Location: San Bernardino, California
Federal Circuit: 9th Circuit
California State University – San Bernardino has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more here.
December 20, 2005
California State University at San Bernardino (CSUSB) has refused to recognize a Christian student organization for requiring its members to live according to the group’s religious faith. The Christian Student Association at CSUSB contacted FIRE for help after the university said that the group’s statements on faith and sexual morality were “not permissible.”» Read More
Spontaneous events occasioned by news or affairs coming into public knowledge less than forty-eight hours prior to such event may be held in the designated public forums described in Section X and outdoors without advance permission and in university buildings with special permission of the President or the President’s designee. … The following four areas at the San Bernardino campus are designated public forums in which all members of the university community and non-university community may exercise their free speech rights without special restriction.
A. The patio area of the Commons Building
B. The grassy knoll (Coyote Corral) between the Lower Commons Plaza and the campus service road by Serrano Village
C. Library Lawn
1. Clubs and organizations will be allowed to use the library lawn on Wednesdays and Thursdays between the permitted amplification hours (11 AM to 2 PM and 4 PM to 6 PM)
D. Grass area west (Wilson Park) of the Student Recreation and Fitness Center
Participating in an activity that substantially and materially disrupts the normal operations of the residential community, or infringes on the rights of members of the University community are not permitted including:
A. Overt actions such as verbal attacks and physical assaults on students, University staff and/or their
B. Physical or written defacement or destruction of residential property, including postings and posters.
C. Behaviors whether through conduct or expression which are not civil or respectful and which breach the peace within or around the residence halls or at any residence-hall related functions.
All materials to be posted must be submitted and approved by the Office of Housing and Residential Life.
Users may not use campus computing or network services to threaten, harass, stalk, defame, or otherwise interfere with the legal rights of others.
Systemwide Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Against Students and Systemwide Procedure for Handling Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Complaints by Students 13-14
Harassment means unwelcome conduct engaged in because of a Protected Status that 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.
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: a. Submission to, or rejection of, the conduct by the Student is explicitly or implicitly used as the basis for any decision affecting the Student’s academic status or progress, or access to benefits and services, honors, programs, or activities available at or through the University; or b. 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.
California State University, San Bernardino is dedicated to affording members of the University community the protections for freedom of speech, expression, assembly, religion, and press available under the U.S. and California Constitutions and all applicable federal and state laws in accordance with the University’s purpose and function.
December 21, 2012
Many of America’s colleges appear to need to take a few courses in free speech. More than 60 percent of the 400-plus colleges and universities studied by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education have policies that restrict students’ First Amendment rights. In a report released this week, FIRE also raised concern over federal and state regulations governing bullying and harassment that the report labeled sloppily written and implemented. To be fair, FIRE acknowledged that the number of schools with “red light” free-speech codes has declined for the fifth straight year. And more schools eliminated their restrictive speech policies in 2012, earning FIRE’s “green light” […]» Read More
December 24, 2005
Scratch many of the administrators in charge on American campuses these days and you often find a neo-Stalinist who has no hesitation about suppressing views that deviate from leftist orthodoxy. If you doubt me, try supporting Christianity or conservatism in a public way in the ivy covered groves of American academe. Take California State University at San Bernadino, for example, where administrators refuse to charter the Christian Students Association because the group thinks its members should be professing Christians. Imagine that! The group ‘would not be required to admit members who did not support the purpose of the organization (beliefs),’ […]» Read More
December 20, 2005
A state university in California refuses to recognize a Christian student organization because it requires members to live according to the group’s religious faith. The Christian Student Association at California State University at San Bernardino submitted a constitution pledging it will not discriminate on the basis of “race, color, national origin, gender, or physical disability” but reserve the right to restrict membership based on religious beliefs and sexual orientation, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE. In October, however, a university administrator said although the group “would not be required to admit members who did not […]» Read More
December 20, 2005
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.—California State University, San Bernardino has refused to allow a Christian group to organize on campus, saying it would discriminate against non-Christians and homosexuals. The Christian Student Association’s proposed constitution included a statement on sexual morality and required members and officers to be Christian. State law prevents student groups at public universities from excluding people based on religion or sexual orientation. “We are not permitted to charter them under Title V,” said Christine Hansen, director of student leadership and development in the office of Student Affairs. She was referring to a section of the state education code. Ryan […]» Read More
December 20, 2005
For the second time in two weeks, Christianity is on the losing end of a decision made by officials from the California State University system. Some students from Cal State at San Bernardino have been told that forming a Christian group is “not permissible” at the university because it restricts membership based on religious beliefs and sexual orientation. Last week, an administrator from Cal State at Sacramento banned decorations pertaining to Christmas and the 4th of July, among other holidays, from her office because, she said, they represented “religious discrimination” and “ethnic insensitivity.” In the San Bernardino case, the Christian […]» Read More
December 20, 2005
SAN BERNARDINO—Ryan Sorba says officials at Cal State San Bernardino are discriminating against Christians by withholding resources from his student group, which prohibits non-Christians and homosexuals from becoming members. School officials say Sorba is the one being intolerant and the school is simply following California law. “This is about whether or not the First Amendment is allowed to exist at Cal State San Bernardino and whether or not Christians are allowed to exist,” said Sorba, who also is president of the College Republicans. The case has caught the attention of a few national organizations, which Monday began […]» Read More
December 20, 2005
Cal State San Bernardino has denied a Christian student group’s request to organize on campus, saying the organization would have discriminated against non-Christians and homosexuals. “For us, this has nothing to do with discrimination,” Ryan Sorba, who worked to organize the Christian Student Association, said Monday. “This has to do with people being in the club who are Christian.” Every student group organized at Cal State San Bernardino must meet certain requirements, said Christine Hansen, director of student leadership and development. According to state law, student groups at public universities cannot exclude members based on religion or sexual orientation. The […]» Read More
November 30, 2011
Yesterday we wrote about our fight for free speech at California State University-San Marcos (CSUSM), where several students were investigated for their possible involvement with the satirical campus magazine The Koala. While CSUSM has now suspended all investigations following FIRE’s intervention, CSUSM faces the prospect of an investigation by the federal Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), after some students submitted a Title IX complaint about the publication. (OCR refused to share any portion of the complaint with FIRE when we requested it under the Freedom of Information Act.) We wrote to Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Russlynn Ali […]» Read More
California State University-San Marcos Suspends Investigation of Students over Protected Speech in Humor Magazine ‘The Koala’
November 29, 2011
Under pressure from FIRE and the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties (ACLU-SD), California State University–San Marcos (CSUSM) has suspended its investigation of several students who might be affiliated with anonymous humor magazine The Koala. Today, in the face of a Title IX complaint about The Koala that the federal Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) refuses to release, FIRE and the ACLU-SD have also urged OCR that it must not coerce CSUSM to investigate, censor, or punish protected expression such as the material in The Koala. On September 27, 2011, Volume 2, Issue 1 of The Koala was published […]» Read More
December 20, 2005
FIRE’s case at Cal State San Bernardino is making national headlines today. An Associated Press piece is running across California, and the San Bernardino County Sun, the Riverside Press Enterprise, and several other media outlets have published their own stories on Cal State’s assault on religious liberty. FIRE’s own Greg Lukianoff has also been taking to the airwaves all day. All the news articles will continue to be archived on our case page, and if you peruse them, you’ll see one thing over and over: Cal State’s exceedingly lame justification for its actions. It goes a bit like this: Cal […]» Read More