Location: Lowell, Massachusetts
Federal Circuit: 1st Circuit
University of Massachusetts at Lowell 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
Harassment of any kind is bothersome, demeaning, irritating, and annoying behavior. Sexual harassment is specifically harassment of a sexual nature. … Sexual Harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when … (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
Hostile environment: Unwelcome sexual behavior that makes the work/academic environment offensive, hostile or intimidating (unwelcome, repeated, causes harm).
Sexually harassing behavior includes:
(1) gender harassment, including sexist statements and behavior that conveys insulting, degrading, or sexist attitudes
(2) seductive behavior encompassing unwanted, inappropriate, and offensive physical or verbal sexual advances
(3) sexual bribery, involving solicitation of sexual activity or other sex-linked behavior by promise of reward
(4) sexual coercion of sexual activity or other sex-linked behavior by threat of punishment
Posting, sending or publicly displaying or printing unsolicited mail or materials that violate existing laws or University policies/codes of conduct. Such material includes, but is not limited to those that are of a fraudulent, obscene, offensive, defamatory, harassing, abusive, or threatening nature. Additionally, the University has special concern for incidents in which individuals are subject to harassment or threat because of membership in a particular racial, religious, gender or sexual orientation group.
Any use which in the University’s determination is contrary to its mission, goals, and values, or which is detrimental to the University’s good name and reputation, and/or which adversely impacts the University and/or the University community.
Sexual harassment is defined as objectionable, unwanted sexual attention from either a person in a position of authority or power or from a peer. Sexual harassment also can involve verbal or written communication of a sexual nature that create an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational living or work environment. … Examples of sexual harassment may include, but are not limited to, the following: * Hostile Environment: includes any situation in which there is harassing conduct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it alters or limits, interferes with or denies personal and/or educational benefits or opportunities, from both a subjective (the alleged victim’s) and an objective (reasonable person’s) viewpoint.
Racism – No student shall engage in any discriminatory activity based upon color of skin or ethnic or national origin. Racist activities include but are not limited to verbal or written threats, slander or slurs, and racially motivated physical assaults on or off campus.
Lewd or indecent conduct or expression, on or off campus/University property, or at University sponsored or supervised functions are a violation of the Student Conduct Code.
The University of Massachusetts recognizes the rights of members of the University community to freedom of assembly and speech, and strongly believes in fostering discourse and the free exchange of ideas at the University.
Conduct less than a physical attack or physical interference which interferes with a person in the conduct of his or her customary or usual affairs, such as the posting of threatening letters directed to the person, the use of threatening language directed at another, harassing or threatening telephone calls, email, voicemail, posting of materials in on-line communities, instant messaging (IM), or the vandalism of a person’s room (e.g. by graffiti). The University has special concern for incidents in which persons are subject to such conduct because of membership in a particular racial, religious, gender or sexual orientation group.
May 18, 2012
The Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice issued a guidance letter this week finding a First Amendment right to record police engaged in their official duties. Professor Eugene Volokh of UCLA School of Law picks up on this over at the Volokh Conspiracy. The most recent case clarifying this First Amendment right is ACLU v. Alvarez, issued this month by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. In Alvarez, the Seventh Circuit held that “[t]he act of making an audio or audiovisual recording is necessarily included within the First Amendment’s guarantee of speech and […]» Read More
May 14, 2012
Yet another joke issue of a college student publication has encountered controversy on campus for being intentionally offensive in order to comment on a variety of issues. The good news is that the dean of students at University of Massachusetts Lowell, Larry Siegel, has taken punishment of the independent student newspaper, the Connector, off of the table. The Lowell Sun reports: Siegel said the university “holds in high regard the freedom of speech” and so “in no way are we going to censor the student paper,” which is run independently. “But you can’t let your own amusement under the guise […]» Read More