Troy University

Location: Troy, Alabama
Website: http://www.troy.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 11th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Troy 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.

  • Troy University: Speech Code Litigation

    October 31, 2005

    FIRE targeted the fifth university in its highly successful Speech Code Litigation project. FIRE’s continued effort to systematically demolish unconstitutional campus speech restrictions has already tasted victory at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, Texas Tech University, the State University of New York at Brockport, and California’s Citrus College. Despite its obligation as a public university to uphold the First Amendment, and its explicit assurance to students that it will respect the rights of students to “[f]ree inquiry, expression, and assembly,” Troy’s speech code is extraordinarily overbroad and vague. Troy’s handbook states, for instance, that a student can face punishment up to […]

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Speech Code Memorandum for Troy University

Red Light Policies

  • Standards of Conduct 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies

    A student or organization may be disciplined, up to and including suspension and expulsion, and is deemed in violation of the “STANDARDS OF CONDUCT,” for the commission of or the attempt to commit any of the following offenses:

    Any activity which creates a mentally abusive, oppressive, or harmful situation for another is a violation. Use of the mail, telephone, computer and electronic messages, or any other means of communication to insult, threaten, or demean another is prohibited.

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  • Student Handbook: Technology Use Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies

    Cruelty, obscenity, crudity, and offensiveness, for the sake of offensiveness, have no place in the public discourse of a University community. As members of the University community, we are all responsible to one another and to the thinking and thoughtful community of which each of us ought to be a valuable part. Each of us must be considerate of other users of University computer resources and facilities.

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  • Student Handbook: Troy University Policy on Harassment and Discrimination 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    For purposes of Troy University’s policy, harassment is any comments or conduct consisting of words or actions that are unwelcome or offensive to a person in relation to sex, race, age, religion, national origin, color, marital status, pregnancy, disability or veteran’s status. This is inclusive of comments or conduct by a person in a position of authority that is intimidating, threatening or abusive. … Examples of harassment include gestures, remarks, jokes, taunting, innuendo, display of offensive materials, threats, imposition of academic penalties, hazing, stalking, shunning or exclusion related to the discriminatory or harassment grounds.

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  • Student Handbook: Troy University Policy on Harassment and Discrimination 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Sexual harassment as defined by this policy includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and any other verbal, graphic, or physical conduct. If these events are of sexual nature it constitutes sexual harassment when submission to, or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly, affects an individual’s employment or educational experience, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or academic performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment.

    Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to the following: … Derogatory or demeaning comments about gender, whether sexual or not. … Verbal abuse of a sexual nature. … The display in the workplace or an academic environment of sexually suggestive objects, pictures, posters or cartoons. … Name calling, relating stories, gossip, comments, or jokes that may be derogatory toward a particular sex.

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  • Student Handbook: Housing and Residence Life- Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Discrimination, harassment, exclusion, abusive or insensitive language, or any other manifestation of bigotry with respect to race, ethnicity, gender, religious affiliation, physical or mental ability, age, or sexual orientation are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Any such acts will be dealt with as a serious violation of housing policy.

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Yellow Light Policies
  • Standards of Conduct: Campus Dress and Decorum 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes

    Students are expected to conduct themselves with the dignity, respect and propriety associated with the concept of ladies and gentlemen pursuing higher education on a university campus. Public display of affection is not in keeping with the standards expected of students at Troy State University. Students are expected to conduct themselves in a civil manner that will not discredit themselves or the university.

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  • Student Handbook: Advertising, Distribution of Literature, Notices and other Printed Materials 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Posting Policies

    Organizations or individuals proposing to distribute printed materials on the campus must obtain permission from the Director of Student Involvement and Leadership (Troy) or the Student Services Office (other campuses).

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  • Standards of Conduct 13-14

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

    A student or organization may be disciplined, up to and including suspension and expulsion, and is deemed in violation of the “STANDARDS OF CONDUCT,” for the commission of or the attempt to commit any of the following offenses: … Lewd, indecent, obscene behavior or expression.

