Location: South Bend, Indiana
Federal Circuit: 7th Circuit
Indiana University South Bend 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.
April 2, 2007
Indiana University-South Bend reversed its punishment of a student reporter who was found guilty of “conduct that is lewd, indecent or obscene” for interviewing members of a campus group about their production of the play “The Vagina Monologues.” Student Robert Francis appealed to FIRE, which successfully pressured the university to overturn its unjust decision.» Read More
A student who accepts admission to Indiana University agrees to: … behave in a manner that is respectful of the dignity of others, treating others with civility and understanding.
Verbal abuse of another person, including the following:
An express or implied threat to:
Interfere with an individual’s personal safety, academic efforts, employment, or participation in university sponsored activities; or
Injure that person or damage his or her property; and under the circumstances causes the person to have a reasonable apprehension that such harm is about to occur; or
“Fighting words” that are spoken face-to-face as a personal insult to the listener or listeners in personally abusive language inherently likely to provoke a violent reaction by the listener or listeners to the speaker.
Materials to be posted on campus must be submitted to the Student Life Office (SAC 130) to be stamped for posting by Student Life personnel. Director of Student Life may withhold approval for any poster in violation of this policy. Exceptions and variances to this policy may be granted from the Director of Student Life.
Listed below are some of the behaviors that may be considered sexual harassment: …
- Suggestive or insulting sounds
- Sexist jokes or humor
- Gender specific insults or comments
- Unwanted sexual invitations, propositions, or pressure
Hostile environment harassment is a pattern of behaviors which is sexual in nature and creates a workplace or academic climate that “unreasonably interferes” with performance.
If you aren’t sure if certain behavior creates a hostile work environment, ask yourself whether a “reasonable person” would be offended. The “reasonable person” is the standard used at Indiana University to determine hostile work environment.
Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, including requests for sexual favors and other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, when … the conduct has the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive learning environment.
Discriminatory harassment is defined as conduct that targets an individual based upon age, color, religion, disability, race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, or veteran’s status and that adversely affects a term or condition of an individual’s education, housing, or participation in a university activity; or has the purpose or effect of unreasonably creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for academic pursuits, housing, or participation in university activities.
Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct: Freedom of Association, Expression, Advocacy and Publication 13-14
In accordance with the state and federal Constitution and university policy, the university recognizes the rights of all students to engage in discussion, to express thoughts and opinions, and to assemble, speak, write, publish or invite speakers on any subject without university interference or fear of university disciplinary action.
January 29, 2009
In ten years, FIRE has seen astounding double standards at work on campuses across the country. However, even we were shocked by our case at Indian River Community College (IRCC) in January 2005, one of the worst cases of hypocrisy FIRE has ever seen. The case began when IRCC prevented the Christian Student Fellowship (CSF) from advertising and holding a viewing of the film The Passion of the Christ. IRCC justified its action by stating that the film was “R-rated” and “controversial,” but FIRE didn’t have to look hard to find evidence that the school had hosted R-rated films in […]» Read More
September 18, 2008
In our nearly ten-year history, FIRE has seen many absurd cases in which students have been punished for exercising their First Amendment rights. One of our more interesting cases was finally resolved last September, when Indiana University–South Bend overturned its punishment of student reporter Robert Francis, whose only offense was asking questions of an actress in the cast of The Vagina Monologues. The play, which includes a great deal of graphic language and sexual content, is dedicated to the “celebration of female sexuality,” but Francis’s questions in a similar vein were deemed “lewd, indecent or obscene.” Francis got in trouble […]» Read More
September 20, 2007
Today FIRE announced that Indiana University–South Bend (IUSB) has made a significant step in reversing its series of unjust actions against student journalist Robert Francis. Francis was covering a production of “The Vagina Monologues” for the campus newspaper back in February when he interviewed students and professors appearing in the play about their roles. Being an interview about “The Vagina Monologues,” the interview topics were on the racier side of the spectrum, but Francis maintains that he broached only topics raised by the actresses and the play themselves. During Francis’s interview, one actress openly discussed her role in the […]» Read More