Location: Clinton, New York
Federal Circuit: 2nd Circuit
Hamilton College 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 24, 2010
Hamilton College has failed to explain its actions against freedom of conscience and its suggestion that women at Hamilton College are unsafe because of the campus’ “rape culture.”» Read More
Physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion and/or other conduct that recklessly or intentionally threatens or endangers the mental or physical health and safety of any person.
Hamilton College reserves the right to suspend for an interim period any student whose presence on the campus is, in the sole judgment of the College, detrimental to the best interests of the College.
College policy prohibits certain types of e-mail. These include mail that may be perceived as harassment, political campaigning, or commercial solicitation. Chain mail is also prohibited.
We promote an environment that is free from harassment, where differences are celebrated, and independent opinions are supported and respected. However, when these opinions threaten others, we will act swiftly to ensure the safety and well being of the community.
The right to express opinions may not be abridged, provided that public safety and the rights of individuals are not compromised. The College protects and encourages controversy and dissent.
Definition of Prohibited Conduct
- Hamilton College defines harassment as verbal or physical conduct based on a person’s race, color, religion, creed, ethnicity, gender or gender identity, age, sexual and affectional orientation/associations, genetic information or mental/physical disabilities that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, persistent or patently offensive that it has the effect of unreasonably interfering with that person’s work or academic performance, or that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, educational, or living environment, from both a subjective (the complainant’s) and an objective (any reasonable person’s) viewpoint.
- Hamilton College defines non-discriminatory harassment as verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, persistent or patently offensive that it has the effect of unreasonably interfering with that person’s work or academic performance, or that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, educational, or living environment, from both a subjective (the complainant’s) and an objective (any reasonable person’s) viewpoint.
- Hamilton College defines sexual harassment as unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that has the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, educational, or living environment. A form of quid pro quo (this for that) sexual harassment exists when submission to or rejection of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature results in adverse educational or employment action, or the threat of such adverse action, or limits or denies an individual’s educational or employment access, benefits or opportunities.
- Hamilton College defines retaliatory harassment as verbal or physical conduct that occurs in response to a complaint of harassment. Zero tolerance extends to those who retaliate for complaints of harassment. Hamilton Colleg
Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the attainment of those goals to which Hamilton College is dedicated.
October 12, 2010
Years ago, when I was applying for a job at a local nonprofit, one of the members of the hiring committee pulled out a column I had written for this newspaper and asked me if I really believed that we lived in a rape culture. “Well, yes,” I stammered, “men rape women in order to demonstrate how easily women can be controlled.” I tried to tie my analysis of rape to the social justice concerns of the non-profit. “The threat of rape is not unlike the threat of nuclear weapons,” I suggested. “A man doesn’t have to actually rape for […]» Read More
March 10, 2006
Private-college officials are accustomed to dealing with alumni who are fervent about protecting the reputations or traditions of their alma maters. But they are not used to dealing with the sort of alumni uprisings that took place at Dartmouth and Hamilton Colleges last year. At both institutions, former students waged feisty campaigns for the designated alumni seats on the colleges’ governing boards, which are normally allotted to alumni-association leaders or other vetted nominees. The outsider candidates drew the support of conservative bloggers and pundits around the nation, who praised them as insurgents against higher education’s status quo. … […]» Read More
September 2, 2005
Four alumni lost bids to become Hamilton College trustees in a rare contested election that followed two politicized controversies on the campus in upstate New York. The campaigns of three of the four defeated candidates, all of whom had petitioned to appear on the ballot, grew out of their participation in Hamilton College Alumni for Governance Reform, a small group of alumni that has criticized administrators for their handling of the high-profile controversies. The candidates who were selected through the conventional process, overseen by the college’s Alumni Council, won the three open seats on the board, receiving roughly double the […]» Read More
March 14, 2005
Colorado legislator Bob Hagedorn admits that when he proposed Senate Bill 85 in December, he was thinking of himself. In the wake of last fall’s polarizing race for the White House, Hagedorn, a Democrat who is also a political-science professor at Metropolitan State College in Denver, grew more and more worried about saying the wrong thing as his students debated contentious issues like George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind initiative and the teaching of creationism in schools. Earlier in the year, students had filed bias complaints against a colleague who had criticized Republicans. “I’m thinking ‘My God, we don’t […]» Read More
This Week in the News: Whistleblowing UCLA Professor Still Making Headlines and Hamilton College Wins Muzzle Award
April 15, 2011
UCLA’s gross violation of the rights of Dr. Enstrom, the whisteblowing professor fighting for his job after being told he did not fit his department’s “mission,” continued to elicit outrage in the media this week. Debra Saunders of the San Francisco Chronicle published both a column (reprinted in Townhall.com) and a shorter blog post (containing Reason.tv’s video on the case) criticizing the university’s actions. Also don’t miss Adam’s excellent interview about the case with Mike Slater of The Mike Slater Show. Up north, Hamilton College earned a Muzzle Award for forcing all first-year male students to attend “She Fears You,” […]» Read More
Thomas Jefferson Center Awards 2011 ‘Muzzle’ to Hamilton College’s Mandatory ‘Intervention’ for Freshman Males
