Location: Flagstaff, Arizona
Federal Circuit: 9th Circuit
Northern Arizona 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
Using University computer networking systems and resources for obscene purposes or in a pervasively profane manner, including but not limited to use which may bring into public disrepute the University's identity and image as a tolerant and serious institution of higher learning.
Using these resources in a manner, or with the intention, to inflict mental harassment, to intimidate, or to invade the privacy of any particular individual in a manner that is extreme or outrageous in the sense of being intolerable to reasonable members of a civilized society and which, in the case of other students, faculty, staff, administrators or members of the University, interferes with their ability to exercise their rights to participate fully in the purpose, mission, education, and life of the University.
Using these resources to threaten any particular individual with violence, to engage in that which naturally and directly tends to provoke acts of violence, or a breach of the peace by the person to whom, individually, the conduct or remarks are addressed.
* non-verbal - whistling, staring at body parts, blocking someone's entrance or exit from a space, gestures of a sexual nature
* physical - touching, patting, pinching, slapping, rubbing or any physical contact that is uninvited or offensive
* visual - photos, posters, calendars, jokes, cartoons, memos, letters, or notices of a sexual nature which are placed in or on university property, premises, vehicles or other work or study locations of the university
* electronic - telephone, facsimile or e-mail communication of a sexual nature that is unwelcome or offensive.
whether in person, in writing, or through electronic means, after having
been asked to stop, or doing so to such a degree that a reasonable
person, subject to such contact, would regard the contact as
September 13, 2011
In the immediate aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001, one of the few places it was controversial to display the American flag — a symbol of unity in that terrifying time — was on America’s college campuses. Ten years later, it still is. Last Friday, three college conservatives at Northern Arizona University (NAU) gathered in the student union to pass out small American flags in remembrance of 9/11. They were indoors, against the wall of a large room, because it was raining outside. Wisely, they also brought a video camera. It wasn’t long before an administrator approached them […]» Read More
May 5, 2010
A plan to electronically track attendance at an Arizona university is being framed as a way to encourage going to class and participation, but privacy experts and some students are wary the technology could become a security and privacy concern. Northern Arizona University (NAU) in Flagstaff, will start using “proximity card readers” in some lower-division classes in fall 2010, to record student attendance, said NAU Spokesman Tom Bauer. Using $85,000 in federal stimulus funds, the university hopes such a tool will push professors to incorporate attendance in their grading systems, he said. “I think there’s a misunderstanding of what this […]» Read More
November 30, 2005
Northern Arizona University is getting some unwanted publicity for its speech code that violates the U.S. Constitution. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education in October singled out the Flagstaff school for its ironically titled “Speech Code of the Month” award. And a recent Goldwater Institute e-mail newsletter carried this headline: “First Amendment on Spring Break at NAU.” I seldom agree with Goldwater, but this time the institute is right. NAU’s nine-page “Safe Working and Learning Environment Policy” states: “Prohibited harassment includes, but is not limited to, stereotyping, negative comments or jokes, explicit threats, segregation, and […]» Read More
November 19, 2005
Northern Arizona University has adopted a speech code that prohibits “stereotyping” and “negative comments and jokes.” According to the Goldwater Institute, the code also includes a list of prohibited topics that might be offensive, such as veteran status or sexual orientation. While it is laudable to protect students, faculty members and staffers from harassment, the First Amendment remains in effect, and it doesn’t bar offensive speech. A less sweeping speech code is more appropriate for this public university.» Read More
November 17, 2005
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) recognized Northern Arizona University (NAU) as the October 2005 “winner” of its Speech Code of the Month award. Please hold your applause, though – the award is given to colleges whose speech codes run afoul of the First Amendment. The speech code prohibits “stereotyping” and “negative comments and jokes.” It also includes a laundry list of prohibited topics that might be offensive, such as one’s veteran status or sexual orientation. Yet, the First Amendment protects all sorts of speech – including crude and offensive comments. With its vague language and broad sweep, […]» Read More
December 1, 2005
Back in October, Northern Arizona University “won” the distinction of being named FIRE’s Speech Code of the Month. Not surprisingly, that earned the university some bad publicity, including a newspaper editorial appropriately titled “NAU’s restrictive speech code is an unconstitutional disgrace.” And it turns out NAU’s time in the hot seat isn’t over. Its deplorable speech code was denounced just yesterday in the Arizona Daily Star. Here is a snippet of Jim Kiser’s excellent editorial: NAU’s nine-page “Safe Working and Learning Environment Policy” states: “Prohibited harassment includes, but is not limited to, stereotyping, negative comments or jokes, explicit threats, segregation, […]» Read More
November 1, 2005
Troy University isn’t the only place where ghoulish speech codes are under assault from the forces of light and truth this Halloween. FIRE is happy to report that last Sunday, the East Valley Tribune editorialized against Northern Arizona University’s speech code, which was FIRE’s “Speech Code of the Month” in October. The whole editorial, appropriately titled “NAU’s restrictive speech code is an unconstitutional disgrace,” is worth reading: Northern Arizona University has received some dubious recognition for its clumsy efforts to stamp out incivility and bias among students with a speech code that clearly violates the First Amendment. The Foundation […]» Read More