Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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

Speech Code Rating

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 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.

  • Mohammed Cartoon Controversy: FIRE Response to Intimidation and Newspaper Disputes

    February 22, 2006

    As a result of worldwide controversy regarding caricatures of the prophet Mohammed, first published in a Danish newspaper, free speech was being openly disregarded on American college campuses. In the weeks following the printing of the cartoon, students, professors, and student publications not only reprinted the controversial cartoons but even created their own satirical cartoons depicting Mohammed. Chilling of speech in relation to the cartoon was found at Century College, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and New York University, amongst others.

    » Read More

Red Light Policies

  • Policy on Electronic Citizenship 12-13

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies, Statement

    No one may, under any circumstances, use Rensselaer's computer systems or networks to libel, slander, or harass any other person.

    Computer Harassment includes, but is not limited to, using Rensselaer's computer systems or networks: (1) to annoy, harass, terrify, intimidate, threaten, offend or bother another person (for example, by conveying abusive, profane, defamatory or offensive messages, obscene language, pictures, or other materials, or threats of bodily harm); (2) to contact another person repeatedly to annoy, harass, or bother, whether or not any actual message is communicated, and/or where no purpose of legitimate communication exists, and where the recipient has expressed a desire for the communication to cease; (3) to contact another person repeatedly regarding a matter for which one does not have a legal right to communicate, once the recipient has expressed a desire for such communication to cease; (4) to disrupt or damage the academic, research, administrative, or related pursuits of another; (5) to invade or threaten to invade the privacy, academic or otherwise, of another.

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Yellow Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Sexual Harassment 12-13

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    [S]ome
    examples of specifically prohibited conduct include:
    ...
    * Engaging in sexually suggestive conversation that is
    unwelcome or physical contact or touching another
    student or employee in a way that is unwelcome.
    *Displaying, storing, or transmitting pornographic or
    sexually oriented materials ....

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  • Student Handbook: Rules for Maintenance of Public Order 12-13

    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes, Statement

    No person or persons shall use, in public,
    language or gestures which are
    unreasonably abusive or obscene.

    » Read More

  • Sign Policy for Residence Halls and Apartments 12-13

    Speech Code Category: Posting Policies, Statement

    Signs must not contain anything that maligns any person or group as determined by Residence Life.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Rules for Maintenance of Public Order 12-13

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies, Statement

    Only peaceful demonstrations are appropriate
    in an academic community and the Trustees
    are confident that no member or group of the
    Institute community will go beyond the bounds
    set by these regulations. In order to maintain
    the safety and to safeguard the interests of all
    members of the Institute community, any
    group or individual planning a demonstration
    must submit an Application For Approval of
    Peaceful Demonstration to the Dean of
    Students Office at least seven (7) days prior to
    the proposed demonstration date and include
    its proposed location and the object of the
    intended protest, or other purpose. If a
    situation emerges for which a seven day notice
    is neither appropriate nor practical, the Dean
    of Students shall exercise reasonable discretion
    by reviewing the application to reasonably
    assure student safety and to safeguard the
    interests of all members of the Rensselaer
    community.

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  • Student Handbook: Sign Policy 12-13

    Speech Code Category: Posting Policies, Statement

    The Institute reserves the right to remove
    signs deemed to be graphically
    inappropriate, profane, libelous, in
    unsightly condition, or outdated
    information.

    » Read More


Green Light Policies
  • On campus, students fight to be right

    May 1, 2005

    SARATOGA SPRINGS — Last month at Skidmore College, a group of students planned a “Coming Out Day.” The students weren’t celebrating their sexuality, but their conservativeness. They belonged to the Young Republican Assembly. While the group wound up changing the name of the event because some students took offense, their decision to tag such a right-wing event with a moniker often associated with the left was no coincidence. The conservative movement on college campuses today is characterized by its adoption of concepts that the left has relied on for years. Now, when young Republicans speak out, they call for tolerance, […]

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