Our universityÕs mere statement to threaten Òlegal troubleÓ against the creators of the UVM Confessions page is an abhorrent violation of fundamental constitutional free speech rights.
I reject the premise that the University was merely protecting the Trademark Policy and instead, focus on apparent concerns over Òstalking-like behavior and self-harmÓ for taking Center fore Student Ethics and Standards (CSES) action against these students.
IsnÕt it interesting that if our university canÕt get criminal charges against students, they tend to divert to CSES as their own speech and action policing institution?
This body lets the University pick and choose what speech and actions they deem as acceptable or unacceptable, flying in the face of local, state and national laws. I advise the creators of UVM Confessions to abide by the universityÕs Trademark Policy law and change the group name from the new ÒBurlington ConfessionsÓ to ÒUniversity of Vermont ConfessionsÓ (according to the Trademark Policy, the university does not have a trademark on ÒUniversity of VermontÓ).
As the responsible individual for the Trademark policy, I urge Provost David V. Rosowsky to always remember studentsÕ first Amendment rights for all future cases.
If the University continues their crusade to threaten and attack constitutionally protected speech, it would seem only necessary that legal action be taken against our university to defend our rights.