Stetson University

Location: Deland, Florida
Website: http://www.stetson.edu
Type: Private
Federal Circuit: 11th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

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  • Stetson University: Viewpoint-Based Censorship of Student Magazine

    November 2, 2005

    Stetson University found itself involved in a FIRE case in November of 2005, when it censored a student publication based on the view-points expressed. While the case remains unresolved, FIRE press releases and the media expressed their concerns with what then-FIRE President David French referred to as, “Orwellian policies.” The censorship of the campus publication, Common Sense, surrounded a joke that Jay Leno made on his television program The Tonight Show.

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Red Light Policies

  • Networking Code of Computing Ethics 09-10

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies, Statement

    The following standards apply to the use of the Internet:

    * Offensive, rude, obscene, or harassing material via any electronic mail or bulletin board facility is strictly forbidden.

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Yellow Light Policies
  • Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures 09-10

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    The "hostile work or learning environment" form of sexual
    harassment may include offensive language, jokes, gestures, comments, pictures,
    calendars, or graffiti. In order to determine whether a hostile environment exists,
    the standard applied by the Sexual Harassment Grievance Council shall be what
    type of conduct a "reasonable person" would think is offensive, intimidating, or
    hostile.

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  • Student Code of Conduct 09-10

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    Physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion, and/or other conduct including sexual assault and sexual harassment is prohibited.

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  • Student Code of Conduct 09-10

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

    students are expected to act with regard for the well being of others, to be civil and to cause no harm to others.

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  • Florida university censors magazine for Jay Leno joke

    January 25, 2006

    FLORIDA — Jay Leno may be a popular late night comedian and talk show host, but school officials at Stetson University do not find his jokes very funny — at least in print. University officials banned a satirical student publication, Common Sense, from being distributed in October because the magazine quoted a joke Jay Leno made about Mexicans, and for running a picture of a dorm-room window that displayed a rainbow flag with a question mark superimposed over it, said the magazine’s Editor in Chief Frank Ganz. But in November, the university bowed to public pressure and publicity and allowed […]

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  • Stetson shuts its mind to press freedom

    December 23, 2005

    Here is the quote I was greeted with after logging onto Stetson University’s Web site earlier this week: The open exchange of ideas creates a foundation for success. Very inspiring. And, at the moment, a little ironic. Stetson is getting a well-deserved earful from a national free-speech organization that accuses the school of repressing the very exchange of ideas it purports to value. The dust-up began with the launch of a conservative student-run publication called Common Sense, whose inaugural issue this fall offended the administration’s sensibilities. For starters, the independent publication used Stetson’s logo. Moreover, according to a memo written […]

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  • Student Spotlight: Ben Lazarus, Free Speech Week and Beyond at Stetson University

    March 26, 2014

    Stetson University student Ben Lazarus regularly works to promote liberty at his school, but this past February, Ben organized an entire week dedicated to promoting free speech in particular! Ben’s Young Americans for Liberty chapter showed a documentary on free expression, built a large free speech wall, and hosted a FIRE speaker.

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  • FIRE’s Peter Bonilla Speaking at Stetson University This Evening

    February 25, 2014

    Students and FIRE supporters in the DeLand, Florida, area are invited to hear director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program Peter Bonilla speak at Stetson University tonight at 5 p.m. in the Rinker Auditorium in the Lynn Business Center.

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  • Stetson Update: Sorority Member Admits Responsibility for Newspaper Theft

    November 2, 2006

    Updating last week’s report that administrators at Stetson University in Florida suspected that the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority was responsible for stealing approximately 700 copies of The Reporter, Stetson’s student newspaper, the Student Press Law Center now reports that a member of the sorority has indeed claimed responsibility for the theft. The guilty sorority member has apologized to Reporter staff, and the sorority has agreed to pay for the cost of replacing the newspapers. The SPLC reports that the theft was apparently motivated by an article describing the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority house as being plagued by mold. Since the […]

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  • Newspaper Theft at Stetson University

    October 30, 2006

    The Student Press Law Center reported last week that a Stetson University sorority is suspected of stealing copies of The Reporter, the school’s student newspaper. SPLC staff writer Marnette Federis reports that members of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority allegedly stole around 700 copies of an issue of The Reporter. The issue in question contained a story detailing the relocation of some sorority members after university officials declared the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority house to be in poor condition. According to Federis, a formal apology from the sorority’s president is expected this week, as well as reimbursement of the roughly […]

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  • Journalism Association Condemns Press Freedom Violations

    August 16, 2006

    Yesterday, the Student Press Law Center (SPLC) reported the August 4 decision by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) to censure a community college in New Jersey for violating freedom of the press. Ocean Community College (OCC) has already been censured by the College Media Advisers, Inc. (CMA), a national organization that advocates for best practices among college media outlets.   According to the SPLC, the AEJMC passed the resolution of censure following the OCC Board of Trustees’ December decision not to renew student newspaper advisor Karen Bosley’s contract.   Bosley’s “offense” was allowing the newspaper […]

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  • Get it in Writing

    December 28, 2005

    As 2005 comes to a close, I feel obligated to report on a disturbing new trend. Although the steady stream of cases we receive continues unabated, their nature has, thankfully, become less and less egregious since FIRE’s beginnings. Lately, however, FIRE has been seeing a new variation in the reports we get—a complete and utter disregard for the due process rights of students. At the absolute minimum, in disciplinary cases, a public college or university must provide students a notice of the charges against them, an explanation of the evidence for the charges, and a chance to dispute the evidence. […]

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  • Listen to FIRE on the Radio Today

    December 9, 2005

    As our “Events” page reflects, FIRE President David French will appear on our good friend Vicki McKenna’s radio show this afternoon to discuss our case at Stetson University. You can listen online at wiba.com. Tune in at 4 p.m. Eastern!

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  • Universities’ War on the Free Press Continues

    December 8, 2005

    Throughout its history, FIRE has frequently had to come to the defense of student journalists. Just in the past few months, we filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court as part of our effort to overturn a possibly disastrous appeals court precedent called Hosty v. Carter. We also had to stand up for the rights of a student newspaper at Craven Community College that was in trouble for printing—gasp!—a sex column. Before that, some of our most celebrated cases (and thus some of the academic establishment’s most sordid offenses against liberty) have involved freedom of the press, […]

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  • Stetson University Outlaws Jay Leno

    December 8, 2005

    DELAND, Fla., December 8, 2005—Stetson University has announced that parody, “derogatory” or “demeaning” comments, and even jokes from The Tonight Show are out of bounds for its students. Stetson’s chilling declarations came after the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) protested the private Florida university’s censorship of a student magazine. “Stetson’s Orwellian policies should scare every student on its campus,” remarked FIRE President David French. “If saying anything that could be considered ‘derogatory’ is outlawed at Stetson, its students are taking a risk by speaking at all.” Stetson promises its students that it will provide a “liberal education” and […]

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