Location: Oberlin, Ohio
Federal Circuit: 6th Circuit
Oberlin 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.
Red Light Policies
Student Regulations, Policies, and Procedures: Policy for the Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources 12-13Account holders should not abuse
any electronic mail, bulletin board, or
communications system, either local or remote,
by sending rude, obscene, or harassing messages
(including chain letters) or by using these systems
for nonessential purposes during times when the
computers are in heavy demand. Account holders should identify themselves clearly and accurately in all electronic communications, i.e., no anonymous postings. Unofficial mass
e-mailings (i.e., spam) are prohibited.
performance or that creates an environment that a reasonable person would find hostile, offensive, or
the Oberlin College community to learn and benefit from
the ideas of others, our attachment to the principles of
free speech should also be tempered by a substantial
degree of respect for all members of the community.
Moreover, the exercise of free speech does not extend to
language that is intimidating or harassing to individuals
or that creates a hostile environment for particular
members of the community.
public viewing must have the sponsoring
department, student organization, College
committee or individual name clearly displayed.
This includes: flyers, posters, table tents, etc.
In accordance with the Student Bill of Rights,
"members of the College are expected to take
responsibility for their expressions; anonymous
expressions are inimical to the free and open
exchange of ideas."
protect free inquiry and the open exchange of facts,
ideas, and opinions. Students are free to take exception
to views offered in courses of study and to reserve
judgment about debatable issues.
Student Regulations, Policies, and Procedures: Oberlin College Policy on Discrimination and Harassment 12-13Harassment is unwelcome speech or conduct (e.g., physical,
oral, graphic, or written) related to one [race, color, sex, marital status, religion,
creed, national origin, disability, age, military or veteran
status, sexual orientation, family relationship to an
employee of Oberlin College, and gender identity and
expression] listed above that is sufficiently severe, persistent
or pervasive so as to (a) interfere substantially with a
person’s work or education or (b) create an environment
that a reasonable person would find hostile, offensive, or
August 27, 2013
Last Thursday, Chuck Ross of the Daily Caller News Foundation broke the story that a number of supposed racial incidents at Oberlin College in Ohio this spring were, in fact, a hoax. Oberlin certainly took the incidents seriously, even canceling classes on March 5 to convene a “day of solidarity.” However, Oberlin city police reports obtained by Ross made it clear that at least some of the material that had Oberlin up in arms, including a large swastika banner that was hung in the science center under cover of night, was in fact done by one or two Oberlin students as a “joke/troll to […]» Read More
August 27, 2013
My latest article in The Daily Caller talks about this past spring’s rash of incidents of hateful expression at Oberlin College in Ohio—at least some of which turned out to be hoaxes committed by students who wanted to “troll” the campus. Such hoaxes have been a recurring problem on campuses. In my article, I explain that in addition to alarming campus community members, these incidents are often seized upon as an excuse to clamp down on protected speech.» Read More