East Tennessee State University

Location: Johnson City, Tennessee
Website: http://www.etsu.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 6th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

East Tennessee 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.

This school does not have any cases at this time.

Red Light Policies

  • Catalog: Policies and Procedures- Sexual, Racial and Other Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    Harassment on the basis of race, color, ethnic or national origin includes offensive or demeaning treatment of an individual where such treatment is based on prejudiced stereotypes of a group to which that individual may belong. It includes, but is not limited to, objectionable epithets, threatened or actual physical harm or abuse, or other intimidating or insulting conduct directed against the individual because of his/her race, color, ethnic or national origin. Title VII requires employers to take prompt action when a person expresses a racially charged opinion in a way which abuses or offends a coworker.

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Yellow Light Policies
Green Light Policies
  • Catalog: Policies and Procedures- Sexual, Racial and Other Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    Generally, sexual harassment may be defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when one of the following criteria is met: ... such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or educational experience, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment.

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Not Rated Policies
  • Tennessee Board of Regents – Policy 3:02:00:01 [General Regulations on Student Conduct and Disciplinary Sanctions]

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    II. Disciplinary Offenses

    [...]

    B. Individual or organizational misconduct which is subject to disciplinary sanction shall include but not be limited to the following examples:

    1. Conduct dangerous to others. Any conduct which constitutes a serious danger to any person's health, safety or personal well-being, including any physical abuse or immediate threat of abuse;

    2. Hazing. Any act of hazing of any variety by an individual or group;

    3. Disorderly conduct. Any individual or group behavior which is abusive, obscene, lewd, indecent, violent, excessively noisy, disorderly, or which unreasonably disturbs other groups or individuals;

    4. Obstruction of or interference with institutional or school activities or facilities. Any intentional interference with or obstruction of any institutional or school activity, program, event, or facilities, including the following:

    [...]

    14. Unacceptable conduct in hearings. Any conduct at an institutional or school hearing involving contemptuous, disrespectful, or disorderly behavior, or the giving of false testimony or other evidence at any hearing;

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  • Tennessee Board of Regents – Policy 3:01:01:00 [Student Organizations]

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    3. General Policies on Student Organizations

    (1) No student organization may carry on any activity on the campus of an institution or school unless the organization has been officially registered by the institution or school.

    [...]

    (4) No student organization or individual shall engage in or condone any form of hazing. Hazing shall include, but is not limited to: any action taken, or situation created intentionally, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment or ridicule; any form of verbal or physical harassment or abuse; and engaging in public stunts, morally degrading or humiliating behavior or games, whether on or off campus. Excessive demands on a student's time so as to interfere with academic performance are prohibited. Threatening in any manner or form for the purpose of cajoling individuals into secrecy in regard to breaches (planned, threatened, attempted, or perpetrated) of hazing violations also is prohibited.

    [...]

    11. Programs and Activities

    [...]

    (2) Except for routine meetings of the organization, no on-campus program or activity shall be engaged in unless approved by the designated bodies and/or officials of the institution or school, and each institution and school may require prior approval for off-campus programs and activities. Prior to approval, the institution or school may require a specified number of officials or security officers for any event, activity or program.

    [...]

    (4) No guest speakers shall be invited to the campus except pursuant to policies of the Board and the institution or school concerning guest or off-campus speakers. (Reference Policy No. 3:01:10:00)

    Source: SBR Meetings, September 29, 1978; December 7, 1979; September 30, 1983 March 23, 1984, September 21, 1990

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  • Tennessee Board of Regents – Policy 3:02:02:00 [Policy on Use of Campus Property and Facilities]

    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes, Statement

    IV. GENERAL CONDITIONS FOR USE OF PROPERTY OR FACILITIES

    [...]

    (3) Sound amplification equipment may be used by groups, organizations and individuals at assemblies, meetings and demonstrations only when prior approval has been granted by the appropriate official of the institution or school; provided, however, that such sound amplification is subject to reasonable regulation by the institution or school with respect to time, place, manner and volume.

    [...]

    V. GENERAL PROCEDURE - APPLICATION FOR USE OF PROPERTY OR FACILITIES

    (1) Regular or special meetings of affiliated groups or organizations may be planned and scheduled according to procedures established by this policy, or according to procedures established by the individual institution or school. All other gatherings at a central location on campus property which are sponsored or instigated by affiliated groups, organizations or individuals may be permitted without prior registration only at such times and locations as may be designated by the president of the institution or the director of the area school, or his or her designee.

    (2) Any affiliated group, organization or individual desiring to use campus property or facilities at any time, and/or location other than those designated pursuant to paragraph (1) above, and all non-affiliated groups, organizations or individuals desiring use of campus property or facilities must submit a written application for registration of the proposed activity at least fourteen (14) days in advance (excluding weekends and holidays) to the appropriate official at the institution or school; provided, however, that the president of the institution or director of the area school, or his or her designee, may approve applications for registration filed at a later time upon such official's determination that the use of property requested can be reasonably accommodated and that adequate cause exists for late filing of the application for registration. Approval of late applications shall be within the sole discretion of the president of the institution or the director of the area school, or his or her designee. The decision of such official is final. Applications shall be submitted on a form designated by the Chancellor of the Board of Regents, or his or her designee.

    [...]

    (4) No assembly, meeting, demonstration or other activity shall be authorized or permitted on any property or in any building or facility, and an application for registration may be denied when:

    [...]

