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Statement on fundamental standard complaint

A fundamental standard complaint was filed in the university’s Office of Community Standards against a student in the law school for an email that he had sent out on January 25. We followed our normal procedures and conducted a factual inquiry. Given that this complaint raised issues of protected speech, we also consulted with legal counsel after we obtained the relevant facts. In cases where the complaint is filed in proximity to graduation, our normal procedure includes placing a graduation diploma hold on the respondent.

The complaint was resolved as expeditiously as possible, and the respondent and complainant have been informed that case law supports that the email is protected speech. For that reason, and pursuant to the Leonard Law, the university is not moving forward with the OCS process and the graduation diploma hold has been released.

In recent years, we have seen an increase in the number and complexity of student cases involving free speech, student judicial policies and the California Leonard Law. We will continue to review policies and practices relating to these to ensure ongoing compliance. We are also reviewing procedures for placing holds on student accounts in judicial cases in close proximity to graduation to ensure that holds are limited to cases for which the outcome could be serious enough to affect the timing of degree conferral.