Tennessee State University

Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Website: http://www.tnstate.edu/
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 6th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Tennessee State University 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

  • Discrimination and Harassment – Complaint and Investigation Procedure 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Harassment is conduct that is based on a person’s race, color, religion, creed, ethic or national origin, sex, sexual orientation/gender identity/expression, disability, age, as applicable, status as a covered veteran, genetic information, or any other category protected by federal or state civil rights law, that  … Has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s employment or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, offensive or abusive environment of the individual.

    Examples of such conduct include, but are not limited to verbal or physical conduct relating to an employee’s national origin, race, surname, skin color or accent, offensive or derogatory jokes based on a protected category, racial or ethnic slurs, pressure for dates or sexual favors, unwelcome comments about a person’s religion or religious garments, offensive graffiti, cartoons or pictures, or offensive remarks about a person’s age.

    Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, the following: …

    • Suggestive or inappropriate communications, email, notes, letters, or other written materials displaying
    • objects or pictures which are sexual in nature that would create hostile or offensive work or living environments;
    • Sexual innuendoes, comments, and remarks about a person’s clothing, body or activites;
    • Suggestive or insulting sounds;
    • Whistling in a suggestive manner;
    • Humor and jokes about sex that denigrate men or women;
    • Sexual propositions, invitations, or pressure for sexual activity;
    • Use in the classroom of sexual jokes, stories, remarks or images in no way or only marginally relevant to the subject matter of the class

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Code of Student Conduct- Disciplinary Offenses 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It includes unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors and other verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

    » Read More


Yellow Light Policies
  • Campus Living Guide: Community Living Bill of Rights 13-14

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

    The right to be free from fear of intimidation, physical and emotional harm.

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  • Equal Employment Opportunity & Affirmative Action Office: Harassment Tips 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Some men and women are confused as to what behaviors constitute sexual harassment. The following questions may be especially helpful in assessing one’s own behavior: … Do I tell jokes or make “funny” remarks involving the opposite sex and/or sexuality? (Such jokes may offend many people.) If the answer to any of these questions is yes, the chances of the behavior being considered sexual harassment are very high. Because such behavior is likely to be high risk, if you have to ask, it is probably better not to do it.

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  • Student Handbook: Freedom of Assembly 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies

    Tennessee State University assumes the position that dissent, when carried out in the prescribed form (being registered in advance with the associate vice president for student affairs in order to ensure that the event is held at an acceptable time and appropriate site), will be protected.

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  • Student Handbook: Code of Student Conduct- Disciplinary Offenses 13-14

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

    Individual or organizational misconduct that is subject to disciplinary sanction shall include, but is not limited to, the following examples: a. Conduct dangerous to others – Any conduct or attempted conduct which constitutes a serious danger to any person’s health, safety or personal well-being, including, but not limited to the following: 1. Physical and/or verbal abuse….

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Green Light Policies
This school does not have any media coverage at this time.
  • College Censorship of Online Speech in 2008

    December 23, 2008

    This year, FIRE has seen a number of colleges take steps to regulate online speech. The Internet makes it easier than ever for people to communicate with one another, and thus presents a whole new world for would-be censors of campus speech. FIRE has kept a close watch on the developing relationship between colleges and online speech in order to prevent the establishment of deleterious, and potentially unconstitutional, practices. The most recent online FIRE case involved Michigan State University’s (MSU’s) attempt to regulate its students’ and faculty’s use of e-mail. MSU found a student government leader guilty of spamming for […]

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  • Weekly Media Round-Up: FIRE’s Pressure on Michigan State Over ‘Spamming’ Case Heating Up

    December 5, 2008

    While FIRE awaits the results of this week’s disciplinary hearing of Michigan State University (MSU) undergraduate Kara Spencer—who faces possible suspension for sending “spam” e-mails to 391 MSU professors—word of the case and FIRE’s involvement has quickly spread throughout the East Lansing, Michigan, campus and beyond. Shortly following the sending of FIRE’s letter to MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon, an article in MSU’s paper, The State News, alerted the campus community to the university’s outrageous overreaction to Spencer’s e-mails, which conveyed relevant information about impending changes to the school’s academic calendar. Word of MSU’s threats against Spencer has also […]

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  • Tennessee State Bans JuicyCampus.com from Network

    November 20, 2008

    It was only a matter of time before some university decided to ban the gossip website JuicyCampus.com from its network, and now one has: Tennessee State University in Nashville. According to a November 12 letter from Vice President for Student Affairs Michael A. Freeman (see page 6 of the November 17 edition of The Meter, Tennessee State’s student newspaper), Tennessee State blocked the website from access through campus networks because it “does not fit with the legacy, spirit, and reputation of Tennessee State University.” Nashville’s The Tennessean ran a short article on the ban today. Before I address Tennessee State’s […]

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