    (c) The applicant or sponsor of the activity has not fully provided accurate or complete information required on the application for registration.

    (d) The applicant or sponsor of the activity has been responsible for violation of subparagraphs (a), (b) or (c) above during a previously registered use of campus property or facilities, or has violated any conditions or assurances specified in a previous registration application and the institution or school has reasonable cause to believe such violation will reoccur.

    [...]

    (h) The activity creates or would create a danger, or dangerous condition impacting on the health, safety, and welfare of others;

    [...]

    (6) Affiliated and non-affiliated groups, organizations, or individuals may sell or distribute literature only in conjunction with their authorized presence on campus after such proposed sale or distribution has been registered with and approved by the appropriate official of the institution or school as specified in paragraph (2) above. Any application for registration shall include, but not be limited to the name of the applicant; the name of the organization, if any; the date, time, duration and location of the proposed sale or distribution; and, the number of participants, and shall be on a form which has been designated by the Chancellor of the Board of Regents, or his or her designee.

    (7) Applications for registration by affiliated and non-affiliated groups, organizations or individuals required in paragraph (6) above to distribute or sell literature shall be denied in the event that: [...] 6) the activity would constitute a violation of applicable law or regulation, or any other provision of this policy.


    VI. PARTICULAR USES

    (1) Political Use

    (a) The use of campus property or facilities for speaking engagements by candidates for political office or for other political activities whether at the request of an affiliated or non-affiliated group, organization or individual shall be subject to the registration requirements and procedures specified above and shall be subject to the regulations of the institution or school concerning other types of meetings or activities on campus property or in campus facilities.

    [...]

    (c) No campaign posters, signs or other items of campaign or political advertising may be placed on campus property or facilities, except as specified in subparagraphs (d) and (e) below.

    (d) Students may place campaign posters, signs or other items of campaign or political advertising, whether pertaining to a campus or general election within his/her dormitory residence provided such placement is made in such a way as to not damage or destroy campus property.

    (e) Affiliated and non-affiliated groups, organizations or individuals, with the exception of state employees, may place campaign posters, signs or other items of campaign or political advertising, whether pertaining to a campus or general election, on bulletin boards or other locations on campus specifically designated for such use by the institution or school. Any distribution of such material may be made only subsequent to the registration and approval process.

    (2) Religious Use

    (a) Campus property and facilities may be utilized by affiliated groups or organizations for the purpose of religious worship or evangelical activities subject to the specified registration requirements and procedures.

    (b) Non-affiliated groups, organizations and individuals may utilize campus property and facilities on a temporary basis for the purpose of religious worship or evangelical activities subject to the specified registration requirements and procedures.

    (3) Literature Distribution or Sale

    (a) Any proposed distribution or sale of literature by an affiliated or non-affiliated group, organization or individual is subject to the specified registration requirements and procedures.

    (b) Any literature which is, or which is proposed to be, distributed or sold shall comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, and with the regulations and policies of the institution or school, and the Board of Regents. No obscene literature or material shall be distributed on any property owned or used by an institution or school.

    [...]

    (d) Each institution and school shall designate the locations on campus which are available for the sale or distribution of literature. In addition to those areas designated in subparagraph (c) above, the institution or school shall prohibit the sale or distribution of literature in all areas where such would: 1) cause injury or damage to campus resources; 2) unreasonably impair the academic atmosphere of the campus; 3) unreasonably interfere with the academic program and other activities of the institution or school, or with the administrative functions of the institution or school; or, 4) substantially impair the use of facilities or services on the campus, or the flow of vehicular or pedestrian traffic.

    [...]


    VII. Miscellaneous

    (1) Bulletin Boards

    (a) Bulletin boards may be designated for use by specific groups, organizations or individuals. Those groups, organizations or individuals authorized to use a bulletin board, the types of materials which may be posted on a board, the maximum size and duration of any notice, and any other special conditions on use shall be conspicuously posted on each board, and shall control the use of the board when posted.

    (b) Each institution and school may require prior approval for the use of any or all bulletin boards on campus, and if required, the name of the official authorized to approve use of the board shall be posted on the board. Use of a board may be denied on the basis of one or more of the following: 1.) the person or group is not authorized to use the board in question; 2.) the material is not the type authorized for the board in question, or fails to meet any special conditions as posted on the board; 3.) the material is obscene or otherwise violates any federal or state law or regulation of the institution or school; or 4.) there is insufficient space available for the material on the board in question due to the previous posting of other materials.

    [...]

    Source: TBR Meetings, December 8, 1978; March 10, 1979; March 18, 1983; September 30, 1983; September 18, 1987; March 16, 1990; September 21, 1990

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This school does not have any media coverage at this time.
  • ETSU, Brute?

    June 8, 2012

    Okay, it’s a terrible Shakespearean pun. But as bad a pun as this blog post’s title is, it’s still nowhere near as disappointing as the state of free speech at East Tennessee State University (ETSU).   The basic story is that as part of a “civility week,” the Student Government Association created T-shirts with various slurs on the front and the message “I am more than a label. Think. Live. Respect.” on the back. The T-shirt campaign was quite clearly a campaign to combat stereotyping. Nevertheless, the ETSU administration wasn’t so thrilled with the shirts, and quickly imposed heavy-handed censorship. […]

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