Sonoma State University

Location: Rohnert Park, California
Website: http://www.sonoma.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 9th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Sonoma State University 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.

This school does not have any cases at this time.
Yellow Light Policies
  • Standards for Student Conduct 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility

    Students are expected to be good citizens and to engage in responsible behaviors that reflect well upon their university, to be civil to one another and to others in the campus community, and contribute positively to student and university life.

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  • Standards for Student Conduct 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies

    Misuse of computer facilities or resources, including: … Use of computing facilities and resources to send obscene or intimidating and abusive messages.

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  • Executive Order 1097: Systemwide Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Against Students and Systemwide Procedure for Handling Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Complaints by Students 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Sexual Harassment, a form of Sex Discrimination, is unwelcome verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that includes, but is not limited to Sexual Violence, sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and indecent exposure where:

    a. Submission to, or rejection of, the conduct is explicitly or implicitly used as the basis for any decision affecting a Student’s academic status or progress, or access to benefits and services, honors, programs, or activities available at or through the University; or

    b. Such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that its effect, whether or not intended, could be considered by a reasonable person in the shoes of the Student, and is in fact considered by the Student, as limiting the Student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities or opportunities offered by the University; or

    c. Such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that its effect, whether or not intended, could be considered by a reasonable person in the shoes of the Student, and is in fact considered by the Student, as intimidating, hostile or offensive.

    Sexual Harassment also includes acts of verbal, non-verbal or physical aggression, intimidation or hostility based on gender or sex-stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.

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  • Campus Housing Policies and Regulations: Harassment 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    The campus housing community is composed of students from a variety of cultures, backgrounds and lifestyles. It is essential that residents are free from behavioral and verbal abuse based on age, race, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation, Vietnam-era veteran’s status, or disabling condition.

    • Behaviors or verbal remarks, including any type of non-verbal communication, that result in harassment, exploitation or intimidation of members of the residential community or University, including University staff.

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  • Statement on Civility and Tolerance 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility

    We expect that all members of the SSU community will:

    • Communicate with each other in a civil manner
    • Recognize and be accountable for how their actions and language impact the community
    • Treat community members with consideration, dignity, and respect
    • Create a community in which actions of bigotry, oppression, bullying, and hatred will not be
    tolerated
    • Confront behavior or report to University staff any incidents of intolerance, hatred, injustice, or
    incivility

    » Read More

  • Sonoma State University Bias Response Team 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech

    What is Bias?

    An act of bigotry, harassment, intimidation, coercion, or damage to property by known or unknown perpetrators that occurs on SSU’s campus or within an area that impacts the SSU community and that one could reasonably conclude is directed at a member or group of the SSU community because of that individual’s or group’s actual or perceived age, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any combination of these or related factors.

    How to Report an Incident

    Sonoma State University encourages all members of the campus community who believe they are victims of a bias motivated incident or crime, to notify the Bias Response Team by submitting an online incident report.

    » Read More


Green Light Policies
  • Campus Christians: not always at ease

    January 25, 2005

    When Chris Gruener moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to begin graduate school, he looked forward to experiencing the region’s renowned tolerance of all people and lifestyles. Mr. Gruener was raised in a devout Christian family near Seattle and attended a Baptist high school and a Christian college, where he studied business. His passion, however, was literature, and so he was excited to begin a master’s program in English at Sonoma State University. But during his first semester, a classroom incident put a damper on Gruener’s ardor. While lecturing on James Joyce’s rejection of the church, a professor drew […]

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  • Sonoma State University Incident Serves as Reminder of Freedom to Display Faith (Or Lack Thereof)

    July 3, 2013

    Aaron Coven is a FIRE summer intern. While some may find it hard to believe, religious discrimination still occurs on our nation’s college and university campuses. Just last week, Audrey Jarvis, a 19-year-old Sonoma State University student, was first instructed by a university employee to remove, and later told to hide, a two-inch cross from her neck so as not to offend other students. Within only a short matter of time, however, the university apologized, and has acted to rectify the situation. Jarvis, who was working at a freshman orientation event when the incident occurred, stated in an interview: “I believe […]

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