Location: Claremont, California
Federal Circuit: 9th Circuit
Scripps College has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more here.
Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
Bias-related incidents are expressions of hostility against another person (or group) because of that person’s (or group’s) race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, gender or sexual orientation, or because the perpetrator perceives that the other person (or group) has one or more of those characteristics. As used in this Protocol, the term “bias-related incident” is limited to conduct that violates the Scripps College Principles of Community, one or more of the Claremont colleges’ disciplinary codes, and/or which is not protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution or by analogous provisions of state law.
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
One form of unlawful harassment is sexual harassment. Sexual harassment may be either “quid pro quo” harassment, that is sexual advances or requests for sexual favors where submission is made an explicit or implicit term or condition of an individual’s employment or education or where submission or rejection is used as the basis for making employment or educational decisions affecting an individual; or “environmental ” harassment, where the individual is subjected to a hostile or intimidating environment, in which verbal or physical conduct, because of its severity and/or persistence, is likely to interfere with an individual’s work or education, or to affect adversely an individual’s living conditions. Occasional compliments that are generally accepted as not offensive or other generally accepted social behavior, on the other hand, do not constitute sexual harassment.
Examples of sexual harassment may include such conduct as: … e. A pattern of conduct that would discomfort or humiliate, or both, a reasonable person at whom the conduct was directed that includes one or more of the following: (1) unnecessary touching, patting, hugging, or brushing against a person’s body; (2) remarks of a sexual nature about a person’s clothing or body, whether or not intended to be complimentary; (3) remarks about sexual activity or speculations about previous sexual experience; or (4) other comments of a sexual nature, including sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes or anecdotes; f. Certain visual displays of sexually-oriented images outside the educational context; g. Letters, notes or electronic mail containing comments, words or images as described in (e) above.
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
Unlawful harassment is conduct that creates an intimidating, offensive, or hostile working or academic environment, or that interferes with work or academic performance based on a person’s protected status, including race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex (which includes harassment based on gender, pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, veteran status, family care leave status, or other status protected by antidiscrimination and anti-harassment statutes, such as Titles VII or IX of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.
To count as harassment under this policy, such conduct must:
- be based upon one or more of the categories mentioned above;
- be offensive to the individual complaining of harassment and offensive to a reasonable person; and
- be so persistent, repetitive, pervasive, or severe that it has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance or creating an intimidating, abusive or hostile educational, employment or living environment at the College.
Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
Scripps believes that learning and teaching thrive in an environment conducive to freedom of belief, inquiry, and speech, assuring expression of the broadest range of opinions and beliefs. Scripps commits itself to maintaining that freedom, subject only to regulation of time, place, and manner. Recognizing that such expressions may offend, provoke, and disturb, Scripps affirms its dedication to encourage rather than limit expression.
October 22, 2014
By Peter Wood at The National Association of Scholars Dear President Bettison-Varga, I urge you to reconsider your decision to dis-invite George Will to speak at Scripps College. The students at Scripps would greatly benefit by your reversing course. Let me offer three reasons: First, your initial dis-invitation strongly enunciated your personal disagreement with Mr. Will’s views on sexual assault on campus. Scripps students are now aware, if they had any doubts before this, where you and the Scripps’ administration stand. Second, by reversing course at this point you could give significant force to the liberal arts ideal that, after […]» Read More
October 15, 2014
By Hannah Groch-Begley at Media Matters George Will has been dropped by a major newspaper and had a planned speech at a California college canceled for his recent comments dismissing the epidemic of sexual assault. The comments are nothing new for Will, who belittled victims, mocked efforts to codify consent, and attacked what he calls “rape crisis feminists” over two decades ago. In 2014, Will Claimed Sexual Assault Victim Is A “Coveted Status” And Criticized Efforts To Combat The Epidemic Washington Post‘s George Will: Sexual Assault Victim Is “A Coveted Status That Confers Privileges.” In a June 2014 column, Will suggested that college […]» Read More
