Location: Rohnert Park, California
Federal Circuit: 9th Circuit
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.
Behaviors or verbal remarks, including any type of non-verbal communication, that result in harassment, exploitation or intimidation. 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.
Sexual harassment may range from sexual innuendoes made at inappropriate times, perhaps in the guise of humor, to coerced sexual relations. Harassment at its extreme occurs when a person in a position of control or influence, affects another person’s job, salary, career, or grades uses his or her authority and power to coerce the other person into sexual relations or to act in a punitive manner should the sexual advance be rejected. It may include one or more of the following: … Disparaging comments about women as a group; The use of sexist humor or demeaning sexual allusions ….
Implementation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Related Sexual Harassment/Violence Legislation for CSU Students – Executive Order 1072 13-14
“Sexual Harassment” is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that includes, but is not limited to: sexual violence; sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; indecent exposure; and other verbal, nonverbal or physical unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, where 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 individual, and is in fact considered by the individual, as limiting the individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities or opportunities offered by the university. Sexual harassment also includes gender-based harassment, which may include acts of verbal, non-verbal or physical aggression, intimidation or hostility based on sex or sex-stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.
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
• Confront behavior or report to University staff any incidents of intolerance, hatred, injustice, or
Users shall not use electronic communications resources for unlawful activities or activities that violate University policy, including fraudulent, libelous, slanderous, harassing, threatening communications.
Systemwide Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Against Students and Systemwide Procedure for Handling Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Complaints by Students 13-14
Harassment means unwelcome conduct engaged in because of a Protected Status that 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.
Sexual Harassment, as defined in California Education Code 212.5, consists of both non-sexual conduct based on sex or sex-stereotyping and conduct that is sexual in nature, and includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature where: … The 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.
As citizens, students enjoy the same freedom of speech, peaceful assembly, and right of petition that other citizens enjoy ….
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 […]» Read More
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 […]» Read More