Location: Brockport, New York
Federal Circuit: 2nd Circuit
State University of New York – Brockport 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.
June 9, 2004
As part of its ongoing Speech Code Litigation project, FIRE supported a lawsuit against State University of New York at Brockport. The suit, which was settled in May of 2005, required the school to repeal its unconstitutional policies and publicize the changes in policy through official channels such as the newspaper and college handbooks. Representing the fourth victory for FIRE’s Speech Code Litigation, the settlement was part of an ongoing process to combat speech codes throughout the country.» Read More
Red Light Policies
comments in person and/or via phone, text message, email, or other electronic medium, that
is (a) unwelcome; (b) based on sex or gender stereotypes; and/or (c) is so severe or pervasive
that it unreasonably interferes with a person's academic performance or equal opportunity to
participate in or benefit from College programs or activities
information to support the College's mission. Any act contrary to this mission, whether
specifically mentioned below or not, will be considered abuse of the Internet/e-mail
privilege and may result in campus judicial action for students and disciplinary actions
for employees including, but not limited to, loss of access.
Notice to this Institution of any Planned Assembly, Picketing or Demonstration upon the Grounds of this Institution 12-13Free inquiry and free
expression are indispensable to the objectives of a higher educational institution.
life, health, and/or welfare of any member of the institution.
Notice to this Institution of any Planned Assembly, Picketing or Demonstration upon the Grounds of this Institution 12-13Advance notice to this institution of any planned assembly,
picketing, or demonstration upon the grounds of this institution must be submitted
in writing to the Office of the Vice President for Enrollment Management and
Student Affairs not later than 3 pm on the last business day prior to the planned
assembly, picketing, or demonstration ... provided, however, that the giving of the
notice required in these procedures shall not be a condition precedent to any such
assembly, picketing, or demonstration ....
March 30, 2011
The Stylus, the student newspaper at SUNY Brockport, takes its journalism seriously, delving into such issues as the conditions of college dorms and the practices of local police. But the weekly has been feuding with the State University College at Brockport’s student government in a flap that raises First Amendment issues about what kind of control — if any — a student government should have over a college newspaper. The two have clashed over a Stylus column highly critical of the Brockport student government treasurer and a subsequent demand by student government that the paper’s editor resign; a denied Freedom […]» Read More
May 16, 2005
The State University of New York at Brockport has agreed to repeal its speech code. It is the fourth consecutive victory for a Philadelphia-based group in its campaign against such codes on America’s public college and university campuses. Last June, with help from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), two students in the College Republican Club filed a federal lawsuit alleging that SUNY Brockport’s anti-harassment policies violated their free-speech rights. Under Brockport’s speech code, examples of harassment included “cartoons that depict religious figures in compromising situations,” calling someone an “old bag,” and “jokes … making fun of any […]» Read More
July 11, 2004
State University of New York Chancellor Robert King has a major scandal on his hands at upstate SUNY-Brockport: The campus thoughtcops have repealed the First Amendment. King needs to reinstate it—fast. Freshman Robert Wojich and senior Patricia Simpson have sued in federal court, claiming the school’s racial- and sexual-harassment codes unconstitutionally restrict free speech. In the name of battling “harassment,” SUNY-Brockport takes aim at such actions as name-calling, “discussing sexual activities”—gee, did the ’60s free-sex crowd become Victorians when they grew up?—insulting cartoons and, yes, “ethnic jokes.” Violators of such “offenses” are “subject to the campus judicial system.” Big Brother […]» Read More
July 9, 2004
I doubt that any administrators or professors at SUNY Brockport are conspiring to do away with the First Amendment. But it is easy to believe that Brockport is run by some well-meaning people who have lost track of what freedom of speech really means. Last month two students in the college Republican Club filed a federal lawsuit alleging that Brockport’s web of anti-harassment regulations and other official statements designed to promote “diversity ” on campus amount to unconstitutional infringement of their right to freedom of speech. The students enlisted the help of an organization called the Foundation for Individual Rights […]» Read More
June 14, 2004
Two conservative students are suing the State University of New York (SUNY) at Brockport over its speech code, which they say is unconstitutional. The lawsuit is the fourth in a campaign by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) to rid campuses of policies that violate students’ First Amendment rights. Under SUNY-Brockport’s speech code, examples of harassment include “cartoons that depict religious figures in compromising situations,” calling someone an “old bag,” and “jokes … making fun of any protected group.” Fearing punishment under the arbitrarily restrictive code, the Brockport College Republicans were recently forced to end distribution of a […]» Read More
March 8, 2011
Recently, the State University of New York at Brockport (SUNY Brockport) has been home to one of the stranger incidents of newspaper theft I’ve come across in my years at FIRE, coupled with one of the most breathtakingly bad justifications for such activity. First, the theft. According to William Matthias, Editor in Chief of the newspaper in question, The Stylus: [Brockport Student Government, which partially funds The Stylus] Treasurer Kyle Kirchgraber recently “borrowed” bundles of The Stylus newspapers, or at least authorized the removal of the bundles, to present to the BSG appropriations committee during the budget review process. He wanted to […]» Read More
December 23, 2009
As Torch readers know, each month FIRE singles out a particularly reprehensible speech code for our Speech Code of the Month award. While all 12 Speech Codes of the Month in 2009 flagrantly violated students’ right to free expression, three were so egregious that they deserve special mention as 2009′s Speech Codes of the Year. New York University. NYU’s Anti-Harassment Policy prohibits “insulting,” “teasing,” and even “inappropriate jokes” based on categories such as race and religion. Although NYU is private, its policies purport to protect the right to free speech, providing that “[f]ree inquiry, free expression, and free association are […]» Read More
April 25, 2006
Candace de Russy, a member of the State University of New York’s (SUNY’s) Board of Trustees, is also a member of FIRE’s Board of Advisors—the latter position entailing no legal or fiduciary role. So when FIRE coordinated a lawsuit with FIRE Legal Network attorney Robert Goodman against SUNY Brockport’s blatantly unconstitutional speech code, it didn’t take long before the New York State Ethics Commission told Dr. de Russy not to involve herself in board discussions or decisions regarding the lawsuit, or even to talk about it anywhere else. It did not matter to the commission that FIRE did not consult with […]» Read More