Location: Malibu, California
Federal Circuit: 9th Circuit
Pepperdine University has been given the speech code rating Exempt. Exempt institutions are private universities that express clearly and consistently that they believe in a set of values above the commitment of free speech. Read more here.
Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes, StatementPepperdine is a Christian University. As such, all events, programs, and performances must be suitable
for family audiences. All participants, whether internal (students) or external (vendors, artists, and
producers), shall perform and/or conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with the standards
of the University. If participants fail to adhere to University standards disciplinary action may ensue.
Examples of these standards include:
A. No alcoholic beverages or non-prescribed drugs are permitted on campus or at any
B. No unlawful or improper conduct or language is permitted during a performance or
on campus. Examples of improper behavior include: degrading, demeaning, or
exploitive references, profanity, explicit lyrics, suggestive dancing, and/or
references to sex, alcohol, and narcotics/drugs.
Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility, StatementIn keeping with Pepperdine University‘s Christian mission and its
heritage in Churches of Christ, all members of the University
community are encouraged to respect the teachings of Jesus and
historic, biblical Christianity. It is expected that all students will adhere
to biblical teaching regarding moral and ethical practices. Engaging in
or promoting conduct or lifestyles inconsistent with biblical teaching is
not permitted. It is expected that students will maintain the highest
standards of personal honor, morality, and integrity. The University
reserves the right to refuse admittance to, or dismiss any person who
violates these principles.
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, StatementActions or communications that constitute disrespect, harassment,
the use or threat of physical violence, intimidation, stalking or hate
violence directed toward a member of the Pepperdine faculty, staff,
student body, toward a visitor to the campus or toward a member
of the community.
Speech Code Category: Posting Policies, StatementIt is a violation to exhibit, possess, or distribute material or
representations deemed to be obscene or contrary to the moral
standards and/or mission of the University, including, but not limited
to, pornography. It is a violation to display alcohol containers or drug-related
paraphernalia on University property.
Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression, Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility, Statement* The heritage of Churches of Christ has valued both free inquiry and an ecumenical spirit.
* This tradition--at its best--can sustain both openness to new and different ideas and the kind of diversity that Pepperdine seeks to nurture.
* This atmosphere, in which students are encouraged to explore faith and scholarship, is reflected in Pepperdine's affirmation statement, in which it says, "Truth has nothing to fear from investigation."
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, StatementHarassment is defined as conduct that is so severe and/or
pervasive, and objectively offensive, that its effect, whether or not
intended, impairs a person’s ability to participate in the University’s
educational programs and activities or their living environment.
Objectively offensive conduct means that it must be offensive both to
the recipient of the conduct and to a "reasonable person" in the
Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility, StatementWe take upon ourselves the responsibility to develop an awareness of
the differences within our community and to avoid behavior that is
belittling, threatening, or disrespectful to others.
January 30, 2013
Introducing Arun Smith, heroic censor. Last week at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, this student tore down a “free speech wall” display that a libertarian student group had set up on campus. Such displays usually take the form of a large, blank sheet of paper on which students are invited to write anything they like. Student groups sponsor the displays as a way of demonstrating that universities need not fear open expression. In a self-congratulatory letter,also posted publicly on Facebook, Smith explained that his vigilante censorship was a “moral imperative” because the wall created the potential for “hate speech,” and asserted that […]» Read More
September 12, 2012
by Mike Riggs Reason Online Pepperdine University’s Statement of Academic Freedom states that “a faculty member should consider it a basic duty to encourage freedom of inquiry in peers and in students.” If that’s truly the case, the school has some explaining to do as to why it denied a political science major the opportunity to intern with the Marijuana Policy Project. According to MPP: Last week, the deans of Seaver College internship program at Pepperdine University officially refused to approve the application of sophomore political science major Victoria Stanzione to intern at the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), a national non-profit […]» Read More
September 17, 2010
My Constitution Day started out great. I watched the Schoolhouse Rock “Preamble” song a few times to get into the Constitutional spirit (until I thought Peter would send a cease-and-desist letter from his office next door). The wise and catchy Schoolhouse Rock gang tells us the brief history of the Constitution. But the real story lies in how we–The People–interpret the founders’ words today. Their aspiration to a more perfect union rings a little hollow when I read headlines like this morning’s: Student tears down “Free Speech Wall.” Just like that, my buoyant mood crashed, Hindenburg-style, before I had finished my […]» Read More