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College lets students 'report' on each other for conduct violations, yelling — even 'deteriorating physical appearance or personal hygiene'


'This site allows you to share important information regarding incidents or concerning behavior'

Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images

On Florida State University's website, students can report incidents involving sexual misconduct, stalking, and hazing — as well as "concerning behavior" that may not be quite as serious or dangerous.

For instance: Students can report each other for "conduct violations" as well as "unexplained absences," "yelling or aggressive comments" — even "deteriorating physical appearance or personal hygiene."

The College Fix submitted a public records act request and obtained 31 complaints filed with FSU during the 2018-19 school year, noting that they can be submitted anonymously. The following are some of the highlights.

Pro-lifers have too much freedom of speech, apparently

While walking on campus earlier this year, a student noticed a pro-life group holding signs “advocating for anti-abortion propaganda" and "stopping innocent students simply trying to walk to their classes by harassing them and forcing their own beliefs onto these students," the outlet said.

The student added that "campus is supposed to be a safe environment, and I was extremely uncomfortable and disappointed in FSU today. Nothing was being done to protect students from this harassment," the outlet said.

In addition, the student said in the March complaint that “I understand that freedom of speech is a crucial part of today's world, however, it should not be to this extent while on a school campus" and recommended "some sort of action to prevent [groups] from being able to harass others while walking to class, the outlet added.

The reporting form includes a section where students can report harassment by student groups, but it isn't clear how the aforementioned student categorized the pro-life group complaint.

Here are some other complaints, according to the College Fix:

  • A student appealing a bad grade said the instructor "made comments that are taken as racially insensitive in my culture as they are a means of calling someone stupid on the sly."
  • A complaint about a student with 133,000 Twitter followers who would post statements such as "white women are garbage." The complaint asks the school to make the student delete all of his "racist" tweets and publicly apologize.
  • A student reported that "I was denied a water cup" and suggests that water cups be available on campus.
  • Several complaints were filed about an Instagram post from a group of students showing men in sombreros and striped ponchos with a caption saying "we don't pay cover or taxes."

Students can report on each other even about things said in private, the outlet added.

What did the school have to say?

The reporting website “is an efficient and effective means to share information concerning allegations of misconduct that may be happening in the university community," FSU spokesman Dennis Schnittker wrote in an email to the College Fix, adding that the site has been used since June 2016.

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