Private schools must honor own guidelines

MASSACHUSETTS -- The state supreme court said colleges and universities must abide by the rules outlined in their student handbooks in a September ruling relating to Brandeis University's handling of a campus disciplinary hearing.

Student press advocates believe the court's affirmation of private schools' responsibility to abide by their own regulations is significant for the college student press because many private colleges that outline student press rights in their student handbooks fail to abide by those guidelines.

In the case, Schaer v. Brandeis Univ., 735 N.E. 2d 373 (Mass. 2000), a Brandeis University student who was expelled after being found responsible by a campus court for sexual assault sued the school for violating his due process rights during the hearing. The court ruled in favor of the university, saying that in this case officials followed the school's guidelines.

reports, Winter 2000-01