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Internet Sex Writer Awaits Decision -- final for now.
From: David Farber <farber () central cis upenn edu>
Date: Sat, 4 Feb 1995 20:02:04 -0500

I have very little sympathy with the writer on his choice
of material or victim. I do worry that it is a short step
to suspending someone this or for politically incorrect
writings -- supporting a radical right or left cause or for
that matter saying very bad things re the administration.


Just where does on draw the line? I am happy to collect and
summarize people's considered opinions on where that line
gets drawn in cyberspace and distribute them as a summary
to IP. Please mark as to whether they are anonymous or
attributed.


Dave




STUDENT TO LEARN HIS FATE MONDAY


By Judson Branam
c. The Ann Arbor NEWS


A University of Michigan student ousted from his dorm room and suspended
by President James J. Duderstadt after posting violent sex fantasies
about another student on the Internet expects to know by Monday if he can
return to class.


Jake Baker, a sophomore linguistics major, was suspended Thursday after a
campus investigation of his Internet submissions, especially a story that
named a female student in its title and in scenes of rape, torture and
mutilation.


Baker was not expelled - as was reported in The News Friday - but was
suspended by Duderstadt under a bylaw of the U-M Board of Regents that
allows the president to take emergency action to maintain order on
campus.  Duderstadt's action included removing Baker from the
university computer system, barring him from university property and
changing the lock on his East Quad dorm room.


Duderstadt orders only one or two such suspensions per year, said David
Cahill, Baker's attorney.


In a letter delivered by campus police as Baker left a class on
Thursday, Cahill said, Duderstadt suspended Baker for the remainder of
the current winter term, and further stated that he can only be
reinstated by order of the president.


Baker and Cahill met Friday with university housing officials and made
an offer designed to keep Baker in school. If Baker is allowed to return
to classes and to keep his part-time job on North Campus, Cahill said,
the student is willing to follow several conditions, including:


  - Following a university-prescribed counseling program.
  - Signing in at classes or submitting to other monitoring.
  - Living off campus and only coming onto campus to attend classes.


Baker said early Friday that he had met with campus and law enforcement
officials and had undergone psychiatric evaluation "to show them they had
no threat from me."


Cahill said John Heidke, associate director of student residence
operations, is expected to notify him of a decision by Monday.


"If they buy this," Cahill said, "then we would give up our right to a
formal hearing within seven days and let this thing work itself out more
deliberately."


Cahill said he didn't mention the possibility of reinstating Baker's U-M
computer account if he's allowed to return to class.


On Friday, calls to Heidke's office were referred to U-M spokeswoman
Lisa Baker, who said only that Jake Baker - no relation -is not a
student at U-M.


"Even if the person were a student at Michigan, "she added, "I wouldn't be
able to talk about student records because of FERPA."


The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act bars university
officials from discussing any student records.


The first complaint about Baker's story - which carried a disclaimer
that it contained "a lot of sick stuff" and was filed in an area
reserved for sex stories - was reportedly made by a U-M alumnus living
in Moscow.  After reading the U-M computer address on the story, that man
contacted U-M computer officials.


The FBI also is looking into the matter to determine whether it violates
distribution of obscene material laws.


The Internet is a global computer network originally developed as a
U.S. Defense Department data storehouse.  It was later taken over by
computer users on college campuses and is now the main strand of the
so-called "Information Superhighway."


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