Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Federal Circuit: 10th Circuit
University of New Mexico 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.
October 23, 2001
University of New Mexico Professor Richard Berthold addressed the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001 in his Western Civilization class, remarking, "Anyone who can bomb the Pentagon has my vote." Berthold apologized for the statement, and his speech was protected under the First Amendment, but University of New Mexico President William C. Gordon still nonetheless announced he would "vigorously pursue" disciplinary action. Although FIRE protested and the case drew national media attention, Berthold was found guilty of violating the standards of "professorial responsibility" and was banned from teaching freshman classes for a year, amongst other measures.» Read More
Red Light Policies
Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic advancement;
- submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions or academic decisions affecting such individual;
- such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment; or
- a supervisor fails to take corrective action when he or she knows, or reasonably should have known, that a subordinate employee is being subjected to sexual harassment.
2.1. Examples of Sexual Harassment
Examples of sexual harassment which shall not be tolerated include but are not limited to:
- suggestive or obscene letters, notes, invitations,
- derogatory comments, epithets, slurs or jokes,
- impeding or blocking movements, touching, or any physical interference with normal work,
- sexual oriented gestures, displaying sexually suggestive or derogatory objects, pictures, cartoons, or posters (the situation will be evaluated for appropriateness such as art displayed in museums versus centerfold in office setting),
- threats or insinuations that lack of sexual favors will result in reprisals, withholding support for appointments, promotions or transfers, change of assignments, or poor performance reviews.
Bias-related incidents involve behavior or conduct that is motivated primarily or in part by discrimination relating to age, color, ethnicity, gender, national origin, ability, race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, veteran status, or unique individual style. Bias-related incidents include, but are not limited to, non-threatening name calling and using degrading language or slurs directed toward a person because of his or her actual or perceived membership in a particular group.
The commitment to a respectful campus calls for promotion of an environment where the following are upheld:
- All individuals have important contributions to make toward the overall success of the university’s mission.
- UNM’s mission is best carried out in an atmosphere where individuals at all levels and in all units value each other and treat each other with respect.
- Individuals in positions of authority serve as role models in the promotion of a respectful campus. Promoting courtesy, civility, and respectful communication is consistent with the responsibility of leadership.
- Individuals at all levels are allowed to discuss issues of concern in an open and honest manner, without fear of reprisal or retaliation from individuals above or below them in the university’s hierarchy. At the same time, the right to address issues of concern does not grant individuals license to make untrue allegations, unduly inflammatory statements or unduly personal attacks, or to harass others, to violate confidentiality requirements, or engage in other conduct that violates the law or University policy.
- Bullying is unacceptable in all working, learning, and service interactions.
Actions that are destructive to a respectful campus will not be tolerated.
We define civility as being respectful in all your relationships by respecting the dignity, value and worth of all persons. You may not physically, verbally, mentally, psychologically or sexually abuse any member of our community, or participate in or condone any form of bigotry, harassment, intimidation or threat, whether verbal, written, physical or psychological, direct or implied. This standard applies equally to residents, staff and guests. Bullying activities are not allowed in or around the residence halls.
Physical or verbal behavior involves an expressed or implied threat to interfere with an individual’s personal safety, academic efforts, employment, or participation in University-sponsored extracurricular activities; causes the person to have a reasonable expectation that such harm is about to occur; includes threatening words that are spoken face-to-face as a personal insult to the listener(s) and personally abusive language inherently likely to provoke a violent reaction by the listener or listeners toward the speaker. This type of behavior is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.
5. Definition of Bullying
Bullying can occur when one individual or a group of individuals exhibits bullying behavior toward one or more individuals. Bullying is defined by the University as repeated mistreatment of an individual(s) by verbal abuse, threatening, intimidating, humiliating conduct or sabotage that creates or promotes an adverse and counterproductive environment, so as to interfere with or undermine legitimate University learning, teaching, and/or operations. Bullying is not about occasional differences of opinion, conflicts and problems in workplace relationships as these may be part of working life. Bullying can adversely affect dignity, health, and productivity and may be grounds for corrective disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. The University Counseling, Assistance, and Referral Services (CARS) Department and the University Ombuds/Dispute Resolution Services for Faculty and Staff can provide guidance for determining whether behavior meets the definition of bullying. Examples of behaviors that meet the definition of bullying above include, but are not limited to:
5.1. Physical Bullying
Physical bullying is pushing, shoving, kicking, poking, and/or tripping; assault or threat of physical assault; damage to a person’s work area or property; damage to or destruction of a person’s work product.
5.2. Verbal Bullying
Verbal bullying is repeated slandering, ridiculing, or maligning of a person or persons, addressing abusive and offensive remarks to a person or persons in a sustained or repeated manner; or shouting at others in public and/or in private where such conduct is so severe or pervasive as to cause or create a hostile or offensive educational or working environment or unreasonably interfere with the person’s work or school performance or participation.
