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EDLD – 8431 Higher Education Law Case Review #1

Leisha Cavallaro 2/23/2012

Mollere v. Southeastern Louisiana College Facts This case was raised by two women under the age of 21 who are upperclassmen who have attended Southeaster Louisiana College (SLC), a four-year coeducational state college in Hammond, Louisiana. The two students seek to continue their education at the college and question the constitutionality of SLC’s right to girls under the age of 21 to live in campus residence halls. Their argument does not address the universities legality of requiring freshman boys and girls to live on-campus, rather only requiring females under 21 (who aren’t freshman) to reside in residence halls in order to pay of the universities dormitory debt. SLC’s rebuttal was that the specific category of students, females under the age of 21, was chosen because grouped with freshman boys this number of students created the right amount of individuals to fill their dormitories. This fact was not refuted by the Auditor of the University or by any other official at SLC. Issue Is it within a school’s parietal rights to require a specific group to live on campus simply to meet expenses? Is the classification of girls under 21 and freshman boys valid under the Equal Protection Clause? Is it constitutional for particular students to bear more of the schools’ financial debts than their peers? Does this separation and classification of women under 21 and freshman boys discriminate irrationally under the Fourteenth Amendment? Answer A school does not have the right to impose a requirement of a specific group to live on campus simply to meet expenses. This classification does not fall in line with the equal protection clause as some students must bear more of the schools financial burden than others

EDLD – 8431 Higher Education Law Case Review #1

Leisha Cavallaro 2/23/2012

solely based on the number of students the group consisted of. As the sole reason of this group being chosen to bear this burden, it was deemed irrational discrimination which is impermissible in regards to the Fourteenth Amendment. Without educational purposes as reasoning behind a separation in monetary obligations, then all students should be equally responsible for supporting the university, i.e. tuition. Reasoning The school does not have the right to require a specific population to live on campus for the sole reason of raising revenue for the housing system debts as it violates the Equal Protection Clause. This obligation was based solely on the number of individuals in the group and was determined an irrational discrimination under the Fourteenth Amendment. As the school admitted, the obligation was made solely for monetary reasons and it has been determined that as such then all students must pay equally or none at all. This selection of individuals to be more obligated when they should be equally obligated is a clear violation of equal protection despite how the individuals were selected or placed in the group. Conclusion To surmise, schools must base their decisions that are founded in monetary reasoning with the Fourteenth Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause in mind. Individuals can’t be discriminated against for an irrational reason such as falling into a category which ends up providing the right number of individuals to fill a monetary need of the university. Such needs should and must be applied equally to all students or not imposed upon any at all. If this requirement was based on some form of educational benefit (and not solely a monetary need) for a specific group of individuals then it would be deemed constitutional.