University of North Carolina – Asheville

Location: Asheville, North Carolina
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 4th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

University of North Carolina – Asheville has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more here.

  • University of North Carolina System: State of the First Amendment

    January 10, 2006

    FIRE teamed up with the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy to release the Report on the State of the First Amendment in the University of North Carolina System. The Report notes that UNC System’s many speech codes and illiberal restrictions on religious groups would likely not survive a legal challenge. It also reveals that “13 out of the 16 schools in the UNC System have at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech.”

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Yellow Light Policies
  • Electronic Harassment, Threats, Stalking, and Similar Activities 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies

    A. Users may not use electronic communications to harass, stalk, or threaten others, or in similar ways create an atmosphere which unreasonably interferes with the education or employment experience.

    B. This would include, but not be limited to, posting, transmitting, or originating any unlawful, threatening, abusive, hostile, fraudulent or defamatory communication, or any communication where the message, or its transmission or distribution, would constitute or would encourage conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, or otherwise violate any local, state, national, or international law or violate other policies, rules and regulations of the University. Information that is defamatory is defined as provably false, unprivileged statements that do demonstrated injury to an individual’s or a business’s reputation.

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  • Outdoor Area and Exterior Space Use Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies

    Assemblies with an expected attendance of more than 25 people must be reported no less than 48 hours in advance to the University police.

    University groups may conduct activities and assemblies without prior approval at any exterior campus location provided the assembly/activity aligns with the requirements in section III above and the space is not required to be reserved.

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  • Resident Student Handbook: Community Creed 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Policies Restricting Freedom of Conscience

    The University of North Carolina at Asheville is a community of scholars dedicated to personal and academic excellence and growth. In joining this learning community, I commit to a code of civilized behavior.
    I will practice personal ethics and academic integrity
    I will honor the dignity of all persons
    I will respect the rights of others
    I will promote and practice inclusion and actively engage in learning about other cultures
    I will actively show concern for others, their feelings, and their need for conditions, which support their work and
    Allegiance to these ideals requires me to demonstrate behaviors that foster and support the freedom and respect of every individual in my community

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  • Sexual Harassment Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Environmental Sexual Harassment – Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute “environmental sexual harassment” when such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment which unreasonably interferes with another’s work, academic performance or privacy.  Environmental harassment can inflict emotional and psychological harm on individuals and can make relationships and the work or study environment unpleasant, threatening and unproductive.  However, there is no requirement that evidence of actual emotional or physiological harm be shown in order for environmental sexual harassment to be found to have occurred.

    In determining whether alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment as defined in the policy, the record as a whole will be considered as well as the context in which the conduct occurred.  “Environmental sexual harassment” normally arises from a repeated or pervasive course of conduct, whereas “bargained-for sexual harassment” can be based on a single act.


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Green Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Student Code of Community Standards- Preamble 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    The University embraces and strives to uphold the freedoms of expression and speech guaranteed by The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the North Carolina Constitution.

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  • Student Handbook: Student Code of Community Standards- Specific Student Community Standards 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Unlawful harassment includes conduct that creates a hostile environment by meeting the following criteria:
    It is:
    a. directed toward a particular person or persons:
    b. based upon the person’s race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender-identity, creed, disability or veteran status;
    c. unwelcome;
    d. severe or pervasive;
    e. objectively offensive;
    f. so unreasonably interferes with the target person’s employment, academic pursuits, or participation in University-sponsored activities as to effectively deny equal access to the University’s resources and opportunities

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This school does not have any media coverage at this time.
  • Nearly Three Years Later, Significant Improvement at North Carolina’s Public Universities

    September 22, 2008

    In January 2006, FIRE and the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy released a Report on the State of the First Amendment in the University of North Carolina System. The report took an in-depth look at the speech codes in force at each of the sixteen universities in the UNC System and made detailed recommendations for how those codes could be improved. At the time, 13 of the 16 schools in the system received a “red-light” rating from FIRE for maintaining policies that clearly and substantially restricted students’ right to freedom of speech. Happily, a number of the […]

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