Pace University

Location: New York, New York
Website: http://www.pace.edu
Type: Private
Federal Circuit: 2nd Circuit

Speech Code Rating

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  • Pace University: Christian Student Organization Denied Recognition

    April 6, 2007

    After months of pressure from FIRE, Pace Law School approved the constitution of the Christian Law Students Association (CLSA), allowing the group to pursue its religious mission. CLSA leader Cari Rincker tried to form a chapter of the national Christian Legal Society (CLS), calling her group the Pace Christian Legal Society (PCLS). In accordance with national CLS rules, she drafted a constitution that limited membership to students who were willing to sign and live by a statement of faith. After receiving hostility around campus, Rincker changed the constitution taking out the required statement of faith and adding, “Those that disagree […]

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Red Light Policies

  • Appropriate Use for Information Technology 09-10

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies, Statement

    Using Pace's I.T. resources to harass, slur, embarrass or demean other individuals is explicitly prohibited.

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  • Student Handbook: Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Policy 09-10

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    Sexual harassment is defined under University policy, as an attempt to ... subject a person to unwanted sexual attention, or to punish a
    refusal to comply or to create a sexually intimidating, hostile or offensive working or educational
    environment. Sexual harassment includes a wide range of behaviors, from the actual coercing of
    sexual relations to the unwelcome emphasizing of sexual identity, verbal harassment or abuse,
    unwelcome sexual advances, and unnecessary touching.

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Yellow Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Policy on Demonstrations and Rallies 09-10

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies, Statement

    Members of the Pace community (students, faculty, and staff) must seek approval to use
    University-designated property and/or facilities for staging a demonstration or rally.

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  • Student Handbook: Guiding Principles of Conduct 09-10

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    Deliberate actions that cause, or might reasonably be expected to cause, injury,
    either physical or mental, to any member of the University community are
    prohibited. Such actions may include, for example, violence or threats of violence.

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  • Student Handbook: Guiding Principles of Conduct 09-10

    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes, Statement

    Conduct on or off campus in a manner the University determines reflects adversely
    on the good name and reputation of the University is prohibited.

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  • Student Handbook: Speakers Policy Statement 09-10

    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes, Statement

    In those relatively few instances when a
    speaker's appearance on campus could reflect disadvantageously upon the University, an ad hoc
    all-University committee will be formed to weigh the effect upon the University. This will be done
    before the actual invitation is extended. The committee will consist of members representing, and
    selected by the administration, faculty and student body.
    The decision rendered by the committee will be considered as representing the judgment of the
    academic community.

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Green Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Guiding Principles of Conduct 09-10

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression, Statement

    Each member of the University community is required to cooperate with
    the University in its endeavors to foster and maintain the freedom of expression and exchange of
    ideas necessary to achieve excellence in teaching, learning, scholarship and service. The
    University strives to protect the rights of its students and employees (including faculty members) to
    publicize opinions through written and oral communications; to organize and join political
    associations; to convene and conduct meetings; and to advocate, demonstrate and picket in an
    orderly fashion.

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  • NY law school rejects Christian student group

    February 2, 2007

    Pace Law School in White Plains, New York, is being asked to reverse its decision to deny recognition to a campus Christian student group. According to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, the school refuses to give the Christian Legal Society chapter official status, even after “remarkable concessions” by the faith-based group. The Student Bar Association at Pace Law School in White Plains has denied official recognition to the campus chapter of the Christian Legal Society. The move comes despite the fact that the Christian group added “sexual orientation” to a non-discrimination clause in its constitution and opened membership […]

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  • Law school conflict puts First Amendment under microscope

    January 31, 2007

    Forty years ago, it would have been bras, draft cards and Jane Fonda. As thousands of anti-war students crammed the nation’s universities and Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) brought many a campus to its knees, university administrations struggled with balancing a student’s First Amendment rights against the need to preserve order. This balance, though, did not come easy. Students were arrested, suspended and/or expelled for exercising their rights. Even though a college campus was the origins of the marketplace of ideas, fear soon overran freedom, and universities placed the First Amendment on hiatus. The turmoil, though, did not last […]

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  • Victory for Freedom of Association at Pace Law School

    August 8, 2007

    FIRE’s press release today announces that Pace Law School has given final approval to the constitution of the Christian Law Students Association (CLSA). The Christian student organization had been fighting an uphill battle all year: it was first denied recognition by the Student Bar Association because of its explicitly Christian mission, and then was only provisionally recognized by the administration, which insisted on reviewing and possibly revising the group’s constitution, apparently in an effort to ensure that non-Christian students would be welcome.   In March, 2006, Pace law student Cari Rincker tried to form a chapter of the Christian Legal […]

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  • Victory for Freedom of Association at Pace Law School

    August 8, 2007

    WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., August 8, 2007—After months of public pressure from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), Pace Law School has finally approved the constitution of the Christian Law Students Association (CLSA), allowing the group to pursue its religious mission. The CLSA’s status had been uncertain since January, when Pace objected to the group’s constitution, leaving members unsure if they could maintain the organization’s Christian character. “We are pleased that Pace Law School has finally concluded that this Christian group deserves the same rights to freely associate as other ideological student organizations on campus,” FIRE Director of Legal […]

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  • Is this really a hate crime?

