Analysis Of Bradley Smith, An Undergraduate Student At The University Of Central Maryland

Analysis Of Bradley Smith, An Undergraduate Student At The University Of Central Maryland

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Bradley Smith, an undergraduate student at the University of Central Maryland, grew up in a predominantly white community, where he was exposed to a lot of racial remarks that were not taken seriously. When he came to UCMD, he was exposed to a diverse community for the first time. He joined the fraternity, Kappa Delta Sigma, and became the president during his sophomore year. He posted derogatory and discriminatory remarks on the fraternity’s twitter page that were offensive to women and minorities. It was intended to be humorous among the brothers of the fraternity, but it was really hate speech. A year later, news and media broadcasts brought the remarks to the public’s attention. UCMD removed the twitter post and expelled Bradley and the other fraternity members. Bradley defended himself by saying that he was just openly expressing his views on social media. It was understood among the students and staff that the fraternity was not tolerant of minorities or women. Bradley and Kappa Delta Sigma appealed the school ruling because they thought that their first amendment rights of free speech were violated by the university. They said that the university was trying to “save face” due to the national pressure from the media and acting to censor an unpopular idea. The university is reconsidering their decision and are now faced with an ethical dilemma. The university can remain firm in the decision to expel the whole fraternity or not expel any of them because of their right to free speech.
The initial decision made by UCMD neglected to consider everyone involved in the situation. In order to make the best decision in this case, the fate of all stakeholders must be thoroughly considered. This challenging ethical dilemma deals with f...


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...equate punishment because they are a small group of people in comparison to the entire student body. The utilitarians would be in favor of the university and its other students because it is a larger number of people that can benefit from the expulsion. On the other hand, the fairness approach would say that this option is too harsh for the fraternity’s actions because the punishment does not fit the crime. According to a Huffington Post analysis, “Students found responsible for sexual assault were expelled in 30 percent of cases and suspended in 47 percent of cases” (Kingkade, 2014). College students found guilty of sexual assault, which is a more harmful action than posting discriminatory remarks on social media, are more likely to be suspended than expelled. With that in mind, the fairness approach would agree that a suspension is the most appropriate punishment.

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