Anthony v. Syracuse University

231 N.Y.S. 435, 224 App. Div. 487 (1928)

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Anthony v. Syracuse University

New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division
231 N.Y.S. 435, 224 App. Div. 487 (1928)

Facts

Beatrice Anthony (plaintiff) was a student at Syracuse University (Syracuse) (defendant). Anthony, upon entry, signed a registration card agreeing to comply with the university’s rules and regulations, maintain high standards of conduct and scholarship, and promote the university’s general welfare. The card referred to a specific regulation (regulation 47), which was listed in Syracuse’s catalog. Regulation 47 provided that attendance at the university was a privilege, not a right. Regulation 47 further stated that Syracuse reserved the right to dismiss any student whose presence it deemed detrimental, and that specific charges might or might not be listed. Anthony signed a similar registration card at the beginning of her second and third years. Anthony, like any other student, was allowed to withdraw from Syracuse at any time. Anthony was dismissed by Syracuse in her third year and advised that authorities had heard rumors about her and had spoken to girls in her sorority, who opined that she was not a typical Syracuse girl. Anthony was not offered anything more, and she filed suit against Syracuse for breach of contract, arguing that her dismissal was arbitrary and unjust. Syracuse conceded that it did not provide Anthony with any specific reason for her dismissal, but it relied on the contract that Anthony had signed. Anthony made two main arguments: (1) she should not be bound by regulation 47, because she did not read it; and (2) enforcement of the contract and regulation was against public policy. A trial court awarded judgment to Anthony. Syracuse appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Sears, J.)

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