Colgate University

Location: Hamilton, New York
Type: Private
Federal Circuit: 2nd Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Colgate University 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.

This school does not have any cases at this time.

Red Light Policies

  • Student Handbook: Policy on Equal Opportunity, Nondiscrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Other Forms of Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Federal and state laws and Colgate policy prohibit discrimination and harassment based on legally protected categories. However, as a supportive and collegial community, Colgate also prohibits bias-related student behavior that demeans or humiliates other community members even if the conduct is not so egregious as to violate the law. Harassing conduct can occur in various forms, including: … Verbal – such as unwelcome sexually suggestive, demeaning or graphic comments, using ethnic, racial, religious or other slurs to refer to a person, or jokes or comments that demean a person on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability. … Visual – such as exposing another person to unwanted pornographic images, creating or displaying racially, ethnically, religiously offensive pictures, symbols, cartoons, or graffiti. Communication-based – such as phone calls, emails, text messages, chats or blogs that offend, demean or intimidate another on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability.

    Colgate reserves the right to remedy harassment pursuant to this policy even if the behavior in question does not rise to the
    level of legally recognized or actionable discrimination or harassment.

    » Read More

Yellow Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: University Code of Student Conduct 13-14

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

    Colgate expects that its students will not lie, steal, cheat, or engage in dishonest or unlawful behavior; behavior that damages University property, the personal property of another individual, or public property; or any other behavior intended to inflict physical or emotional harm on oneself, another person or the community.

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  • Student Handbook: Policy on Equal Opportunity, Nondiscrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Other Forms of Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies

    Conduct that violates this Policy may also constitute violations of other University policies. The following is a non-exhaustive list of such situations. … Bullying and cyber-bullying, defined as repeated and/or severe aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control or diminish another person, physically or mentally on the basis of actual or perceived membership
    in a protected class.

    » Read More

Green Light Policies
  • Talk, Not Tear Gas: Colleges Soften Their Approach to Student Protests

    November 12, 2014

    By Mary Bowerman and Peter Schmidt at  The Chronicle of Higher Education When students staged a sit-in at Colgate University’s admissions office in September to protest racial intolerance on campus, perhaps the biggest news was what didn’t happen. No students were arrested or removed from the building. No one accused the campus police of heavy-handedness or administrators of trampling free-speech rights. Instead, the sit-in ended with an agreement between protesters and administrators on a 21-point plan to make the institution more welcoming for minority students. “We tried to relate to the students on a human level,” says Suzy M. Nelson, vice president and dean of […]

    » Read More
  • Schools discipline students over Internet content

    February 22, 2006

    Four Syracuse University students punished for trashing their teacher on joined the growing number of students nationally whose school has held them accountable for what they put on the Internet. “Criticism can be considered a matter of free speech. In this particular situation it was the content, and the content was considered as being reviewable as a possible violation of the university code of student conduct,” said Kevin Morrow, speaking for SU. “The language and the phrasing of these Facebook postings were extreme.” Some students use as their personal diary. They post pictures and information such as their […]

    » Read More
  • Introducing FIRE Summer Intern Konrad Thallner

    June 12, 2014

    Konrad Thallner is a rising junior at Colgate University, pursuing majors in political science and German, as well as a minor in economics. He serves as the vice president of his fraternity, Phi Kappa Tau, and looks forward to spending the Spring 2015 semester studying abroad at the University of Freiburg in southwestern Germany. On his decision to intern with FIRE this summer, Konrad writes: I became aware of FIRE while researching the challenges many Greek organizations around the country face in dealing with an array of school rules and regulations. While exploring some of the cases detailed on The […]

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  • Speech Codes at Colgate University Threaten Students’ Rights

    August 6, 2012

    Kelsey Curtis is a FIRE Summer Intern. As I prepare to enter my senior year at Colgate University, I am spending a lot of time reflecting on all that I have learned and how much I have grown over the course of my college experience. Colgate’s faculty and students have provided me with opportunities for exploration every day, and it is because of the thoughtful community at Colgate that I have been able to gain so much. It was not until I began my internship at FIRE this summer that I realized that this learning environment is in a precarious […]

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  • The Generational Swindle

    April 26, 2005

    American students of these times are victims of a generational swindle of truly epic proportions. My own academic cohort appears to have no shame, and it has moved on campus after campus from its Free Speech Movement to its speech codes; from its struggle against mandatory religious chapel to its struggle for mandatory sensitivity “training” in matters of race, sex, and sexuality; and from its freedom to smoke pot openly on college lawns to its war against the kegs and spirits—literal and metaphorical—of today’s undergraduates. It is always revealing to look at policies enacted in the early ’70s to protect […]

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  • The Unreported Abuses

    April 20, 2005

    Despite the fact that FIRE receives hundreds of formal and informal complaints every year, I remain convinced that there are a much larger number of unreported civil liberties abuses in academia. This suspicion is confirmed every time I speak at a university (side note: if you want me to come speak at your school, please email us). Following my speech, students will stream forward to tell their own tales of censorship and repression. Last week, I was at Colgate in upstate New York and the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago, and this is what I heard (keep in […]

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  • Colgate Disinformation

    April 18, 2005

    Last Tuesday morning, I spoke at a rally protesting Colgate University’s plans to force all fraternities and sororities to sell their houses and land to the university. While a transaction between two private parties is ordinarily not of great interest to FIRE, the terms of Colgate’s “deal” are particularly outrageous. Essentially, the message of the university is: sell your land or we will prohibit any student from living in your houses. The university is justifying this blatant land grab by arguing that the fraternity and sorority houses are essentially out of control—cesspools of sexual assault, binge drinking, and other crimes. […]

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  • F.A.C.T. Rally at Delta Kappa Epsilon

    April 15, 2005

    On Tuesday morning on the front lawn of the Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) house, approximately 300 students and several members of the media gathered to participate in the Freedom of Association: the Coalition for Truth (F.A.C.T.) Rally. The rally focused on protesting Colgate’s Residential Plan, which, according to the official Colgate website, will require all Greek-letter organizations to be based in University housing.The University plan requires the sale of all Greek letter houses to the University. At the current time, all Greek-letter alumni associations are voting on whether or not to sell their houses to Colgate. Thus far, DKE has […]

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  • Candace Under Fire

    February 25, 2002

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