Murray State University

Location: Murray, Kentucky
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 6th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Murray 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.

This school does not have any cases at this time.

Red Light Policies

  • Information Technology: Acceptable Use Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies

    University information technology resources may not be used in a harassing, offensive, profane, or abusive manner. The perception or reaction of affected persons is a major factor in determining if a specific action is in violation of this policy.

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  • MSU Women’s Center: Sexual/Peer Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies



    •  Calling a person a doll, babe, or honey.

    •  Making sexual innuendoes.

    •  Telling sexual jokes or stories.

    •  Making sexual comments about a person’s clothing, body, or looks.

    •  Turning discussions to sexual topics.


    •  Looking a person up and down (elevator eyes) .

    •  Staring at someone.

    •  Displaying sexual and/or derogatory comments about men/women on coffee mugs, hats, clothing, etc.

    •  Invading a person’s body space; standing closer than appropriate or necessary for the work being done.

    •  Making sexual gestures with hands and/or body movements.

    » Read More

Yellow Light Policies
  • Student Life Policies: Use of Outside Areas on Campus 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies

    Use of areas in or around the Curris Center or use of the Free Speech Zone requires reservation with the Director of the Curris Center.

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  • Student Life Handbook: Housing Regulations- Hazing and Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Mental or physical hazing or harassment in any form is prohibited, including harassing language or behavior of any kind, particularly sexual and discriminatory harassment. Discriminatory harassment is defined as physical acts or threats or verbal slurs or referring to an individual’s race, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, creed, national origin, ancestry, age or handicap that are made with the purpose of injuring the person to whom the words or actions are directed and that are not made as part of a discussion or exchange of an idea, ideology, or philosophy.

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  • Student Life Policies: Policy on Combating Sexual Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    [S]exual harassment may be present if there are unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature and: … such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or participation or performance in a course, program, or activity, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for work or any course, program, or activity.

    Sexual harassment takes many forms. It can include sexual innuendo, suggestive or demeaning comments, insults, hostile remarks, humor and jokes about gender or gender specific traits, requests or demands for sexual favors, threats, or suggestive gestures.

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  • Undergraduate Bulletin: Policy on Racial Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Racial harassment is any behavior that would verbally or physically threaten, torment, badger, heckle or persecute an individual because of his/her race. Isolated instances of misconduct, although never condoned, do not necessarily constitute racial harassment, nor a hostile environment.

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Green Light Policies
  • Student Life Policies: Statement on Student Rights 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    The basic purpose of this university community is the enlargement, dissemination and application of knowledge. The most basic necessity for the achievement of this purpose is freedom of expression and communication.

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This school does not have any media coverage at this time.
  • Speech Code of the Month: Murray State University

    March 3, 2010

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for March 2010: Murray State University in Kentucky. According to Murray State’s Student Life Policies, conduct violations in the university’s residence halls may be punished by “creative educational sanctions,” such as “writ[ing] a letter of apology” and “mak[ing] signs or bulletin boards.” These sanctions amount to compelled speech that violates Murray State’s legal and moral obligations as a public institution to uphold its students’ First Amendment right to freedom of conscience. Along with the right to free speech, the First Amendment protects speakers from being forced to make statements against their will. […]

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  • Speech Code of the Month: Murray State University

    April 1, 2008

    The Women’s Center at Murray State maintains a guide to sexual harassment that provides students with numerous examples of sexual harassment, including (among others): “Calling a person a doll, babe, or honey” “Making sexual innuendoes” “Telling sexual jokes or stories” “Turning discussions to sexual topics” “Looking a person up and down (elevator eyes)” “Displaying sexual and/or derogatory comments about men/women on coffee mugs, hats, clothing, etc.” Harassment by a coffee mug? Really? In all seriousness, many universities maintain these ludicrous lists of prohibited conduct (see Davidson College, our March 2006 Speech Code of the Month, for another example), and such […]

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