    August 7, 2007

    As you may recall, I twice discussed the questionably anti-Semitic behavior of Pace administrators in mistreating the campus student Jewish organization, while kowtowing to demands of the student Muslim groups. After I was contacted by Pace’s flack Christopher Cory, the school’s Executive Director of Public Information, it was clear they were spinning events so fast it made me dizzy.   In the columns, I make it clear that the campus administration took radically different approaches to anti-Semitic behavior and anti-Muslim behavior.   When a Menorah was desecrated on campus and a swastika was drawn on a Holocaust memorial event poster, […]

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  • Media Coverage of Koran Dunking Incident

    August 1, 2007

    The case of former Pace University student Stanislav Shmulevich, who was arrested for twice shoving a copy of the Koran down a campus toilet last year, has garnered considerable media coverage. David French, member of FIRE’s Legal Network and senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, has an excellent discussion on Phi Beta Cons of the legal issues involved, including the idea of “hate crimes.” French writes, There is no question that the Koran does not receive any special protection under the law that the Bible, the Torah, or (from a secular perspective) the American flag doesn’t receive. A person […]

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  • Update on Pace University Koran Incident

    July 30, 2007

    More information is now coming out regarding the case at Pace University where a former student destroyed a Koran by throwing it in a toilet. According to a recent news article, the former student, who is now out on bail, was caught because the police had surveillance footage of him leaving a meditation room where Korans were stored.   If it turns out that the destroyed Koran was stolen, the man can most likely be charged with a crime. But, as Greg points out in an earlier post, authorities must treat this crime just like any other property destruction offense.

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  • Student Arrested for Hate Crimes after Allegedly Flushing Koran

    July 30, 2007

    Troubling news over the weekend: a former student at Pace University in New York has been arrested for hate crimes for allegedly placing a Koran in a toilet on two occasions. While treating the Koran in this way could obviously anger the Muslim community, the arrest seems to be completely at odds with well-established Supreme Court precedent. As we explained in the San Francisco State University case, the Constitution protects the right to engage in symbolic and political speech—including the right to burn an American flag or to burn crosses as political expression. The Constitution, furthermore, does not allow the […]

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  • Spring 2007 ‘FIRE Quarterly’ Now Available

    May 24, 2007

    Check out our latest, newly re-designed issue of The FIRE Quarterly, which contains news updates on FIRE events and victories in cases at universities across the country. Some highlights from this edition include a look at our victory at San Francisco State University (SFSU), where FIRE stepped in to defend SFSU’s College Republicans after the school tried to punish them for stepping on makeshift Hezbollah and Hamas flags at an anti-terrorism rally. We also report on FIRE victories for freedom of association for Christian student groups at Brown University and at Pace University, and a victory for freedom of speech […]

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  • Why Private Schools Need to Follow Their Own Rules

    April 18, 2007

    While Robert’s latest blog discusses the difference between public schools and private schools in relation to sectarian institutions, I’d like to discuss the dichotomy in more depth, especially in regard to the schools which Jon B. Gould mentions in his piece (subscribers only) in the Chronicle—Brown, Johns Hopkins, and Pace.   FIRE’s Guide to Free Speech on Campus states: Liberal arts institutions that advertise themselves as welcoming the fullest pluralism and debate too often have little time, patience, or tolerance for students who dissent from the political assumptions of the institution. Unlike many schools that openly declare a religious or […]

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  • Pace Not a Bastion of Free Expression for Christian Group

    April 6, 2007

    On Monday, the New York Post published an article contrasting two university presidents’ attitudes toward free speech—Lee Bollinger of Columbia and David Caputo of Pace University.   Bollinger, as Torch readers doubtless know, despite being a constitutional lawyer by trade, has repeatedly ignored the free speech rights of his students, only belatedly standing up for those rights on occasion.   The Post article distinguishes Bollinger’s “acquiescence in letting speech be muzzled” from Caputo’s willingness to come forth and apologize after expression was squelched on his campus. After reports came out that Pace administrators intimidated the Jewish group Hillel into not […]

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  • What’s Taking So Long at Pace?

