hyper-sensitive on this thread when I’ve said repeatedly that I agree with the basic premise that both the school and the teacher are in the wrong here.

But because I had the temerity to question the motives of the 56-year old “student” you react just like that teacher reacted, with shocked outrage and righteous indignation (aka ruffled feathers).


45 posted on 03/15/2012 7:15:10 AM PDT by samtheman
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To: samtheman

No need to fix it because it gives bozos, like you, something to fixate on. Additionally provides me with a quick way of determining whether you are worth debating with. Most that have to resort to criticisms of spelling and grammar are usually doing it because they cannot win the argument through logic. Or are just to lazy to think.


46 posted on 03/15/2012 7:19:55 AM PDT by Ratman83
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To: Lady Lucky

Socrates??? Isn’t that the General Motors Company’s intra- or infranet site? Wow...Nothin’ better to do over there, eh?


47 posted on 03/15/2012 7:20:06 AM PDT by equaviator
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To: samtheman

I admire the guy. He paid tuition, I assume. The prof gave the assignment, right? Was he being sincere? Probably not...Maybe she’s a lesbian. I like it. He’s more of an activist. Good job, man! I think Rush would approve.


48 posted on 03/15/2012 7:24:40 AM PDT by equaviator
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To: Ratman83

Again, it’s ironic that you are so huffy and hyper-sensitive on this thread when I’ve said repeatedly that I agree with the basic premise that both the school and the teacher are in the wrong here.

But because I had the temerity to question the motives of the 56-year old “student” you react just like that teacher reacted, with shocked outrage and righteous indignation (aka ruffled feathers).


49 posted on 03/15/2012 7:24:44 AM PDT by samtheman
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To: samtheman

I set it up? Wow. If you have ever had any experience writing, or reading for that matter, you’d have understood I was saying: if they could make a case against Socrates they could certainly make one against this guy. Get it now?


50 posted on 03/15/2012 7:24:45 AM PDT by Lady Lucky (Gingrich 2012: Open Throttle for America)
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