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  • Student Handbook: Speech and Demonstration Policies 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies

    Troy University recognizes and supports the rights of students and employees to speak in public and to demonstrate in a lawful manner in designated areas of the campus and at designated times. In order to maintain safety, security and order, and to ensure the orderly scheduling of campus facilities, and to preclude conflicts with academic and curricular activities, Troy University reserves the right to limit such activities regarding time, place, and manner of such activities. The specific location for these activities shall be determined by the Student Services Office on each campus. Please consult the specific section for the campus in question. In general, the amphitheater adjacent to the Trojan Center maybe used for such events on the Troy campus.

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Green Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Commitment to Free Expression 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    Students at public universities enjoy robust speech rights under the Constitution in order to contribute to the marketplace of ideas, learn from each other, and freely discuss and debate a wide range of issues. Troy University is committed to protecting the freedom of speech for students, faculty, and staff, and will not infringe on speech that may be considered to be an unpopular or inconvenient expression of ideas.

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  • Departments of Education and Justice, ‘arguably the biggest free-speech-on-campus story of the year.’

    December 27, 2013

    by Timothy Dionisopoulos The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has released a list of the worst colleges in the United States for free speech. In an article on the Huffington Post, FIRE listed the top ten most egregious free speech abuses on campus since March of 2012. DePaul University made the list after the school charged conservative student activist Kristopher Del Campo with multiple violations after he published the names of students who admitted to vandalizing the Young Americans for Freedom’s pro-life display. Troy University was profiled for their restrictive “harassment” policy, which FIRE claimed “prohibits an astonishing amount of protected speech, including almost […]

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  • FIRE Lawsuit Charges Alabama School With Stifling Free Speech

    November 7, 2005

    By Jim Brown at Agape Press Troy University in Alabama is being sued over policies that allegedly stifle free speech on campus. The lawsuit being coordinated by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) targets a speech code at the university — a policy banning age- or religion-related jokes, “derogatory” comments about gender, gossip, and “insulting” or “suggestive” remarks. The lawsuit against Troy University is the fifth in FIRE’s campaign to overturn restrictive university speech codes in every federal circuit in the U.S. The group’s legal director, Greg Lukianoff, believes the school’s speech code is wildly “unconstitutional” as well […]

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  • Troy art student sues after nude photos banned

    November 1, 2005

    An art student sued Troy University on Monday, saying the school violated his free speech rights by censoring his artwork and implementing a campus speech code that unconstitutionally restricts speech. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Montgomery, contends Troy officials removed portions of Blake Dews’ artwork because it featured female nudity. The university issued a statement defending its decision on Dews’ art. ”The photographs in question displayed male full frontal nudity and the university did not consider the photographs to be consistent with our community ‘s standards,” the statement said. ”This is a matter now under litigation and […]

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  • Student sues after university censors nude photographs

    November 1, 2005

    ALABAMA — The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education filed a federal lawsuit yesterday against Troy University in Alabama for a speech code FIRE’s President David French called “incompatible with a free society.” The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Blake Dews, a senior art major at Troy’s main campus. In the fall of 2003, he designed a photographic display for an assignment about birth, photographing nude models. The artwork did not meet the definition of obscenity under federal or state law, but several photos were taken off display anyway, FIRE’s press release said. “The photographs in question displayed male […]

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  • Troy University sued for alleged First Amendment violation

    November 1, 2005

    The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) filed a federal lawsuit against Troy University on Monday accusing the school of First Amendment violations by maintaining a restrictive speech code and censoring student artwork two years ago. The lawsuit was filed by attorneys Jim Parkman and William White of Parkman Law Firm in Dothan, and FIRE Legal Network attorneys Gabriel Sterling of Troutman Sanders LLP in Washington, D.C., on behalf of Troy University undergraduate Blake Dews, a senior art major attending Troy’s main campus. In the fall semester of 2003, Dews, an art student, was assigned to create an original […]

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  • Troy U. Sued Over Speech Code and Art Censorship

    November 1, 2005

    By Scott Jaschik at Inside Higher Ed Be careful what you joke about — or photograph — at Troy University. That’s the word from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which sued the university in federal court Monday, charging that the Alabama institution’s anti-harassment rules amount to unconstitutional speech codes. FIRE, a civil liberties group, is strongly critical of speech codes in higher education and has been suing or threatening to sue public colleges with codes that the group considers particularly offensive. To date, four colleges and universities have changed their policies following such suits. In the Troy case, […]