    March 22, 2007

    It’s been more than three weeks since FIRE announced that Pace Law School finally recognized the Christian Law Students Association (CLSA). The Student Bar Association (SBA) had denied recognition to the group on the grounds that the blatantly Christian nature of the organization would be unwelcoming to non-Christians. Pace’s decision to reverse the SBA came after FIRE issued a press release explaining the importance of free association. However, Pace’s legal counsel was set to review the CLSA constitution and has not yet made public its revisions. FIRE is concerned that any revisions may include significant changes to the religious character […]

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  • Christian Group Still Waiting for Word from Pace

    March 12, 2007

    Two weeks ago we reported that Pace Law School finally recognized the Christian Law Students Association (CLSA). The Student Bar Association (SBA) at Pace initially denied the CLSA recognition, deciding that the Christian nature of the group would be unwelcoming to non-Christian students. After FIRE convinced Law School Dean Stephen Friedman to step in to correct the SBA’s wrongs, Friedman handed the matter over to Pace’s legal counsel. But a meeting between the legal counsel and the CLSA’s student president, Cari Rincker, revealed that the university was still worried about the Christian nature of the organization: Pace’s lawyers were concerned […]

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  • ‘The New York Times’ Looks at Middle East Controversies on Campus

    February 26, 2007

    Karen Arenson has an article in The New York Times this morning about the film “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West,” which she calls “the latest flashpoint in the bitter campus debate over the Middle East.”   The film shows anti-Western clips from Arab television programming and documentary footage of suicide bombers, at times comparing militant Islam to the Nazi movement. Many campus groups—mostly Hillels and other Jewish student organizations—have organized showings of “Obsession” at their universities. As Arenson reports, both the film’s message and the pro-Israeli nature of the viewings have sparked debate among students about Middle Eastern […]

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  • Pace Recognizes Christian Group

    February 26, 2007

    Pace Law School has decided to recognize the Christian Law Students’ Association (CLSA), a student organization that was denied recognition last fall. As FIRE reported in January, the Student Bar Association (SBA) denied recognition to the group because it felt that the group’s Christian nature, as expressed in its constitution, would be unwelcoming to non-Christians. Hours after FIRE issued a press release emphasizing the importance of free association, Law School Dean Stephen Friedman intervened by publicly disagreeing with the SBA’s decision and asking Pace’s legal counsel to review the CLSA constitution. Even though legal counsel has not yet made public […]

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  • Pace Student Group Still in Jeopardy: Administration Finds CLSA’s Constitution Contentious

    February 12, 2007

    FIRE last reported that the situation looked hopeful for the Christian Law Students’ Association (CLSA) at Pace Law School. The CLSA was denied recognition by the Student Bar Association (SBA), which thought that the CLSA constitution’s stated tenets of faith would make non-Christians or atheists feel unwelcome in the group, despite the CLSA’s explicit non-discrimination clause and statement that “everybody—Christian and non-Christians are welcome to be members and participate in club activities.”   FIRE’s hope that Pace would redeem itself by recognizing the CLSA sprang from a memo that Law School Dean Stephen Friedman sent out hours after FIRE’s press […]

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  • Pace Law School Dean Intervenes in Christian Organization Case

    January 30, 2007

    Hours after FIRE issued its press release yesterday announcing that the Student Bar Association (SBA) at Pace Law School denied recognition to the Christian Law Students’ Association (CLSA), Law School Dean Stephen Friedman announced that he disagreed with the SBA’s decision. In his memo, Friedman summarized the SBA’s position:  Based on my discussions with Dean [for Students Angela] D’Agostino and with representatives of the SBA, I understand that its decision rested on a conclusion that the listing of specific religious tenets in the proposed constitution of CLSA was inconsistent with the SBA’s belief that student organizations should be broad-based and […]

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  • DEVELOPING STORY AT PACE LAW SCHOOL: Christian Student Organization Denied Recognition, Dean Weighs In

    January 29, 2007

    Our press release today details the trials and tribulations of a Christian student organization at Pace Law School that was denied recognition by the Student Bar Association (SBA). Just this afternoon, Pace Law School Dean Stephen Friedman sent the group a memo saying he disagreed with the SBA’s decision, and that if the group’s constitution passes muster with university counsel, that the group will be recognized.   Last year, Pace law student Cari Rincker attempted to form a chapter of the Christian Legal Society (CLS). The constitution that Rincker initially drew up for the Pace Christian Legal Society (PCLS) required […]

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  • Pace Law School Denies Recognition to Religious Student Organization

    January 29, 2007

    WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., January 29, 2007—The Student Bar Association (SBA) at Pace Law School has denied official recognition to a Christian student organization, claiming that the group’s religious identity would not be welcoming to non-Christian students. The group’s leadership contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help soon after the SBA delivered its decision. “Pace Law School recognizes numerous ideological student organizations, so religious groups should be afforded the same rights,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “A public university would be constitutionally bound to recognize the Christian group, and a law school that promises freedom of expression […]

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