Location: Greencastle, Indiana
Federal Circuit: 7th Circuit
DePauw 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
Student Handbook: Harassment Policy- Definition of Harassment and Notice of Non-Discrimination 13-14
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
[T]he University reaffirms the right of its students to live and learn, and its employees to teach and work, in an environment free from harassment and inappropriate and/or offensive comments or conduct, as described below.
To be unlawful, conduct must be sufficiently serious that it unreasonably interferes with an employee’s ability to work or a student’s ability to learn or benefit from the University’s programming. The University does not, however, condone or tolerate any inappropriate conduct, whether by employees or non-employees, based on a person’s race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran status, gender identity, gender expression, disability, or any category protected under federal,
state or local law.
Harassing conduct may include but is not limited to the following, when based on or because of a protected characteristic as described above:
* Jokes, epithets, stereotypes or slurs.
* Foul or abusive language.
* Offensive graffiti, cartoons or posters.
* Insulting or derogatory nicknames.
* Mimicking another.
* Starting or spreading rumors.
* Teasing about religious or cultural observances, retirement, age, ability to learn, or absenteeism.
* Threatening or offensive mail, e-mail, voicemail or messages.
Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
Electronic communication facilities shall not be used to access or transmit electronic communication which promote or contain offensive, unlawful or inappropriate content, including, but not limited to content that is slanderous, defamatory, harassing, vulgar, threatening, intimidating, offensive, or that promotes hate or violence; or which is racially inflammatory or inappropriate; or which is pornographic, or sexually offensive; or which consists of offensive comments based on gender, or any other content that denigrates or demeans persons on the basis of race, age, gender, national origin, disability, religion, sexual orientation or any basis protected by law. This prohibition shall not apply to educational and professional work that requires such access or transmission.
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
DePauw is committed to providing students, employees and University guests an environment and workplace free of inappropriate comments or conduct of a sexual nature.
Prohibited sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to:
- Unsolicited and unwelcome comments or conduct of a sexual nature or that are demeaning to women or men as a group (for example, offensive or vulgar jokes, name-calling, comments about one’s body or sex life, or stereotyping based on a person’s sex);
- Unwelcome and unwanted sexual jokes, language, gestures, epithets, innuendoes, advances or propositions;
- sexually oriented “kidding,” “teasing” or “practical jokes;”
- Unsolicited and unwelcome demands or requests, implicit or explicit, for sexual favors or sexual encounters;
- Sexually oriented propositions, slurs, suggestions or questions;
- Persistent, unsolicited and unwelcome demands or requests, implicit or explicit, for social encounters;
- Written or verbal abuse of a sexual nature, including, for example, using sexually degrading or vulgar words to describe an individual;
- The display of sexually suggestive or revealing objects, other material or offensive pictures, electronic communications or photographs (this prohibition does not apply to University approved art exhibitions or other University approved displays or communications);
- Unwelcome and unsolicited information about another’s sexual prowess, activities, deficiencies or sexual orientation;
- Asking questions or commenting about another’s sexual activity or making unwelcome sexual advances or expressed or implied requests for sexual activity;
- Offensive or inappropriate behavior targeted at only one sex, even if the content of the conduct or comments is not sexual;
- Unwelcome physical contact, such as patting, pinching, touching, leering, ogling, whistling, indecent exposure, brushing against the body, or suggestive, insulting or obscene comments or physical gestures.
- Any instance in which a supervisor, faculty member or another in a position of authority uses his/her authority to require or to urge an employee or student to submit to sexual activity. Such behavior can be explicit or implicit – for example, a supervisor or another person in a position of authority states to an employee or student: “Things could be a lot better for you here if you would be a little nicer to me.”
Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
DePauw University exists for the transmission of knowledge, the nurturing of integrity and the cultural development of its students. To attain these goals, free inquiry and free expression are imperative.
3. Freedom of association: students are free and, in fact, encouraged to organize and join associations that promote their common interests.
4. Freedom of assembly, inquiry and expression: students are free to examine and discuss all questions of interest to them and to express their opinions publicly and privately. Students are free to support causes in any orderly manner, including organized protests that do not disturb the normal and essential functions of the University.
5. Student publications and the student press are financially and editorially separate from the University. The DePauw, the student newspaper, remains a forum for open student discussion on campus issues.
January 28, 2015
Today, classes are cancelled at Indiana’s DePauw University so that students can attend “DePauw Dialogue,” a day of campus discussion “surrounding diversity and inclusiveness.” Unfortunately, DePauw initially attempted to ensure student participation by making the event mandatory. According to the student newspaper The DePauw: An email sent Friday by Vice President for Student Life Christopher Wells and Senior Advisor to the President for Diversity and Compliance Renee Madison announced that the day, called “DePauw Dialogue,” would be mandatory. “Students who do not attend on the 28th will not be able to register for fall classes or walk at commencement,” the […]» Read More
Due Process Advocates Take Critical Look at How Colleges Are Dealing with Sexual Assault Allegations
September 15, 2014
With colleges and universities revising their sexual assault policies for the new academic year and legislation on the horizon that could have serious repercussions for campus due process, it is critically important for policymakers to stay committed to protecting the rights of all students. Advocates for due process are stepping up to ensure that as new rules for dealing with campus sexual assault are crafted, key legal principles are not forgotten. To start, higher ed attorney and former college administrator Gary Pavela reminds readers of The Chronicle of Higher Education today that “‘[d]ue process’ is more than a procedural checklist”—it requires […]» Read More
June 30, 2011
Minding the Campus has excerpted a harrowing story of thought reform at DePauw University written by former resident assistant (RA) Rachel Cheeseman, who is a FIRE intern this summer. Here’s part of it: During the week-long series of RA training events, my fellow RAs and I were lectured repeatedly about white privilege, racism, sexism, and every other “ism.” My peers who questioned the information were silenced immediately or heckled for their refusal to accept the dogmatic views of our superiors. … When my residents arrived, I was required to escort them through a mandatory interactive live performance, “Tunnel of Oppression.” As we walked through […]» Read More
November 25, 2008
Since I have taken Wabash College to task in a recent post, it is only fair for me to say a few words about Wabash’s longtime Indiana rival, DePauw University. Unfortunately, my work is made quite easy by DePauw’s quite appalling speech code. FIRE gives DePauw a red-light rating because of its policies that both clearly and substantially restrict freedom of speech. DePauw promises that “students are free to examine and discuss all questions of interest to them and to express their opinions publicly and privately.” But this is not true. For one thing, DePauw states explicitly that its harassment […]» Read More