Drexel University

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Website: http://www.drexel.edu
Type: Private
Federal Circuit: 3rd Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Drexel University 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.

This school does not have any cases at this time.
Yellow Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    Sexual harassment is any unwelcome
    sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other unwelcome
    verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: ... Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably
    interfering with an individual’s work or academic
    performance by creating an intimidating, hostile,
    humiliating, demeaning, or sexually offensive working,
    academic or social environment. The effect will be
    evaluated based on the perspective of a reasonable
    person in the position of a Complainant.

    » Read More

  • Equality and Non-Discrimination Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    Sexual Harassment: unwelcome physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature that can include sexual advances,
    requests for sexual favors, and offensive sexual behavior or comments.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Student Conduct and Community Standards- Posting 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Posting Policies, Statement

    All materials for posting
    must be stamped prior to distribution. The "Approved for
    Posting" stamp is maintained at the Creese Student Center
    Information Desk and the Residential Living Office for the
    residence halls.

    » Read More


Green Light Policies
  • Acceptable Use Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies, Statement

    The following activities are specifically prohibited: ... Users may not distribute or send unlawful communications of any kind, including but not limited to threats of violence, obscenity, child pornography and/or harassing communications (as defined by law).

    » Read More


  • Colleges have free speech on the run

    November 30, 2012

     In 2007, Keith John Sampson, a middle-aged student working his way through Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis as a janitor, was declared guilty of racial harassment. Without granting Sampson a hearing, the university administration — acting as prosecutor, judge and jury — convicted him of “openly reading [a] book related to a historically and racially abhorrent subject.” “Openly.” “Related to.” Good grief. The book, “Notre Dame vs. the Klan,” celebrated the 1924 defeat of the Ku Klux Klan in a fight with Notre Dame students. But some of Sampson’s co-workers disliked the book’s cover, which featured a black-and-white photograph of a Klan […]

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  • Drexel, West Chester weak on free-speech protection

    December 20, 2007

    A report issued by a Philadelphia-based civil liberties organization shows 75 percent of U.S. colleges and universities have policies restricting the free speech rights of students on campus. The report, which was published by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), surveyed 346 institutions of higher education. “With increased resources and enhanced research techniques, FIRE was able to unearth even more of these unlawful and pervasive policies than those included in last year’s report,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. Last year FIRE conducted it first nationwide investigation into speech codes, surveying 360 universities, and found 68 percent restricted speech […]

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  • Campus Alert: Don’t laugh too hard

    May 21, 2007

    How would you feel if you got in trouble not for telling an off-color joke, but simply for laughing at one? Sounds inconceivable, right? Not at Drexel University in Philadelphia, where school policy prohibits not only “inconsiderate jokes” but also “inappropriately directed laughter.” Not only won’t they let you tell certain jokes, they promise to punish you for finding them funny. Drexel is not alone in its prohibition of what can only be described as typical college student interaction. Northeastern University in Boston, apparently the self-appointed arbiter of good taste, prohibits sending any e-mail message “which in the sole judgment […]

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  • Drexel Student Calls On Administration to Rescind Speech Codes

    October 26, 2009

    Drexel Student Liberty Front is an active libertarian student organization at Drexel University in Philadelphia. During the last week of September, the Student Liberty Front hosted three FIRE speakers for “Students Rights Week” and passed out FIRE’s Guides to Student Rights on Campus. The group continues to advocate for students’ rights. Last week, Student Liberty Front Vice President Stacy Litz published an op-ed in The Triangle, the Drexel student paper, which was critical of the university’s speech codes. In her column, she calls on the university to rescind its illiberal policies and join the eleven other colleges and universities in […]

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  • Slow Progress Toward Free Speech at Drexel University: Speech Code of the Month Revised, but Concerns Remain

    November 20, 2008

    In a positive development for free speech, Drexel University has revised its much-maligned student harassment policy. The policy, which prohibited “the use of derogatory names” as well as “inconsiderate jokes,” was named FIRE’s Speech Code of the Month back in September 2006. We publicized the policy in the media and on The Torch, and also featured it in our video FIRE on Campus: An Introduction to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. With its revised policy, Drexel no longer receives FIRE’s worst, red-light rating for suppressing student speech; it now receives a yellow light. However, Drexel still has some […]

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  • ‘The Bulletin’ on Speech Code Report

    December 21, 2007

    Philadelphia newspaper The Bulletin has an article about FIRE’s 2007 speech codes report, Spotlight on Speech Codes 2007: The State of Free Speech on our Nation’s Campuses. The article focuses on Philadelphia-area schools in particular, noting that both Drexel University and West Chester University get poor, “red light” ratings for suppressing student speech. Drexel, Torch readers may remember, has a particularly egregious speech code, banning both “inconsiderate jokes” and “inappropriately directed laughter” (whatever that means). Thanks to The Bulletin for helping bring these ridiculous policies to the public’s attention.

