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Mucaj v. University of Connecticut

October 2019
University of Connecticut (Public college or university)
Storrs, CT, USA

Identity of Speakers

  • Ryan Mucaj and Jarred Karal
    Student
    Other

    Ryan Mucaj and Jarred Karal are students at the University of Connecticut.

Resources

Additional Information

  • Incident Nature:
    Other
  • Incident Responses:
    University administration not protective of speech
  • Incident Status:
    In litigation Federal District Court
  • No protest Occured
  • Was Speech Code incident

Summary

On October 11, 2019, plaintiffs were videotaped each yelling the n-word at high volumes. As a result of the incident, the University commenced a disciplinary investigation to ascertain whether the students had violated the school policy. During these investigations, it was made clear that the investigations was occurring because of the students’ speech. At the conclusion of the investigation, a University administrator determined that the students violated the University’s policy against disruptive behavior, which is defined as ” participating in or inciting others to participate in the disruption or obstruction of any University activity, including, but not limited to: teaching, research, events, administration, student conduct proceedings, the living/learning environment, or other University activities, on or off-campus; or of other non-University activities when the conduct occurs on University premises; or of the living environment, on or off-campus.” Among other things, the administrator suggested that the students be removed from University-sponsored housing. On January 8, 2020, the University informed the students that it would conduct a hearing to determine the sanctions of the students. As a result, the students filed a complaint alleging violations of their First Amendment rights and requesting a temporary restraining order to prevent the school from disciplining the students. On January 16, 2020, the district court granted the plaintiffs request for a temporary restraining order.