5.3. Nonverbal Bullying
Nonverbal bullying can consist of directing threatening gestures toward a person or persons or invading personal space after being asked to move or step away.
5.4. Anonymous Bullying
Anonymous bullying can consist of withholding or disguising identity while treating a person in a malicious manner, sending insulting or threatening anonymous messages, placing objectionable objects among a person’s belongings, leaving degrading written or pictorial material about a person where others can see.
In addition to other standards listed in this policy, examples of misuse include, but are not limited to: … using computing services for unlawful purposes including fraudulent, threatening, defamatory, harassing, or obscene communications.
Because of size, safety, logistics, and other considerations, the following types of speech activities must be scheduled in advance: … Planned demonstrations on campus. A planned demonstration is a public manifestation of protest, condemnation, or approval; taking the form of a mass meeting, procession, picket, or similar activity which is organized and promoted more than a day before the event. Users must schedule such events with the Student Activities Center at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance. This does not apply to spontaneous demonstrations for which there is no prior promotion or organization or where events do not allow at least twenty-four (24) hours notice in advance. In such situations, as much prior notice as possible must be provided to the Student Activities Center.
As an institution that exists for the express purposes of education, research, and public service, the University is dependent upon the unfettered flow of ideas, not only in the classroom and the laboratory, but also in all University activities. As such, protecting freedom of expression is of central importance to the University. The exchange of diverse viewpoints may expose people to ideas some find offensive, even abhorrent. The way that ideas are expressed may cause discomfort to those who disagree with them. The appropriate response to such speech is speech expressing opposing ideas and continued dialogue, not curtailment of speech.
The University is committed to tolerate all peaceful speech activities carried out upon the campus unless those activities destroy or materially damage property, materially disrupt other legitimate University activities, or create a substantial health or safety hazard. This policy applies to all buildings, grounds, and property owned or controlled by the University.
Posting inside of campus buildings may be done with the prior approval of the office in charge of the area. At no time will posting be in violation of the Physical Plant Department Policy.
Flyers may be placed on the kiosks and are cleaned off once a month. Flyers may be posted at any outdoor area on campus consistent with the orderly conduct of University affairs, the maintenance of University property, and the free flow of traffic and persons. Efforts must be made to avoid litter. Any expense incurred by the University for clean-up will be charged to the persons or organizations responsible. Materials shall not be forced upon others; excessive hawking or shouting at persons is prohibited.
DO NOT post on light poles, bollards, trash cans, buildings or other permanent structures.
September 9, 2005
There is a chill on campus, but that’s nothing new. For decades, campus speech has been chilled by speech codes and other attempts to prevent expression that might offend. Some would like to imagine that the excesses of “political correctness” are ancient history, but repression in the name of tolerance hasn’t gone anywhere. Oppressive speech codes are not only still around—they have actually multiplied, even after numerous court decisions declared them unconstitutional. Within the past year, college students have been punished for such things as expressing a religious objection to homosexuality and arguing that corporal punishment may be acceptable. Students […]» Read More
November 24, 2004
Have you ever lived in an apartment building? Have you ever been annoyed that some people take the elevator when they are going up or down only one or two flights of stairs? The fact that some people would rather slow down the elevator for everyone else rather than take the stairs drives many people nuts. University of New Hampshire student Tim Garneau was annoyed by this problem in his dorm, so he made up a teasing flyer that read, verbatim: “9 out of 10 freshman girls gain 10-15 pounds. But there is something you can do about it. […]» Read More
November 16, 2004
DURHAM — The University of New Hampshire student booted from his dorm for posting fliers that made fun of freshman women gaining weight has moved back in to campus housing.Timothy Garneau, 20, moved in to a new dormitory Friday, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a non-profit group that aims to protect free speech at colleges.“We are relieved that UNH has discovered its obligation to the Bill of Rights and that (Garneau) is back indoors,” said David French, president of FIRE. “But the university should never have put a student on trial and evicted him for posting […]» Read More
July 15, 2013
It’s been more than two months since FIRE and the higher ed community were shocked by a letter issued jointly by the Departments of Education and Justice to the University of Montana. FIRE staff have blogged extensively about the Departments’ “blueprint” for campus sexual harassment in the last 10 weeks, but there are four crucial points that I believe bear special emphasis. 1. Overbroad and vague harassment rationales have been the primary justification and legal theory behind campus speech codes since the 1980s. In one sense, the attempt to stretch the definition of harassment beyond all recognition is nothing new. […]» Read More
September 11, 2007
Today, FIRE joins individuals across America and around the world in reflecting upon the tragic events of September 11, 2001. As university students and professors from Maine to California host commemorations today to remember those who suffered and died six years ago, we take a moment to look back at how those events played out on campus in the immediate aftermath of the attacks, and how their legacy continues to affect us today. In the wake of the tragedy, FIRE was called on to defend liberty on campus as many universities reacted to the cataclysmic circumstances with sometimes shocking […]» Read More