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  • Student sues Troy University over removal of nude photographs

    October 31, 2005

    A Troy University student sued the school Monday claiming his rights of free speech and expression were violated when three photographs of male nudity were removed from a campus exhibit that opened in fall 2003. The suit filed on behalf of Blake Dews, a fine arts and photography senior, challenges the removal of the three photos from a collage of 16 that was part of a class assignment. “The photographs in question displayed male full frontal nudity and the university did not consider the photographs to be consistent with our community ‘s standards,” said university spokesman Tom Davis in a […]

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  • The 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech: 2013

    December 27, 2013

    College is where inquisitive minds go to be exposed to new ways of thinking. But on some campuses, the quest for knowledge is frustrated when administrators censor speech they would prefer be kept out of the marketplace of ideas. To close out the year, we at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) want to highlight some of the worst colleges for free speech since March 2012—the last time we published this list. (Our first list, from 2011, is here.) Most of the schools we include in this year’s list are public colleges or universities bound by the First Amendment. But some of […]

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  • Speech Codes of the Year: 2013

    December 26, 2013

    Each month, FIRE singles out a particularly reprehensible campus speech code for our Speech Code of the Month designation. While all of 2013’s Speech Codes of the Month flagrantly violated students’ or faculty members’ right to free expression, two of them were so egregious that they deserve special mention as 2013’s Speech Codes of the Year. Troy University Troy, a public university in Alabama, defines harassment (PDF) as “any comments or conduct consisting of words or actions that are unwelcome or offensive to a person in relation to sex, race, age, religion, national origin, color, marital status, pregnancy, or disability or veteran’s status.” This […]

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  • Speech Code of the Month: Troy University

    May 8, 2013

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for May 2013: Troy University in Alabama. As FIRE’s annual speech codes report demonstrates, the percentage of colleges and universities maintaining unconstitutional speech codes has been on the decline for several years now. In our most recent report, the percentage of schools earning FIRE’s worst, “red light,” rating stood at just over 62%, down from a high of 75% five years ago. One place where this change has been particularly evident is in university policies addressing harassment and discrimination. Over the years, an increasing number of schools have gotten the message that […]

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  • Newspaper Theft at Troy University: Facebook Article Involved?

    February 15, 2006

    Today’s Inside Higher Ed features an article about an instance of illegal censorship at Troy University in Alabama, which holds the dubious distinction of being one of the targets of FIRE’s Speech Codes Litigation Project because of its unconstitutional speech code. The latest instance of censorship at Troy came last Thursday, when nearly 2,000 out of 3,000 printed copies of the Tropolitan, Troy’s main campus newspaper, were stolen from their distribution sites. Tropolitan staffers surmise that the theft might be connected to the fact that an article in that edition of the paper revealed that university police officers might be […]

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  • Speech Code Lawsuit V: The Censoring

    October 31, 2005

    It’s probably not such a happy Halloween at Troy University in Alabama. As you may have seen: MONTGOMERY, Ala., October 31, 2005—Today, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) targeted the fifth university in its highly successful Speech Code Litigation project. Attorneys filed a federal lawsuit against Troy University in Alabama for violating the First Amendment by maintaining a restrictive speech code and censoring student artwork. FIRE’s continued effort to systematically demolish unconstitutional campus speech restrictions has already tasted victory at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, Texas Tech University, the State University of New York at Brockport, and California’s Citrus […]

    » Read More
  • Alabama’s Troy University Faces Lawsuit for Unconstitutional Speech Code, Censorship

    October 31, 2005

    MONTGOMERY, Ala., October 31, 2005—Today, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) targeted the fifth university in its highly successful Speech Code Litigation project. Attorneys filed a federal lawsuit against Troy University in Alabama for violating the First Amendment by maintaining a restrictive speech code and censoring student artwork. FIRE’s continued effort to systematically demolish unconstitutional campus speech restrictions has already tasted victory at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, Texas Tech University, the State University of New York at Brockport, and California’s Citrus College. FIRE Legal Network attorneys Jim Parkman and William White of Parkman, Adams, and White in Dothan, […]

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