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April 2019
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Michael Zeleny [userpic]
Academic Expulsion Rules and Practices Query

On 29 February of this year, two days before the election of pint-sized Dmitry Medvedev to the post of the President of Russian Federation, performance art group Vojna (War), formerly best known for its eccentric commemoration of conceptual poet Dmitry Prigov in a moving train of the Moscow Metro, mounted another exhibition in the Biological Museum. This time, they performed in support of the survival of the bear as the totem animal of ancient Slavs. Notably, the run-up to the election prominently featured a spontaneous youth movement of “bear cubs” rallying in support of Vladimir Putin and his designated successor, whose last name fortuitously echoes notional kinship with Ursus arctos. Thus the most recent Vojna performance featured allegedly authentic sexual intercourse under the banner captioned FUCK FOR BEAR CUB’S HEIR.

In the wake of this affair, some of its participants were identified as students of the Philosophy Department of the Moscow State University, from which they were expelled after the mandatory hand-wringing faculty sessions. Their expulsion was allegedly motivated by considerations of philosophical decorum. Coincidentally, political technology is the most lucrative specialty taught by the MSU Philosophy Department at present.

In the ensuing discussion, several parties have posed the question of whether or not students engaging in similar behavior would have been expelled from Oxford or Harvard. I therefore ask all interested and informed parties to weigh in on this issue with considerations of rules and precedents.

Crossposted to [info]larvatus and [info]elitistasshat; banned from [info]philosophy.


Explain to me why this question is relevant to this community.

The expulsion was allegedly motivated by considerations of philosophical decorum.

(no subject) - (Anonymous)

Not a chance. I burned that bridge eighteen years ago by protesting the revocation of Alonzo Church’s tenure by his colleagues at the UCLA Philosophy Departmnent.

(no subject) - (Anonymous)   Expand  

In the US, it would be hard to get thrown out of a state school for making amateur porn or what have you. A private school would be another matter, but not knowing much about Moscow State, it's hard to say whether they had the leeway to toss the students out.

If they have as much leeway as a private university in the US would, they would be well within their rights to expel students for such conduct.

Ideally, one should not be expelled from a university for anything short of plagiarism, etc., but we don't live in an ideal world and such actions can and do influence the reputation of a university.

In the realm of the anecdotal, I lived near an educational institution that gained a good bit of ill-repute when it made media headlines. In this case, it was two students having sex in the classroom, during class, with the teacher present. Nothing was done about it, and I think this is why many parents decided not to send their kids there the next year.

Harvard dismisses rapists and revokes academic status for Holocaust denial. In a less tolerant era, R. Buckminster Fuller got expelled from Harvard twice, for treating an entire New York dance troupe to champagne on his own tab, and after readmission, for irresponsibility and lack of interest. A few years later, seven students and one instructor were expelled for homosexual conduct.

An ongoing controversy concerns the likelihood of Socrates withstanding scrutiny under the MSU code requiring all students to conform to socially accepted moral and ethical rules.

So, you're saying that there are limits to acceptable behavior for members of an academic institution? Shocking!

Is everything okay with you, larvatus? This post is entirely in English, and that's very uncharacteristic for you.

While I see how having sex in a museum might legitimately sabotage, say, political ambitions, I don't see why it should sabotage their scholastic ones. It's a silly demonstration, and possibly it's indecent public exposure: but it's not a violation of academic integrity as I see it.

I don't know whether Harvard would have expelled them for the same; my experience at Cornell suggests that if they were undergrads, there might be a "children will act childish -- what do you expect us to do about it?" vibe, and if they were graduate students, it would really be up to the discretion of their colleagues.

What's philosophical decorum?

Knowing not to shag in public protest, for the whole world to see, when you're that butt-ugly.

That's just decorum. What makes it philosophical?

Now that I've clicked on your links, I note that one of them leads to what is in fact pornography.

You're banned.

Your time-out is over. Next time, label the link NSFW or something so we can tell which ones are articles and which ones have the porn.

Are you completely shameless or merely illiterate?

Which part of allegedly authentic sexual intercourse are you failing to understand?