California State University – Chico

Location: Chico, California
Website: http://www.csuchico.edu/
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 9th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

California State University – Chico has been given the speech code rating Red. A red light university has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech. Read more here.

Red Light Policies

  • Division of Student Affairs: Sexual Assault Myths and Realities 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Most sexual harassment is far less obvious than physical assault. Outright propositions or threats demanding sexual activity in exchange for favors (such as a recommendation for a favorable personnel review), subtly demeaning behavior (including sexist jokes and assumptions), and unwelcome physical gestures like leering, brushing up against you, squeezing, and pinching are all forms of sexual harassment.

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  • Residence Life Handbook: Our Commitment to Community Respect 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility

    By choosing to work and/or live at Chico State, student residents and staff agree to use language and display behavior that demonstrates commitment to the following principles … Bigotry has no place within our community; and so we do not have the right to denigrate others on the basis of age, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, race, gender, or religious affiliation. We will never tolerate physical, verbal, or written abuse, threats, intimidation, violence, or other forms of harassment against any member of our community. … Such behavior will be subject to the severest of disciplinary actions, which may include but are not limited to immediate removal from University Housing, suspension from the University or forfeiture of employment.

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Yellow Light Policies
  • Division of Student Affairs: Description of Sexual Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Sexual harassment is defined as including but not limited to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, repeated derogatory sexist remarks, and other verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature directed toward a student or employee from a person with power or authority.

    According to guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, behavior constitutes sexual harassment in an academic setting when: … The person’s behavior is an attempt to interfere, or has the effect of interfering, with your work or academic performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment.

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  • Standards for Student Conduct 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility

    The University is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy living and learning environment for students, faculty, and staff. Each member of the campus community must choose behaviors that contribute toward this end. Students are expected to be good citizens and to engage in responsible behaviors that reflect well upon their university, to be civil to one another and to others in the campus community, and contribute positively to student and university life.

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  • Guidelines for Speech and Advocacy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies

    The Free Speech Area is defined as the area bounded on the north by Trinity Hall, on the east by the driveway into Trinity Hall, on the south by the First Street Mall, and on the west by the sidewalk adjacent to Meriam Library. Power and a public address system are available at the light pole near the diagonal sidewalk. Policies regarding use of this area apply to all members of the campus and community. Use of the area by members of the university community does not require reservations (except for sound-amplified presentations) but reservations will preempt extemporaneous programs.

    Application for use of other university facilities may be made by students at the Student Activities office and by faculty and staff at University Facility Reservations.

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  • Policy on Use of Computing and Communications Technology 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies

    Users may not use campus computing or network services to threaten, harass*, defame, or otherwise interfere with the legal rights of others. (*Harassment is defined as the creation of an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or educational environment.)

    Users should take care not to display on screens in shared facilities images, sounds, or messages which could create an atmosphere of discomfort or harassment to others. Users should make arrangements for a private work area if an assignment requires them to access such materials.

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Green Light Policies
  • Guidelines for Speech and Advocacy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    A university is the primary social institution established to protect and promote rational inquiry. In realizing its function, this University is fully committed to facilitating and protecting the free exchange of ideas through advocacy and inquiry.

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  • Division of Student Affairs: Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence (Title IX) 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Sexual Harassment, as defined in California Education Code 212.5, consists of both non-sexual conduct based on sex or sex-stereotyping and conduct that is sexual in nature, and includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature where: … The conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that its effect, whether or not intended, could be considered by a reasonable person in the shoes of the Student, and is in fact considered by the Student, as limiting the Student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities or opportunities offered by the University.

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  • How Free Speech Died on Campus

    November 16, 2012

    At Yale University, you can be prevented from putting an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote on your T-shirt. At Tufts, you can be censured for quoting certain passages from the Quran. Welcome to the most authoritarian institution in America: the modern university—”a bizarre, parallel dimension,” as Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, calls it. Mr. Lukianoff, a 38-year-old Stanford Law grad, has spent the past decade fighting free-speech battles on college campuses. The latest was last week at Fordham University, where President Joseph McShane scolded College Republicans for the sin of inviting Ann Coulter to speak.  […]

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  • Free Speech “Zones

    November 30, 2011

    Whenever I think Valdosta State University, Texas Tech, and Citrus College once had small designated campus “free speech zones,” which implied that the rest of the campus was off-limits to protest and other forms of speech. All those school got rid of their free speech limits after they were mocked in the media. I then naively assumed that the college bureaucrats had been permanently embarrassed. I was wrong. One reader just sent me this email: …had to send you this photo I took 2 years ago on the campus of Chico State University. I thought it was ironic to have […]

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  • Victory for Free Speech: California’s Chico State Scraps Unconstitutional ‘Speech Code of the Year’

    January 4, 2012

    Today’s press release announces a welcome victory: After FIRE named California State University-Chico’s definition of sexual harassment one of two “Speech Codes of the Year” for 2011, the university has scrapped the language in question. As of mid-December 2011, Chico State maintained an informational page on sexual harassment stating that faculty members committed sexual harassment if they “implicitly devalue[d] students for their gender or sexual orientation.” Examples of such harassment included “reinforcement of sexist stereotypes through subtle, often unintentional means,” including the use of “stereotypic generalizations” and the “continual use of generic masculine terms such as to refer to people […]

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  • Speech Codes of the Year: 2011

    December 27, 2011

    Each month, FIRE singles out a particularly reprehensible campus speech code for our Speech Code of the Month designation. While all of 2011′s Speech Codes of the Month flagrantly violated students’ and faculty members’ right to free expression, two of them were so egregious that they deserve special mention as 2011′s Speech Codes of the Year. University of Florida. According to the University of Florida’s Student Rights and Responsibilities policy, “Organizations or individuals that adversely upset the delicate balance of communal living will be subject to disciplinary action by the University.” If there has ever been a textbook example of […]

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  • Speech Code of the Month: California State University – Chico

    March 3, 2011

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for March 2011: California State University – Chico. We frequently talk about the impact of speech codes on student speech. But speech codes can affect faculty members, too, and the ability of faculty to teach controversial or sensitive material without fear of punishment is critical to the functioning of a university. That is why CSU Chico’s definition of sexual harassment [.pdf] is so profoundly troubling: Teachers who make disparaging remarks about or implicitly devalue students for their gender or sexual orientation can undermine students’ academic, professional, and personal growth just as much as those […]

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