University of Notre Dame

Location: Notre Dame, Indiana
Website: http://www.nd.edu
Type: Private
Federal Circuit: 7th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

University of Notre Dame 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

Yellow Light Policies
  • DuLac: Student Activities Policies- Demonstrations 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies

    All demonstrations must be registered in writing with the Associate Vice President for Campus Safety ….

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  • DuLac: Standards of Conduct 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    The following actions and behaviors are clearly inconsistent with the University’s expectations for membership in this community. * Abusive or harassing behavior, including unwelcome communication. * Actions which seemingly affect only the individual(s) involved but which may have a negative or disruptive impact on the University community and/or concern a student’s personal and academic growth. … * Willful damage to the reputation or psychological well-being of another.

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  • DuLac: Sexual Harassment Policy and Grievance Procedures 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    The determination of what constitutes sexual harassment will vary with the particular circumstances, but may be described generally as: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: … Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive University environment.

    Students who believe they are victims of sexual harassment by another student may have the option of proceeding informally or formally. The student may find informal resolution particularly appropriate if the conduct is isolated and of the following nature: sexual innuendo; display or distribution of drawings, pictures or other materials with a sexual content; sexual or “dirty” jokes; or comments with sexual content. Please note that the formal report process is available for harassment of any nature, and that these examples are not intended to discourage use of the formal report process.

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  • DuLac: Student Activities Policies- Advertising, Posters and Announcement of Activities 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Posting Policies

    All signs and posters placed on any University bulletin boards … must reflect good taste.

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Green Light Policies
  • Office of Institutional Equity: Discriminatory Harassment Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Harassment is any physical conduct that intentionally inflicts injury on the person or property of another, or any intentional threat of such conduct; any hostile, intentional, and persistent badgering, addressed directly at another, or group of others, that is intended to intimidate its victim(s) from any University activity; or any verbal attack, intended to provoke the victim to immediate physical retaliation.

    Conduct as described in A., above, constitutes discriminatory
    harassment, if, in addition, it is accompanied by intentionally
    demeaning expressions concerning the race, gender, religion,
    age, sexual orientation, national origin or disability of the
    victim(s).

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  • DuLac: University of Notre Dame Mission Statement 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    As a Catholic university one of its distinctive goals is to provide a forum where through free inquiry and open discussion the various lines of Catholic thought may intersect with all the forms of knowledge found in the arts, sciences, professions, and every other area of human scholarship and creativity.

    [T]he University insists upon academic freedom which makes open discussion and inquiry possible.

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  • DuLac: Student Activities Policies- Open Speaker Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    Notre Dame students and student organizations are free to examine
    and to discuss all questions of interest to them and to express
    opinions publicly and privately.

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  • Notre Dame To Student Group: Who Needs You?

    May 26, 2014

    By Robert Shibley at The Daily Caller In January, students at the University of Notre Dame formed a new organization called Students for Child-Oriented Policy (SCOP). On its Facebook page, SCOP identifies itself as “a group of undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Notre Dame who are focused on the debate about marriage taking place in Indiana.” On April 30, Notre Dame officially denied SCOP recognition as a campus club. Why? If you believe Notre Dame, it’s because the college felt the club was unnecessary. Notre Dame told SCOP that the group’s mission was too similar to those of two existing clubs, the Orestes Brownson Council and […]

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  • Accusation, suicide cast shadow over Fighting Irish’s return to glory

    January 7, 2013

    by Kristen Lombardi NBC News   Notre Dame’s high-profile re-emergence among college football’s elite has brought new attention and fresh scrutiny to a two-year-old case involving a Notre Dame player and allegations of sexual assault. In August 2010, 19-year-old freshman Lizzy Seeberg accused the athlete of sexually assaulting her in his dorm. She filed a report with campus police, which sat on it for two weeks before even interviewing him. By then, Seeberg had committed suicide. Administrators would later convene a closed-door campus disciplinary hearing — three months after Seeberg’s death became national news — in which the player was […]

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  • Accusation, suicide cast shadow over Fighting Irish’s return to glory

    January 7, 2013

    Notre Dame’s high-profile re-emergence among college football’s elite has brought new attention and fresh scrutiny to a two-year-old case involving a Notre Dame player and allegations of sexual assault. In August 2010, 19-year-old freshman Lizzy Seeberg accused the athlete of sexually assaulting her in his dorm. She filed a report with campus police, which sat on it for two weeks before even interviewing him. By then, Seeberg had committed suicide. Administrators would later convene a closed-door campus disciplinary hearing — three months after Seeberg’s death became national news — in which the player was found “not responsible.” In the university’s […]

