Location: Miami, Florida
Federal Circuit: 11th Circuit
Florida International 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.
February 6, 2002
Florida International University (FIU), maintained ethnicity and race requirements for certain language classes. For example, certain Spanish courses limited enrollment to “Hispanic bilinguals educated in the U.S….whose mother tongue is Spanish,” “U.S. Hispanic bilinguals,” and “U.S. Hispanic Bilinguals Only.”; When informed of this policy FIRE explained its immorality and unconstitutionality to the administration. Following FIRE’s lengthy and quiet involvement, the policy was revised.» Read More
Red Light Policies
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, StatementConduct which falls into the definition of sexual
harassment includes, but is not limited to: ... 3. Verbal harassment or abuse of a sexual nature,
including intimating by way of suggestion a
desire for sexual relations, or making jokes
or remarks of a sexual nature which are not
germane to academic course content.
4. Use of sexually suggestive terms or gestures
to describe a person’s body, clothing, or sexual
5. Displaying or posting through any medium,
including, but not limited to, electronic
communication, offensive, sexually suggestive
pictures, or materials in the workplace.
Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies, StatementIn order to coordinate University events and other activities taking place on University grounds, with due consideration for the health and safety of all individuals, any person or organization who intends to demonstrate on University grounds must notify the University at least two (2) business days in advance if: (a) the demonstration event shall involve a group consisting of more than 30 participants; or (b) if sound amplification equipment shall be used.
Speech Code Category: Posting Policies, StatementSolicitation (i.e., passing or handing out flyers/promotional material, etc.) on campus, including on-campus housing facilities, without prior approval from the appropriate University officials. This includes, but is not limited to, the disbursement of any forms of promotional/informational material on University property or objects (i.e., motor vehicles) on University property.
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, StatementVerbal or written abuse, threats, intimidation, and/or coercion that objectively endangers the health, safety, or well-being of others. Fighting words and statements which reasonably endanger the health and safety of any person are not protected speech and may result in University action. This definition shall not be interpreted to abridge the right of any member of the University community to freedom of expression protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and any other applicable law.
Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression, StatementStudents are guaranteed freedom of expression.
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, StatementSexual harassment constitutes, in the aggregate, incidents that are sufficiently pervasive, persistent, or severe that a reasonable person would be adversely affected to a degree that interferes with his/her ability to participate in or to realize the intended benefits of a University activity, employment, or resources.
Florida International University Upholds Legal Equality: Abandons Racial and Ethnic Requirements for Language Courses
February 6, 2002
MIAMI, FL—Florida International University (FIU), responding to FIRE, has issued a strong and unqualified defense of legal equality. Addressing the concerns raised by FIRE President Alan Charles Kors, who challenged a racial and ethnic requirement for several language courses, FIU General Counsel Thomas Mead Santoro made changes to the requirements for the courses to ensure that FIU complies with its ethical obligations, not to mention its obligations to federal and state statutes and regulations, and to the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. In September 2001, a student contacted FIRE with concerns […]» Read More
Letter from Florida International University General Counsel Thomas Mead Santoro to FIRE, December 12, 2001
December 12, 2001
December 12, 2001 Office of the General Counsel Via Facsimile 215-717-3440 & U.S. Mail Alan Charles Kors President Greg Lukianoff, Esq. Director of Legal and Public Advocacy Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Inc. 437 Chestnut Street, Suite 200 Philadelphia, PA 19106 Gentlemen: Confirming my several conversations with Mr. Lukianoff, and following up on my letter of October 12, 2001, my clients have agreed to include native speakers “or equivalent” in the catalog course descriptions plus “or permission of instructor”. Accordingly, we propose to change the course descriptions as follows: SPN 2340 Intermediate Spanish for Native Speakers I Intensive Spanish […]» Read More
September 5, 2001
September 5, 2001 Modesto A. Maidique President Florida International University 11200 SW 8th Street PC 528 Miami, FL 33199 Dear President Maidique, As you can see from our Directors and Board of Advisors, FIRE unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists and public intellectuals across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of liberty, due process, voluntary association, freedom of speech, academic freedom, and—in the matter of certain courses in your Department of Modern Languages—legal equality on America’s college campuses. Our webpage, www.thefire.org, will give you a fuller sense of our identity and activities. I am writing on […]» Read More