Location: Lake Charles, Louisiana
Federal Circuit: 5th Circuit
McNeese State 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.
Red Light Policies
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, StatementSexual harassment may be either same gender or different gender. It includes any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and/or other verbal or physical conduct of this nature where: ... Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment;
Submission to or rejection of such conduct results in an individual being denied opportunities to advance professionally or academically where ability and/or other relevant factors would normally be the basis for such advancement.
Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility, StatementThe University actively seeks to create a learning community
characterized by scholarship, mutual respect, free exchange of
ideas, and appreciation of the diverse viewpoints present within the
campus environment. Students and their guests are expected to embrace
this effort by interacting, speaking and otherwise communicating
with one another in ways that convey professionalism, mutual
respect and collegiality at all times.
Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression, Statementthe University strongly encourages its students, faculty, and staff to engage in vigorous and collegial debate and discussion within the context of classroom instruction, formal and informal interactions with others, and in social interactions throughout the campus. University students and employees may freely communicate their ideas through the exchange of verbal and written communications and through formal and informal gatherings on the campus at any time and are encouraged to do so in a manner that does not interfere with the University's capacity to administer its core values of teaching and learning, research, public service, and student success.
July 9, 2007
The island nation of Singapore has a reputation for zealously regulating the daily life of its citizens. It has banned chewing gum and levies stiff fines for failure to flush public toilets. And when it comes to free speech, Singaporeans must use a heavily restricted “Speakers’ Corner” and limit their discourse to uncontroversial topics—and only then after registering with the local police station. Pretty un-American, right? Not so fast. Shockingly, public universities across this country are taking their cues on regulating student speech from Singapore’s repressive civic culture. For example, speech at McNeese State in Louisiana is governed by the […]» Read More
July 8, 2007
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education at www.thefire.org wants you to know that McNeese State University has announced it “embraces the free and open exchange of ideas.” As long as the student speaks in one of two zones, no more than once a week for a maximum of two hours, during daylight hours but not on weekends, with a permit obtained at least 72 hours in advance.» Read More
May 29, 2009
One of FIRE’s worst Speech Codes of the Month ever—McNeese State University’s “Public Forum” policy—has been updated in another FIRE victory for the freedoms of speech and association. The policy now clarifies that students on campus enjoy the freedom to protest and demonstrate, a freedom to which they are legally and morally entitled. Long time Torch readers may remember the original policy from July 2007, when we first highlighted it as our Speech Code of the Month. As we wrote at the time, This public university in Louisiana maintains a set of “Public Forum Regulations” that quarantine free speech to […]» Read More
July 9, 2007
Check out today’s Campus Alert in the New York Post, where we highlight similarities between Singapore’s overly zealous regulation of public life and the tactics often used by American universities trying to stifle student speech. As Samantha pointed out in a recent blog, to speak freely in Singapore, citizens must use a “Speakers’ Corner”—a small, designated area where available times and topics are limited. Similarly, many American public universities keep “free speech zones” where students’ speech is limited to a designated area for a certain time and often pending administrative approval. As Campus Alert points out: For example, speech at […]» Read More
July 3, 2007
FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for July 2007: McNeese State University. This public university in Louisiana maintains a set of “Public Forum Regulations” that quarantine free speech to just two areas of campus and place onerous restrictions on the use of those areas. The regulations provide that students may exercise their right to speak and demonstrate—a right guaranteed to students of this public institution by the First Amendment—in just two “zones”: Zone A: The grassy lawn area, surrounded by pavement on all sides, located in the southeast section of the Quad between the Student Union Annex and […]» Read More
June 28, 2007
When you think of a place where order takes precedence over liberty, where the government regulates every minute aspect of civil life, you may well think of Singapore. Over the years, Singapore has made the news for everything from caning an American teenager for vandalism to banning chewing gum to fining people for failing to flush public toilets. But if you think Singapore and the United States don’t have much in common, think again. We need only look to that supposed bastion of liberty—the American university—to find common ground. Singapore maintains a Speakers’ Corner (you can see a picture» Read More