St. Olaf College

Location: Northfield, Minnesota
Website: http://www.stolaf.edu
Type: Private
Federal Circuit: 8th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

St. Olaf College 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.

This school does not have any cases at this time.

Red Light Policies

  • Student Handbook: Code of Student Conduct- Proscribed Conduct 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Sexual harassment, including, but not limited to:

    a. Unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature on college premises or at functions sponsored by or participated in by the college.

    b. Harassment on the basis of another’s race, disability, religion or sexual orientation.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Misuse of Computers 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies

    St. Olaf College provides computing and networking resources in order to meet the academic needs of students, faculty, and staff. Any actions that undermine this important college goal are subject to disciplinary review. These include, but are not limited to … creating or posting of material that is offensive, pornographic, libelous, or intended to harass.

    » Read More

  • Sexual Misconduct Resources: What to Do if You are Harassed or Stalked 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Examples of sexual harassment:

    • Unwelcome sexual flirtations, advances, or propositions
    • Requests for sexual favors
    • Verbal abuse of a sexual nature, obscene language, off-color jokes, verbal commentary about an individual’s body, sexual innuendo, and gossip about sexual relations
    • The display of derogatory or sexually suggestive posters, cartoons, drawings, objects, notes, letters, emails, or text messages
    • Visual conduct such as leering or making gestures
    • Shooting video or photographs of a sexual nature without consent
    • Cyber harassment, including but not limited to disseminating information, photos, or video of a sexual nature without consent
    • Engaging in conduct of a sexual nature which creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive academic or work environment (e.g., sexually oriented jokes, offensive physical contact, obscene messages and gestures)

    » Read More


Yellow Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Code of Student Conduct- Proscribed Conduct 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion, and/or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person including, but not limited to, the following forms:

    a. Direct oral expression or physical gesture or action.

    b. Notes, letters, U.S. mail, campus mail or other forms of written communication.

    c. Phone calls or phone messages.

    d. E-mail or other computer-based methods of communication.

    » Read More

  • Sexual Misconduct Policy 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Sexual harassment includes unwelcome conduct such as sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical contact, or other verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature when:

    • submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s educational experience or employment, or the individual’s submission or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis of an educational program or activity decision or employment decision affecting such individual; or
    • such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially and unreasonably interfering with an individual’s education or employment or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational or work environment.

    Actions that can constitute sexual harassment include:

    • Unwelcome sexual flirtations, advances, or propositions;
    • Requests for sexual favors
    • Verbal abuse of a sexual nature, obscene language, off-color jokes, verbal commentary about an individual’s body, sexual innuendo, and gossip about sexual relations
    • The display of derogatory or sexually suggestive posters, cartoons, drawings, objects, notes, letters, emails, or text messages
    • Visual conduct such as leering or making gestures
    • Videotaping or taking photographs of a sexual nature without consent
    • Cyber harassment, including but not limited to disseminating information, photos, or video of a sexual nature without consent
    • Engaging in conduct of a sexual nature which creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive academic or work environment (e.g., sexually-oriented jokes, offensive physical contact, obscene messages and gestures)
    • Punishing or threatening to take adverse action against a subordinate or student for refusing to comply with sexual demands.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Residence Life Policies and Procedures- Harassment, Sexual and Sexual Assault 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Examples of verbal or physical conduct that are prohibited include but are not limited to: … unwelcome remarks of a sexual nature, including remarks about a person’s body or clothing; unwelcome remarks about sexual activity; showing, exposing to, or subjecting others to materials or media of a sexual nature.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Residence Life Policies and Procedures- Public Area Decoration 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Posting Policies

    Because St. Olaf is a safe space for all students; any material that can be deemed offensive, demeaning, or derogatory to others may not be posted in common areas. These areas include: the front of any room doors, on the hallway or spaces around it, as well as restrooms. If such material is posted, The Area Coordinator may ask to have it removed. If it is not removed, other disciplinary actions may result.

    » Read More


Green Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Code of Student Conduct- Preamble 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    St. Olaf College is committed to creating and maintaining an environment where individual and institutional responsibility combine to promote each student’s complete development. The academic freedoms to teach and learn are integral to this environment.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Campus Demonstrations 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    St. Olaf College affirms its belief in the importance of freedom of expression and in the value of permitting all members of the college community to protest actions with which they disagree.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Speaker Policy 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    Free inquiry and free expression are essential attributes of the community of scholars. As members of that community, students should develop the capacity for critical judgment and engage in a sustained and independent search for truth.

    To this end, student organizations are free to examine and discuss all questions of interest to them, express their views, and hear opinions of others.

    » Read More


This school does not have any media coverage at this time.
  • Speech Code of the Month: St. Olaf College

    December 6, 2011

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for December 2011: St. Olaf College in Minnesota. St. Olaf’s policy on “Misuse of Computers” [.pdf] prohibits “creating or posting of material that is offensive,” stating that such actions “are subject to disciplinary review.” As is typical of such policies, “offensive” is left undefined, and there is no provision for who decides what is offensive, leaving students with no way of knowing whether their electronic communications might get them in trouble. Is a pointed criticism of the university offensive? What about a provocative editorial about Islamic fundamentalism? These types of expression have gotten students in trouble at other […]

    » Read More