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Student summoned to dean’s office for ‘required Administrative Meeting’ over Facebook posts


Purdue University Northwest student Joshua Nash has been summoned to a “required Administrative Meeting” scheduled by a campus administrator to discuss Nash’s personal Facebook comments, according to a July 6 memo sent to the student.

Nash, whose Twitter handle is @ConservativeJZN and whose bio declares “my pronouns are: God, Overlord, and #DangerousFaggot,” is a fan of conservative-homosexual firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos, and also likes to share posts from Blaire White, an anti-feminist transsexual.

Nash recently Tweeted a picture of the summons, stating: “Apparently I’m racist bc I retweet @MsBlaireWhite’s tweets & now my school wants me #Expelled for utilising my #1A.”

The summons is signed by Andrew Pettee, Director of Student Assistance, Leadership, and Conduct at the Office of the Dean of Students. The summons reads, “I have received a report from a community member regarding alleged comments that you made on Facebook. I have scheduled a required Administrative Meeting so that I can get more detailed information.”

Nash, a 21-year-old biological sciences major at the public university, told The College Fix he is still trying to understand how his personal opinions on a social media platform, not under the purview of Purdue University Northwest, could be cause for administrative review by campus superiors.

“I am mostly in shock right now because I never would have thought my rights would be violated in such a disproportionately cruel and unjustified way,” he told The College Fix.

Pettee, according to the university’s website, “serves as a Deputy Title IX Coordinator and an investigator for complaints of harassment or discrimination.”

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Asked which Facebook comments may have caused such a response from the university, Nash said “my school won’t release a statement with the exact comments on Facebook because they allegedly don’t know what they are, only Andrew Pettee does, and he’s on vacation until July 18.”

The College Fix emailed Pettee, and an automated response confirmed the director would be away from his office until July 18.

As for a specific comment that may have caused such a response from the university, Nash speculated “I had a comment on Facebook where I stated ‘Black Lives Matter is trash because they do not really care about black lives. They simply care about making money and disrupting events for dead people.’” According to Nash, the comment was reported to Facebook, removed, and his account was suspended for 30 days.

When asked who he thinks may have reported him, or why, he said, “No idea. I didn’t think it was offensive.”

Since receiving the summons, Nash said he asked the university for more details during a phone call. He alleges that, over the phone, a campus official said his social media comments could result in his expulsion. The College Fix could not immediately reach a campus official Friday to confirm or deny the claim.

Nash said the campus official he spoke to called the “#DangerousFaggot” in his Twitter bio “homophobic” over the phone.

“Those were their words,” according to Nash.

The #DangerousFaggot hashtag was made popular by Yiannopoulos, who toured college campuses nationwide under that moniker.

Nash told The Fix campus officials rejected his request for an email outlining specific details regarding the nature of his summons. He alleges they told him he must wait until he attends the required Administrative Meeting. Nash said he plans to attend the meeting, now slated for early August, with an attorney.

“[I’m] saddened that a public university would threaten a student with expulsion, something that could ruin their life, because they dared express their opinions on a private social media network,” Nash said.

He added he has never been in trouble with the school and has never been summoned to the dean’s office before.

Editor’s note — After publication, the university contacted The College Fix with this response:

Purdue Northwest has never suggested, let alone threatened, the idea of disciplining the student in question for exercising his right to freedom of expression.  When, as here, an administrative meeting is called with a student on our Calumet campus, the purpose is to explore possible ways to support or establish a dialogue with that student, not to discipline him or her.  The idea is to see if there might be a teachable moment opportunity for the student, not to treat it as a conduct matter.  Protecting free speech is of central importance to our university, a commitment recognized by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education when it conferred on Purdue Northwest its highest “green light” rating for its speech policies. Nothing involved in our administrative meeting process represents an abridgement of that stance.

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About the Author
Jason Weaver -- University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.