Location: Hoboken, New Jersey
Federal Circuit: 3rd Circuit
Stevens Institute of Technology 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.
Red Light Policies
While the Internet is considered a public electronic highway, the Stevens network is a private resource. As such, access and use of the network must [be] in accordance with Stevens’ rules and policies as well as all legal regulations. Therefore, the following actions are strictly prohibited:
* Use of offensive or discriminatory language.
* Transmission of any graphic image, sound or text that is sexual in nature.
*Harass, threaten, or otherwise invade the privacy of others.
For purposes of Institute policy, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: … Such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s work performance or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working, living, or learning environment.
Other sexual harassing behavior, regardless of how conducted or communicated, even if done in the guise of humor, is also prohibited. Such behavior includes, but is not limited to, verbal abuse of a sexual nature (e.g. cat calls, sexual/sexist jokes, comments regarding a person’s attire, body or reputation); … offensive sexual flirtations: displaying lewd or graphic material; or displaying or discussing materials pertaining to males or females in a demeaning manner.
Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature or on the basis of sex. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct on the basis of sex or of a sexual nature including acts of sexual violence. In most cases, to constitute sexual harassment the incident, behavior or conduct will involve:
• Submission to or rejection of the conduct is either an explicit or implicit term or condition of employment, instruction, evaluation of academic work, or participation in any University academic program, activity or benefit;
• Submission to or rejection of these behaviors by an individual is used as a basis for evaluation in making academic or personnel decisions or decisions regarding participation in a University activity; or
• These behaviors are sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to have the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s educational experience, working conditions or campus living conditions by creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.
A single instance of sexual violence may be sufficiently severe to constitute sexual harassment.
Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
• Pressure for sexual activity, sexual favors or a romantic or intimate relationship;
• Unwelcome touching of a person’s body, hair or clothing;
• Verbal abuse or hostile behavior such as insulting, teasing, mocking, degrading or ridiculing another person or group based on gender or sex;
• Unwelcome jokes, comments or questions about gender or sex (including favorable comments about someone’s gender, body, clothing, appearance);
• Asking about a person’s sexual activities or interests;
• Repeatedly asking for a date or making other romantic or sexual advances after the person has said “no”;
• Nonverbal behavior, such as making sexual gestures with hands or through body movements;
• Displaying sexually discriminatory or explicit posters or pictures; and
• Electronic and other forms of communications including e-mail, text messaging and internet use, that violate this Policy.
Other Forms of Misconduct: Other forms of gender-based or sexual misconduct are also covered by this Policy. Examples of such misconduct may include, but are not limited to, actions that are degrading and/or abusive.
The right of respect for personal feelings, freedom from indignity, and to expect an education of the highest quality.
Residents are not permitted to post, hang or display anything that may be deemed offensive or inappropriate by any student, administrator or guest. This includes but is not limited to posters, flyers and white-board messages in hallways, on doors or anywhere visible from the exterior. It is the responsibility of all residents to confirm with the Office of Residence Life that any item to be posted is allowed, prior to posting.
All individuals shall conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the mission of the university. Any student who fails to conduct himself/herself in such a manner violates this code and a disciplinary sanction may be imposed. The following are behaviors consistent with the Student Code of Conduct: … Respect by treating others with civility and decency.
Computer abuse – this includes but is not limited to … disruptive or annoying behavior on the College’s computer system.
1. Physical or violent verbal abuse of any person.
2. Conduct that threatens or endangers the physical or mental health or safety of any person including oneself.
4. Harassing, in person, by telephone, in writing, or by other means, annoying or alarming another person, attempting or threatening to strike, kick or otherwise subject another person to physical contact, addressing abusive language to any person, following a person in or about an university location or locations, or engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts that alarm or seriously annoy another person.
5. Engaging in sexual harassment or assault, including but not limited to, non-consensual physical contact of a sexual nature, unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct or communications constituting sexual harassment.
Stevens Institute of Technology’s central functions of teaching, learning, research, and scholarship depend upon an atmosphere in which freedom of inquiry, thought, expression, publication, and peaceable assembly are given the fullest protection. Expression of the widest range of viewpoints is encouraged, free from institutional orthodoxy and from internal or external coercion.
April 19, 2010
If you are a student at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey, you should be aware that your university has eliminated significant protections for free speech from its Student Handbook. The list of “student rights” in previous versions of the Handbook included the “constitutional rights of freedom of expression and assembly, and the rights of freedom of press for all student publications” as well as the “freedom to write and distribute printed material for reasons that are not commercial without the exercise of prior restraint.” In the 2009-2010 Student Handbook, those two rights are notably absent from the list […]» Read More
February 14, 2006
Today, as we all know, is Valentine’s Day. It’s a day for love, mushy cards, chocolate, flowers, hearts, romantic dinners, and—harassment. Or at least that’s what many university administrators seem to think. Take, for example, Stevens Institute of Technology, FIRE’s Speech Code of the Month school for December. Stevens bans “comments regarding a person’s attire, body or reputation” under its sexual harassment policy. One might wonder, then, why The Vagina Monologues, which includes segments on such topics as “what my vagina smells like,” is being performed there next week. Watch out for those “comments regarding a person’s…body”! And […]» Read More