Identity of Speakers
Rory O'Connor is a student at Catholic University of America
Incident Political Orientation:
University investigation not issuing in sanctions
- Did not involve Speech Codes
On March 23, 2022, the Catholic University of America (CUA) chapter of the Young Americans for Freedom, a conservative group, called for a campus debate on the issue of transwomen competing in women’s sports when it posted an image of Lia Thomas on its Instagram account with the caption, “Change my mind: save women’s sports.” Upon learning of the event, Rory O’Connor posted a series of memes on his own Instagram account criticizing the YAF for its anti-trans stance. In one post, O’Connor edited a meme of the children’s cartoon Arthur depicting a character holding a baseball bat so that it included the caption, “My terms to stop cyber billing [sic] the shit out of @catholicuyaf are simple: Do you wanna keep your post or do you wanna keep your kneecaps?”
Representatives of YAF filed a complaint against O’Connor with the university alleging harassment and bullying. CUA launched an investigation into the incident, notifying O’Connor in a March 29 letter that he was charged with violating the student code of conduct and engaging in “disorderly conduct,” which potentially carried the penalty of suspension or expulsion. At an April 4 hearing, O’Connor was deemed not responsible for the alleged disorderly conduct, and the Office of Student Conduct & Ethical Development acknowledged that O’Connor’s intent was satirical.