Private schools must honor own guidelines

MASSACHUSETTS — The state supreme court said colleges and universitiesmust abide by the rules outlined in their student handbooks in a Septemberruling relating to Brandeis University’s handling of a campus disciplinaryhearing.

Student press advocates believe the court’s affirmation of private schools’responsibility to abide by their own regulations is significant for thecollege student press because many private colleges that outline studentpress 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 foundresponsible by a campus court for sexual assault sued the school for violatinghis due process rights during the hearing. The court ruled in favor ofthe university, saying that in this case officials followed the school’sguidelines.