Lafayette College

Location: Easton, Pennsylvania
Website: http://www.lafayette.edu
Type: Private
Federal Circuit: 3rd Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Lafayette College 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

  • Student Handbook: Code of Conduct – Introductory Statement 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility

    In addition to exhibiting maturity and self-control, students and student organizations are expected to so conduct themselves that they cause no physical, emotional, or mental harm to others; that they neither
    break laws nor contribute to the delinquency of others; and that they do not destroy property. Participation in any activity that harms or demeans others may lead to dismissal of individuals and dissolution of groups.

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  • Division of Campus Life: Bias Response Team 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech

    A “bias-related incident” is any incident in which an action taken by a person or group is perceived to be malicious or discriminatory toward another person or group. Such actions may be based on bias or prejudice relating to such characteristics as race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity or any situation in which inter-group tensions exist based on such group characteristics. … Discriminatory or bias-motivated behaviors that violate neither the law nor the Code of Conduct will be addressed through a conflict resolution process. Examples of bias-related incidents include assault, damage to property/vandalism, defacing signs or images, harassment, physical confrontation, threatening communications (written or electronic), written or verbal slurs, etc.

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Green Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Statement on the Rights and Responsibilities of Students 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    The chartered functions and the goals of Lafayette College include the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, and the creation of an atmosphere conducive to the development of students. … Freedom of inquiry and freedom of expression are indispensable to the attainment of the goals of Lafayette College.

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  • Student Handbook: Lafayette College Policy on Sexual Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    The term “sexual harassment” includes the following: an unwelcome sexual advance, unwelcome request for sexual favors, or other unwelcome expressive, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when: … 3. such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work, educational performance, or status; or 4. such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating a hostile
    environment. (A “hostile environment” is one which is permeated with discriminatory intimidation, ridicule,
    offensiveness, or insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to interfere with an individual’s academic or work performance).

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  • Student Handbook: Exercise of Rights of Citizenship 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    Lafayette College students are both citizens and members of the academic community. As citizens they enjoy the same rights—for example, freedom of speech, peaceful assembly, and right of petition—and obligations that other citizens enjoy and, as members of the academic community, they are subject to the rights and obligations which accrue to them by virtue of this membership. College authority is not employed to inhibit the exercise of rights of citizenship either on or off campus, but neither do students have special rights with respect to the use of campus quarters and the employment of the College as sanctuary.

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This school does not have any media coverage at this time.
  • Election Day on Campus

    November 7, 2006

    While most universities nominally encourage students’ political activism, several universities have undermined students’ attempts to voice their political opinions in the weeks leading up to the midterm elections.   Lafayette College President Daniel Weiss cancelled a scheduled visit to campus by Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann, who was invited to speak on campus by the College Republicans. To his credit, Weiss admitted his mistake in an apology to the campus community. As Weiss stated that he plans to draft policies to ensure that Lafayette does not make the same mistake in the future, FIRE sent him a letter yesterday […]

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  • Students’ Right to Partisan Speech

    October 26, 2006

    With Election Day only a couple of weeks away, many politically-oriented student groups will be inviting their parties’ respective candidates to campus, if they haven’t already. Some universities may claim that student groups cannot invite speakers to campus, since the school has an interest in political neutrality. Pennsylvania’s Lafayette College recently committed just such an offense against free political expression. Yet, as students do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate, students’ partisan political speech does not enjoy less protection than other types of speech on campus—in fact, it’s hard to deny that political speech is precisely the […]

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  • Lafayette College Misunderstands Partisan Speech

    October 20, 2006

    Lafayette College has denied permission for Republican gubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann to speak on the Lafayette campus. The Lafayette College Republicans had invited Swann to participate in a conference call with other Pennsylvanian College Republican chapters. President Daniel Weiss said that Lafayette’s decision was necessary to maintain the college’s political neutrality, a ridiculous claim given that it was not Lafayette but the College Republicans that invited Swann. Two years ago FIRE released a “Statement Regarding Censorship of ‘Partisan’ Speech on Campus” to address this misunderstanding of partisan speech. It reads in part:  If the First Amendment means anything at all, […]

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  • Balancing free speech and fairness

    October 20, 2006

    When Lafayette College President Daniel Weiss nixed a visit by Republican gubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann this week, he got caught in a maelstrom of complaints that he was smothering free speech. For Weiss, it was a matter of protecting the Easton school’s status as a nonprofit entity that, under federal guidelines, must remain impartial in politics. But other local colleges don’t see visits by political candidates that way. Gov. Ed Rendell, Swann’s Democratic opponent, will be at Kutztown and Lehigh universities next week for what students at both schools described as rallies. Rendell’s campaign contacted the College Democrats at Kutztown […]

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