Location: Saratoga Springs, New York
Federal Circuit: 2nd Circuit
Skidmore 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.
Student Handbook: Equal Employment Opportunity, Diversity, and Anti-Harassment Policies and Procedures 13-14
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
Harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression*, or any other category protected by federal, state, or local laws occurs when an individual or group of individuals is targeted with oral, written, visual, or physical insults based on that person’s or group’s
protected status; and an individual or group of individuals is targeted with oral, written, visual, or physical insults based on that person’s or group’s protected status; and such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee’s or student’s work, professional or educational performance, productivity, physical security, living arrangements, extracurricular
activities, academic or career opportunities, services or benefits – or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment.
When both circumstances identified above are present, examples of conduct constituting harassment could include (but are not limited to) the following:
• Intimidation, hostility, or rudeness
• Oral or written threats, derogatory comments, name-calling, or slurs
• Display of derogatory posters, photographs, cartoons, drawings
• Offensive gestures
• Assault, unwanted touching, or blocking normal movement
In particular, sexual harassment occurs when
• submission to the conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic advancement (quid pro quo harassment),
• submission to, or rejection of, the conduct is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting the individual (quid pro quo harassment), or
• the conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee’s or student’s work, professional or educational performance, productivity, physical security, participation in living arrangements, extracurricular activities, academic or career
opportunities, services or benefits—or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work/educational environment.
This definition includes verbal, non-verbal, and physical harassment. The following examples of sexual harassment are intended to be instructive, but not inclusive:
Verbal Harassment may take oral or written form and may include profanity, sexual jokes, whistling, teasing, threats, or repeated unwelcome requests for a date.
Non-verbal Harassment may include staring, blowing kisses, winking, or displaying sexually suggestive material in the work area, in the classroom, in lockers, or as screen savers on one’s computer.
Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
Skidmore defines a bias incident as an act of bigotry, harassment, or intimidation involving a member of the Skidmore community that a reasonable person would conclude is directed at a member or group within the Skidmore community based on race, color, ethnicity, nationality, economic background, age, physical or mental ability, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity or expression, marital status, veteran status, or religious practice. A bias incident can occur whether the act is intentional or unintentional. Speech or expression that is consistent with the principles of academic freedom does not constitute a bias incident.
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
Violations of the Skidmore Honor Code and Code of Conduct include, but are not limited to, the following: … Any action or situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers mental or physical health. … Harassment, whether physical or verbal, oral or written, which is beyond the bounds of protected free speech, directed at a specific individual or groups of individuals, easily construed as “fighting words” and likely to cause an immediate breach of the peace … Abusive or disruptive behavior, verbal or physical, directed toward any member of the College community.
Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
We, the students of Skidmore College, recognize that this academic institution exists for the pursuit of knowledge, truth, and individual development. Free inquiry and free speech are indispensable to the attainment of these goals.
As members of the Skidmore community, students enjoy freedom of speech, peaceful assembly, the press, and religion, and the right to petition, limited only by protection of property, safety, and mutual respect.
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, […]» Read More