Lawsuit-free since 9/14/05

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Top Secret Sullivan Memo Leaked!

TBOC! Saves Sullivan the Trouble of Sending Memo to Entire Campus

[Editor's Note: President Dan Sullivan will be sending this memo (or a rewritten version of it) to all faculty, staff and students shortly after school resumes. We ask that our readers note the gloss applied to the restriction of privacy and academic freedom. As a secondary matter, we ask that our readers note Sullivan's hopeless confusion of restrictive and non-restrictive clauses. As a tertiary matter, we ask that Sullivan notes his hopeless confusion of restrictive and non-restrictive clauses. In addition, we ask that Sullivan stop referring to himself in third-person, as "the President." It's not incorrect, it's just creepy.]


TO: [Redacted]

FROM: President Daniel F. Sullivan

RE: Acceptable Use Policy

DATE: December 22, 2004

On the advice of University legal counsel, I have made several revisions to the Acceptable Use Policy which is posted now, in its revised form, on the University web site. In addition, you need to know that I have asked that access be blocked to the Take Back Our Campus (TBOC) web site from workstations connected to the University’s network. I will be sending an all-campus announcement on changes to the Acceptable Use Policy after the break, but wanted you to have this “heads up” which you can share with members of your respective committees.

The revisions to the policy most important to call your attention to have to do with clarifying necessary rights the University must retain as the owner of our computing resources; giving greater weight than in our former policy to the right of others to be free from intimidation, harassment and unwarranted annoyance as against the rights of individual users to privacy; including among prohibited uses “uses which violate
University policy;” and permitting the President to authorize access to personal files not only in response to a judicial order or other action required by law, but “when access is considered necessary to protect and/or promote the legitimate interests of the University.”

As indicated above, we have also blocked access to the TBOC web site. When asked our reasons for doing this, we will respond with the following statement:

All resources owned and managed by the University exist to support the academic mission. We have the right to deny access to the campus those influences that, in a persistent way, harass, intimidate or threaten individuals who study, teach and administer programs here. We have blocked access to an external web site that has been, for several months, an active and persistent instrument of anonymous harassment against targeted individuals, interfering with the right of those individuals to pursue their academic goals in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

I am sure there will much discussion about these changes and actions as we reconvene for the second semester. I wanted you to know about them now, as leaders of key University committees.

We must note the curiosity of this memo's timing. It was issued on 12/22/04, only five days after we first criticized President Sullivan for eliminating Upward Bound at SLU. Retaliation from our sullen and thin-skinned President, perhaps?

In any case, the above private memo stands in stark contrast to a very public 3/22/04 memo issued by President Dan "Sullen" Sullivan and Vice President Grant "Cornfed" Cornwell. All members of the SLU community should bear in mind Sullivan's "passion" and "commitment" to free speech as they enjoy Orwellian monitoring and a Stalinist restriction of academic freedom and information access:
We believe it is our duty to protect the rights of all members of our community to think and speak freely and to foster the conditions that make dialogue possible. We expect members of our community to be passionate about ideas; in fact, we would be troubled if they were not. But passion and commitment only serve our purpose to the extent that they promote lively engagement, not shut it down, to the extent that they foster compelling expression, not impede the capacity to listen.
Has President Sullivan's order to block TBOC! from all University computers "promote[d] lively engagement, not shut it down"? No. Has President Sullivan's order to block TBOC! from all University computers "foster[ed] compelling expression"? No. Has President Sullivan's order to block TBOC! from all University computers "impede[d] the capacity to listen"? Yes, to the detriment of every member of the SLU community who freely chooses to read Take Back Our Campus.


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