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  • Today’s ‘Campus Alert’: Don’t Laugh Too Hard

    May 21, 2007

    Our weekly Campus Alert column in the New York Post focuses today on speech codes at Drexel University, Northeastern University, and Johns Hopkins University—all of which have been named FIRE’s Speech Code of the Month for banning constitutionally protected expression on their respective campuses.   Drexel, which was given the dubious honor of being recognized as FIRE’s Speech Code of the Month for September 2006, prohibits not only “inconsiderate jokes,” but also “inappropriately directed laughter.” So students can be punished not only for telling a joke some may find offensive, but also merely for laughing at one. Not so funny […]

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  • Speech Codes of the Year: 2006

    December 29, 2006

    As Torch readers know, each month FIRE singles out a particularly egregious speech code for our Speech Code of the Month award. While all twelve Speech Codes of the Month for 2006 were both tragic and laughable, I would like to highlight a few that deserve special mention as our Speech Codes of the Year: Jacksonville State University in Alabama. The student code of conduct at Jacksonville State provides that “No student shall threaten, offend, or degrade anyone on University owned or operated property.” Got that? You may not offend anyone on University property. Barnard College in New York City. […]

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  • Kaminer: No Laughing Allowed

    November 27, 2006

    FIRE Board of Advisors member Wendy Kaminer writes an engaging and thoughtful op-ed in the December 2006/January 2007 issue of Free Inquiry magazine. Kaminer draws attention to former FIRE Speech Codes of the Month, including Drexel University (September 2006) and Colorado State University (August 2006), writing: Speech codes that prohibit people from insulting each other have been widely and rightly ridiculed, but they continue to proliferate, enforcing particular notions of diversity, equality, and tolerance. Consider Colorado State University’s speech code, recently derided by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) as speech code of the month. At Colorado State, […]

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  • ‘Ned Flanders, Marty McFly unwelcome at Drexel University’

    October 9, 2006

    Check out FIRE’s own Luke Sheahan’s op ed in The Triangle Online, the web edition of Drexel University’s student newspaper. Drexel had the dubious distinction of being September’s Speech Code of the Month.  Its policies ban “the use of derogatory names,” “inconsiderate jokes” and “inappropriately directed laughter.”  As Luke points out: What is an “inconsiderate joke”? Pretty much any joke that is funny. Jokes make light of someone or something. So at Drexel, not only can you not tell a joke (since it would almost always be considered inconsiderate by someone, somewhere), but you can’t laugh at one either (since […]

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  • Ned Flanders, Marty McFly unwelcome at Drexel University

    October 6, 2006

    “You’re an ugly, hate-filled man,” said Ned Flanders to Moe on The Simpsons. It was a good thing Ned was speaking on television rather than at Drexel University; if he had been speaking at Drexel, he would be a harasser! Flanders would have violated Drexel’s harassment policy by referring to the ugly, hate-filled Springfield bar owner as, well, ugly and hate-filled. Drexel’s wildly overbroad harassment policy prohibits such things as “the use of derogatory names,” “inconsiderate jokes” and “inappropriately directed laughter.” This ridiculous overreach is why Drexel University’s harassment policy was given the dubious distinction of September’s Speech Code of […]

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  • Speech Code of the Month: Drexel University

    September 1, 2006

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for September 2006: Drexel University. There are some trends that, once they go out of style the first time, should never be revived. But some people won’t learn. In the fashion world, for example, leggings and high-waisted, tapered-leg “mom jeans” have (to my horror) regained popularity. And in the world of academia, Drexel University has resurrected an old University of Connecticut speech code from 1989 that has long been skewered as a prime example of political correctness run amok. Drexel University’s harassment policy bans “inconsiderate jokes” and “inappropriately directed laughter.” (I don’t […]

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