Location: Trenton, New Jersey
Federal Circuit: 3rd Circuit
The College of New Jersey 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
To achieve the goal of maintaining a work/educational environment free from discrimination or harassment, the College strictly prohibits the conduct that is described in this policy. This is a zero tolerance policy. This means that the College reserves the right to take either disciplinary action, if appropriate, or other corrective action, to address any unacceptable conduct that violates this policy, regardless of whether the conduct satisfies the legal definition of discrimination or harassment.
This Policy Prohibiting Discrimination in the Workplace/Educational Environment (this “Policy”) applies to all employees, including student employees with respect to conduct that arises out of their employment status, and applicants for employment at the College.
It is also a violation of this Policy to use derogatory or demeaning references regarding a person’s race, gender, age, religion, disability, affectional or sexual orientation, ethnic background, or any other protected category set forth in I(a) above, which have the effect of harassing an employee or student or creating a hostile work/educational environment. A violation of this Policy can occur even if there was no intent on the part of an individual to harass or demean another.
Examples of Behaviors That May Constitute Prohibited Workplace Discrimination or Harassment Include, But Are Not Limited To: … Calling an individual by an unwanted nickname that refers to one or more of the above protected categories, or telling jokes pertaining to one or more protected categories; Using derogatory references with regard to any of the protected categories in any communication; … Displaying or distributing material (including electronic communications) in the workplace/educational environment that contains derogatory or demeaning language or images pertaining to any of the protected categories ….
Examples of prohibited behaviors that may constitute sexual harassment and are therefore a violation of this Policy include, but are not limited to: Generalized gender-based remarks and comments; … Verbal, written, or electronically sexually suggestive or obscene comments, jokes or propositions including letters, notes, e-mail, text messages, invitations, gestures or inappropriate comments about a person’s clothing; … Visual contact, such as leering or staring at another’s body; gesturing; displaying sexually suggestive objects, cartoons, posters, magazines or pictures of scantily-clad individuals; or displaying sexually suggestive material on a bulletin board, on a locker room wall, or on a screen saver ….
The College values the individual contribution of every member of the community and expects students to: … Respect the rights of others to pursue an exceptional education free from harassment, bullying, defamation, and discrimination; … Conduct oneself professionally and with civility in all pursuits of knowledge in and outside the classroom.
Students at the College have the same rights and protections under the Constitution of the United States and the State of New Jersey as other citizens. These rights include freedom of expression, press, religion, and assembly. The College has a tradition of student activism and values freedom of expression, which includes voicing unpopular views and dissent.
Conduct of a sexual nature or based on gender or sexuality that is severe or pervasive enough to create an intimidating, abusive, or hostile campus, educational, or working environment as defined by a reasonable person under similar circumstances. This may include unwanted, unwelcome, or inappropriate sexual or gender-based activities, or comments.
Engaging in conduct, including any gesture, written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication (which includes e-mails, text messages, and Internet postings on web-sites or other social media), whether it be a single incident or series of incidents; that is so severe or pervasive and objectively offensive that it substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the College or the rights of any student or other member of the College community ….
Following is a list of unacceptable conduct. This list includes, but is not limited to: … Harassment or violation of the rights of others.
February 19, 2011
FIRE Director of Legal and Public Advocacy Will Creeley provides some useful analysis of the state of free speech at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) in an op-ed written for the TCNJ student publication The Perspective. Be sure to check it out to get Will’s take on the First Amendment problems in TCNJ policy and the ways in which students at the public institution are currently being deprived of their full free speech rights. Will’s op-ed takes aim primarily at TCNJ’s definition of “abuse” in its “Violations of Community Standards” policy, found here. The policy defines “abuse” as follows: […]» Read More