April 13, 2011
“She Fears You,” Hamilton College’s mandatory and coercive orientation program for freshman males last fall, received a 2011 Muzzle Award today from the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression. “She Fears You” is based on the theory that men need a “combined emotional and cognitive intervention” to reform their deeply ingrained rape-supportive beliefs about gender and sexuality. The Muzzle Awards draw attention to “egregious or ridiculous affronts to free expression” by universities, local and national politicians, and even judges. The dubious distinctions have been awarded annually on or near April 13, Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, since 1992. Torch […]» Read More
November 8, 2010
Readers of The Torch may remember that in late September, Hamilton College (HC) told all of its first-year male students that they were required to attend “She Fears You,” an “intervention” program by Keith Edwards that is designed to make the men acknowledge their personal complicity in a “rape culture” and change their “rape-supportive” beliefs and attitudes. (HC made the event seem optional minutes before its commencement by not scanning student IDs after all.) On Saturday, Bernard Chapin of “Chapin’s Inferno,” a colorful YouTube video series described as a “wandering cauldron of politically incorrect commentary,” used many of FIRE’s arguments in a video […]» Read More
October 14, 2010
More than two weeks have passed since Keith Edwards delivered his “She Fears You” presentation at Hamilton College, yet Hamilton has still not responded to FIRE’s letter requesting that attendance be made voluntary. Nor has Hamilton made any public statement about the event. (The event also wasn’t filmed, so non-attendees will never know exactly what Edwards said that night.) We may never know whether Hamilton is too embarrassed to explain whether it really believes there is a “rape culture” on campus, or whether Hamilton is so arrogant as to choose not to engage its critics. But thanks to Managing Editor […]» Read More
Attendance Not Logged at ‘Required’ Hamilton College ‘Rape Culture’ Event, but Fundamental Freedoms Still at Risk
October 1, 2010
Amidst heated debate, Keith Edwards’ “She Fears You” presentation went forward Monday evening at Hamilton College. FIRE argued that this event, which claims to be a “cognitive and emotional intervention” aiming to teach that certain views about masculinity will be “no longer acceptable in any way,” should not have been mandatory for freshman males. Two senior faculty members also expressed their dismay over the mandatory nature of the program. One of them, in an e-mail to Dean of Students Nancy Thompson, argued: Especially in light of our proclaimed devotion to the “open curriculum,” I see no reason why this one […]» Read More
January 27, 2006
While the American Association of University Women’s extremely misguided sexual harassment report might give you reason to believe otherwise, all the news this week has not been bad. Specifically, FIRE has heard good tidings out of New York State, where fresh trustee elections are going on at Hamilton College. To get some context, check out what then–FIRE President David French wrote last July: Like Dartmouth, Hamilton has a mechanism for open trustee elections, and, for the first time in many years, those elections are contested. Several alumni have formed a group called Hamilton College Alumni for Governance Reform and have […]» Read More
July 28, 2005
During FIRE’s most recent speech code victory, my friend Duncan Currie at the Weekly Standard called Peter Robinson and Todd Zywicki’s free-speech-loving trustee campaign “The Dartmouth Insurgency.” And the more I read about what’s going on at Hamilton College, the more I think the answer to the question David posed here before (“Is Hamilton the Next Dartmouth?”) might be a resounding “yes.” A statement just published on the Hamilton College Alumni for Governance Reform blog by trustee candidate Brendan McCormick, for example, includes lots of statements that might as well have been taken out of FIRE literature. In discussing how […]» Read More
February 18, 2005
One of our readers sent us the following excerpt from Robert Kimball’s January 31, 2005, post on The New Criterion’s weblog: Colleges and Universities do not exist to promote free speech. They exist to pursue and teach the truth…. This is not a novel idea. But it is one that Hamilton’s president, Joan Hinde Stewart, has difficulty in wrapping her mind around. In an open letter to the Hamilton community about the controversy, Stewart began with some clichés about Hamilton’s belief that “open-ended and free inquiry is essential to educational growth.” Well, fine. But surely a college president should understand […]» Read More
February 16, 2005
Maurice Isserman, history professor and chairman of the American Studies program at Hamilton College, wrote an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education last week that I felt really resonated with my post yesterday, and my general thoughts on free speech and transformational human experience over time. The title of his article was “In Ward Churchill Case, Who Defines ‘Acceptable’ Speech?” Here’s an excerpt: I also wonder what would have happened if one of my faculty predecessors at Hamilton College had invited Malcolm X to speak back in the days when he was still alive—say, right after he made his […]» Read More
February 14, 2005
After canceling Ward Churchill’s speaking appearance, Hamilton College has cracked down on the Kirkland Project for the Study of Gender, Society, and Culture, the campus division that not only invited Ward Churchill but also hired a convicted terrorist to teach a writing course entitled “Resistance Memoirs: Writing, Identity, and Change.” According to new guidelines issued by Joan Hinde Stewart, the college’s president, any allocations from the Center’s budget for the remainder of the year “require the signature of the dean.” In justifying this restriction, Stewart stated: “We must have speakers who are thought-provoking and not merely provocative, who challenge us […]» Read More
February 2, 2005
No, I’m not referring to Winston but to the most famous Churchill since the legendary and heroic British prime minister passed into history — Professor Ward Churchill. After making numerous outrageous comments about the victims of the September 11, 2001, attacks, Professor Churchill has resigned from his position as the Chair of the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Department of Ethnic Studies. Yesterday, we learned that Hamilton College in New York has now cancelled a planned speech by Professor Churchill, citing numerous “death threats.” There are several aspects of this case that merit comment. First, Professor Churchill’s speech was constitutionally […]» Read More