October 13, 2014
By Herald Staff at Boston Herald Symptoms of closed-mind disorder have erupted at Scripps College, an all-female institution in California that has disinvited conservative columnist George Will from giving a speech in a program devoted to conservatives. Will, whose column this newspaper carries, was rejected because in June he criticized statistics and examples purportedly showing a tsunami of sexual assaults flooding colleges. Here is what Scripps President Lori Bettison-Varga gave as the reason. “Sexual assault,” said her statement to the college community, “is too important to be trivialized in a political debate or wrapped into a celebrity controversy. For that […]» Read More
October 7, 2014
By Tom Wilson at Commentary Magazine Few will be surprised to learn that the conservative commentator George Will has become the latest public figure to have fallen victim to the growing trend of colleges disinviting their guest speakers. There has been a dramatic upsurge in the number of these cancellations in recent years, with conservatives inevitably bearing the brunt of it. But the case of Will’s cancelation comes with an added poignancy, one that makes the affair sound like parody even by the standards of this already ridiculous phenomenon. For Will had been due to speak as part of Scripps […]» Read More
December 11, 2014
George Will, like too many other speakers, is no stranger to requests that he be disinvited from college campuses. In October, students at Scripps College in California successfully petitioned the college to rescind Will’s speaking invitation. Later that month, students and faculty at Miami University of Ohio attempted—and failed—to have Will disinvited from a campus engagement. Fortunately, Michigan State University (MSU) is following Miami University’s lead in standing by its invitation to Will, who is scheduled to speak at the university’s December commencement ceremony. On Tuesday, MSU President Lou Anna Simon responded to student demands that Will’s invitation to speak […]» Read More
October 24, 2014
All too often, FIRE’s message—that engaging in meaningful debate with controversial speakers is more useful than censoring them—falls on deaf ears. However, Miami University (OH) bucked the growing disinvitation trend by refusing to rescind its speaking invitation to columnist George Will, despite pressure to do so from students and faculty. By refusing to abandon its commitment to the marketplace of ideas, the university allowed debate to flourish on campus last night. This is welcome news, especially after Scripps College denied its students the opportunity to engage in meaningful debate by disinviting Will in response to his controversial column on sexual […]» Read More
October 7, 2014
As readers of The Torch may recall, FIRE has seen an increase in recent years of universities disinviting speakers due to their unpopular or controversial views. Columnist George Will and the students of Scripps College in California may be the most recent victims of this trend. As reported by the Claremont Independent (Scripps is one of seven institutions collectively constituting the Claremont University Consortium), Will was invited to speak as part of the Elizabeth Hubert Malott Public Affairs Program. That program is based on the belief “that a range of opinions about the world — especially opinions with which we may […]» Read More
November 19, 2012
This fall, FIRE is writing a blog series about how schools can reform their problematic speech codes and earn a “green light” rating from us—a distinction currently awarded to just 15 of the more than 400 schools in our Spotlight database, but one we hope to be able to award to many more in the years to come. In this series, we are discussing common problems with campus speech codes, focusing on examples from schools that are just a few small changes away from earning a green light rating. So far, we have examined how universities restrict speech by mandating […]» Read More
October 30, 2012
This fall, FIRE is writing a blog series about how schools can reform their problematic speech codes and earn a “green light” rating from FIRE—a distinction currently awarded to just 16 of the more than 400 schools in our Spotlight database, but one we hope to be able to award to many more in the years to come. In this series, we are discussing common problems with campus speech codes, focusing on examples from schools that are just a few small changes away from earning a green light rating. So far, we have examined how universities restrict speech by mandating “civility,” […]» Read More
December 3, 2008
The Claremont Consortium is at it again. FIRE has received word of two more “bias related incident” e-mails from Claremont administrators. You may remember that Claremont has a protocol of notifying all students at all five Claremont colleges when such incidents occur. Previous Consortium-wide e-mails followed minor incidents such as the writing of “Hillary is a foxy lesbian” on a whiteboard and the “white party” debacle, where party advertisements posted around the Scripps College campus were deemed offensive by Scripps College Dean of Students Debra Wood. She believed that the flyers were racist and sexist. The incident earned Wood a […]» Read More