Location: Cleveland, Mississippi
Federal Circuit: 5th Circuit
Delta State 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.
Red Light Policies
Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
Free expression of ideas is central to the academic process. However, the University may remove any electronic information from its systems if it is determined that: … The information is inappropriate, because it is inconsistent with the mission of the University, or is otherwise not in compliance with the legal and ethical usage governed by Federal or State law or regulation, or with the University or Institutions of Higher Learning policies.
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
The statements listed below, although not inclusive, enumerate certain violations of the student regulations and may subject violators to appropriate disciplinary action, including suspension and expulsion:
12. Physical or verbal abuse of any person or conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any such person.
27. Harassment of another individual is strictly prohibited. Harassment includes, but is not limited to, impeding another persistently, or to wrong or bother another persistently. It also includes bothering another for the purpose of obtaining a sexual favor.
Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
Any student parade, serenade, demonstration, rally, and/or other meeting or gathering for any purpose conducted on the campus of Delta State University must be scheduled with the Vice President for Student Affairs at least two days in advance of the event.
Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
The statements listed below, although not inclusive, enumerate certain violations of the student regulations and may subject violators to appropriate disciplinary action, including suspension and expulsion: …
16. Disorderly, lewd, indecent, or obscene conduct, or language. This includes, but is not limited to, music lyrics when such music is played loud enough to be heard by other residence hall students or by pedestrians if played by a car or portable sound system.
August 16, 2010
In today’s edition of The Clarion-Ledger, the Jackson, Mississippi newspaper reports on speech codes maintained at public colleges statewide. Spurred by FIRE’s recent victory at nearby Hinds Community College, reporter Elizabeth Crisp writes: Students at Mississippi universities may have to watch what they say more than those in other states because of policies that free-speech advocates say are oppressive. At Ole Miss, someone could theoretically get in trouble for sending an e-mail about how much they “hate” rival Mississippi State. Jackson State students could be punished for unsolicited flirting. Speaking freely outside so-called “free-speech zones” on most of the campuses […]» Read More
July 1, 2008
FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for July 2008: Delta State University. Delta State’s harassment policy provides that harassment occurs when the work or learning environment “is one that a reasonable person would objectively find hostile or abusive or one that the particular person who is the object of the harassment perceives to be hostile or abusive.” (Emphasis added.) Defining harassment on the basis of the perception of the allegedly harassed individual completely eliminates any semblance of objectivity in Delta State’s harassment policy. In other words, harassment occurs when either a reasonable or an unreasonable person finds the […]» Read More