Know Your Rights: Advice from CO-Star Founder

Courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee from freedigitalphotos.com
Courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee from freedigitalphotos.com

This past Monday, the Office of Student and Activities hosted a presentation by C.L. Lindsay III, an attorney who works with college students.

He is the founder of the Coalition for Students & Academic Rights or CO-Star, a nonprofit with a network of lawyers who represent college students and professors with legal problems.

Only a couple dozens student attended the event, which is a shame because he touched on many issues that affect students. However, for the next couple of weeks, Insider will review some of the topics Lindsay discussed in his presentation.

Everything you do online has a real world implication.

      Lindsay says a common way he sees people get in trouble is people posting pictures of themselves underage drinking.
      “Let’s just pretend you put 20 hard-copies of pictures of doing something wrong or illegal in this auditorium, none of you would be surprised if the director of Greek life, coach or dean came up to you,” Lindsay said. “Yet people call my organization every single day because they put up a picture electronically somehow and they are flabbergasted they are in trouble.”

Lindsay says he also see students get in trouble over sexting. He says students who send sexually charged texts need to be careful the other person is not under 18.

“Anybody under 18 in a nude or semi-nude state in a picture or video is technically child pornography in the United States,” Lindsay said.

He said in many states, including Michigan, where the age of consent is under 18, the sexting law is not affected.

Lindsay said many college students are in a “danger-zone” because they are over 18, but still know people under 18.

“There is just not great laws on this stuff (sexting),” Lindsay said.

He said although many states, including Michigan, have “revenge porn” laws, which makes it illegal to post sexually explicit images with the intention to intimidate or harass people, it’s hard to get convictions.

“Even if there was the best law in Michigan, everyone got caught and convicted, it wouldn’t solve the problem,” Lindsay said. “Because that law can suck the picture back to your phone.”

We will write more about Lindsay’s legal tips next week. Check out our other “Know Your Rights” posts. You can also view our crime data page, which we update every Tuesday about crimes on campus and in Mount Pleasant.

Arielle Hines is the editor of CMU Insider. You can contact her at hines1as@cmich.edu.

This is not intended to serve as official legal advice. Please contact an attorney if you need legal assistance.

 


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