Location: Edinboro, Pennsylvania
Federal Circuit: 3rd Circuit
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania 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.
September 19, 2005
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives brought together a committee to examine allegations that Pennsylvania’s public universities were plagued by liberal ideology and indoctrination. David A. French, at the time president of FIRE, served as a legal adviser to the panel. FIRE released FIRE Report on the First Amendment Responsibilities of Pennsylvania State-Funded Colleges and Universities, explaining that Pennsylvania universities are bound to follow the strictures of the U.S. and Pennsylvania Constitutions, notably to respect the expressive rights of students and faculty members, to protect religious liberty on campus, and to protect freedom of conscience on campus.» Read More
Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
Misuse or improper practices associated with computing, networks, and
telecommunications include (but are not limited to) the following: … Sending messages, naming files, or programs with obscene or vulgar language
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, whether or not accompanied by promises or threats, and other sexual conduct that occur on or off campus when: … Such conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive so as to have the effect of creating an intimidating or hostile work or educational environment, which unreasonably interferes with work or educational performance, or negatively affects an individual’s employment or education opportunities.
It is the University’s position that any degree of sexual harassment is a sufficient basis for the imposition of discipline on students and employees, and, depending on the nature of the offense, discipline could range from verbal warnings to termination or expulsion. When sexual harassment is sufficiently pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with an individual’s performance and creates an intimidating, hostile, and/or offensive working or learning environment, substantial disciplinary action is warranted.
Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies
Harassment, threats, intimidation, coercion, bullying (including cyber bullying), or the use of physical force, or the threat of physical force, and/or any actions that endanger the health or safety of another person as described in University Policy C006– Harassment, Intimidation, and Institutional Vandalism. No student shall engage in conduct that limits or restricts the freedom of a person to move about in a lawful manner without consent. No student shall use a telephone, computer, or other electronic media to carry out any of the forgoing. Additionally, no student shall conspire with any person or persons or aid any person or persons to commit or attempt to commit any of the foregoing.
Speech Code Category: Posting Policies
The following items present health or safety concerns and are, therefore, prohibited in residence halls and/or student rooms: … lewd or offensive decorations visible from the outside of the room.
Rights of Students and Other Persons to Assemble for the Purpose of Demonstrating Their Concerns 13-14
Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
Individuals or groups wishing to assemble on the Edinboro University campus must complete a Facilities Request Form through the Conference and Convention Center Office. A copy of the Facilities Request Form is attached to this policy. In addition, individuals or groups must meet with the Dean of Student Life whose office is located in the University Center.
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
Harassment is defined as unwanted or unwelcome behavior or conduct that is sufficiently severe or pervasive enough to have the impact of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s ability to live, learn, and work at Edinboro University.
Bullying is defined as behavior or conduct when the act is severe, persistent or pervasive and substantially interferes with an individual’s educational or work environment, creating a threatening environment, or substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the University.
Cyber-bullying is defined as an intentional electronic act of bullying as defined above.
May 21, 2009
Connecticut College—which in past years has earned a red light from FIRE for its speech codes—has password-protected two key documents, the Student Handbook and the Bias Incident Protocol. We at FIRE believe that prospective students and their parents have the right to know whether Connecticut College prohibits free speech—and whether the college even still promises free speech, since those promises were contained in earlier versions of the Student Handbook. This move is part of a disturbing trend among colleges to restrict access to these documents to those already on campus (we’ve recently seen this happen at DePaul University and Edinboro […]» Read More
December 5, 2008
While FIRE awaits the results of this week’s disciplinary hearing of Michigan State University (MSU) undergraduate Kara Spencer—who faces possible suspension for sending “spam” e-mails to 391 MSU professors—word of the case and FIRE’s involvement has quickly spread throughout the East Lansing, Michigan, campus and beyond. Shortly following the sending of FIRE’s letter to MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon, an article in MSU’s paper, The State News, alerted the campus community to the university’s outrageous overreaction to Spencer’s e-mails, which conveyed relevant information about impending changes to the school’s academic calendar. Word of MSU’s threats against Spencer has also […]» Read More
December 1, 2008
Last December, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania earned a red-light rating from FIRE for its sexual harassment policy, which unconstitutionally prohibits any “comments about an individual’s body, sexually degrading words to describe an individual, offensive comments, off-color language or jokes, innuendos and sexually suggestive objects, books, magazines, photographs, cartoons or pictures.” Since that time, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit—which includes all of Pennsylvania—ruled that Temple University’s former sexual harassment policy was unconstitutional. That ruling called into question the constitutionality of speech codes at universities across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware—including at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. In fact, […]» Read More