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  • Colleges have free speech on the run

    November 30, 2012

     In 2007, Keith John Sampson, a middle-aged student working his way through Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis as a janitor, was declared guilty of racial harassment. Without granting Sampson a hearing, the university administration — acting as prosecutor, judge and jury — convicted him of “openly reading [a] book related to a historically and racially abhorrent subject.” “Openly.” “Related to.” Good grief. The book, “Notre Dame vs. the Klan,” celebrated the 1924 defeat of the Ku Klux Klan in a fight with Notre Dame students. But some of Sampson’s co-workers disliked the book’s cover, which featured a black-and-white photograph of a Klan […]

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  • After Denial, Group Opposing Same-Sex Marriage Approved at Notre Dame

    September 30, 2014

    NOTRE DAME, Ind., September 30, 2014—Months after being rejected on the grounds that it was considered “redundant,” the University of Notre Dame student group Students for Child-Oriented Policy (SCOP) has finally won official recognition. Notre Dame denied the group recognition earlier this year following student opposition to SCOP due to its stance against same-sex marriage. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) called on Notre Dame to abandon its dubious rationale for SCOP’s rejection. “We commend Notre Dame for finally getting things right and allowing SCOP its rightful place among Notre Dame’s recognized student organizations,” said Robert Shibley, FIRE’s […]

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  • FIRE Has Seen Notre Dame’s Redundancy Argument Before

    June 24, 2014

    In May, FIRE wrote to the University of Notre Dame in defense of Students for Child-Oriented Policy (SCOP). SCOP, a student group that generated controversy on campus because of its opposition to same-sex marriage, was denied official recognition by Notre Dame’s student-led Club Coordination Council (CCC) in April. The CCC claimed that SCOP “closely mirrors” the existing student groups Orestes Brownson Council (OBC) and Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), and is therefore redundant.

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  • Notre Dame Defends Rejection of ‘Redundant’ Student Group Amid Controversy

    June 19, 2014

    NOTRE DAME, Ind., June 19, 2014—The University of Notre Dame is standing by its decision to reject the prospective student organization Students for Child-Oriented Policy (SCOP), claiming the group would be “redundant” in light of other existing groups on campus. Notre Dame rejected the group following student opposition to SCOP due to its stance against same-sex marriage. FIRE has intervened on SCOP’s behalf. FIRE sent Notre Dame a letter on May 23 calling on the university to reverse its decision. Notre Dame responded on June 6 with a defense of SCOP’s rejection, citing the same questionable “redundancy” rationale. “It is […]

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  • Notre Dame Offers Weak Excuse for Denying Controversial Student Group Recognition

    May 28, 2014

    The University of Notre Dame is refusing to officially recognize the student group Students for Child-Oriented Policy (SCOP), which advocates for what it calls “child-oriented” policies—most notably, “traditional marriage”—in the state of Indiana. Notre Dame’s mission statement says that the university’s goals include providing a forum for “free inquiry and open discussion,” and that “the University insists upon academic freedom which makes open discussion and inquiry possible.”

    So what interest trumped this broad promise to its students? According to Notre Dame, SCOP too “closely mirrored” other student groups on campus.

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  • Notre Dame Students Embrace Opportunity for Dialogue in Coulter Visit

    April 11, 2014

    The University of Notre Dame’s College Republicans student group invited conservative commentator Ann Coulter to speak to students Thursday night, and Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College student newspaper The Observer relayed refreshingly pro-free-speech remarks from students about the event. Even students who strongly disagreed with Coulter’s viewpoints recognized not just the College Republicans’ right to invite her but also the benefits that can come with controversial speakers like Coulter.

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  • Universities on the Cusp of a Better Speech Code Rating, Part 3: Notre Dame

    September 5, 2013

    As FIRE wraps up our annual review of university speech codes for our upcoming speech code report, we are running a blog series about colleges and universities that are just one policy away from dropping their poor, “red light,” speech code ratings. If these universities revise their red light policies before our data collection period ends on September 30, they will earn an improved speech code rating in this year’s report. Today’s featured school is the University of Notre Dame. Notre Dame’s policy on Responsible Use of Information Technologies (PDF) provides (emphasis added): Never use University resources to post, view, […]

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  • Notre Dame Settles with OCR, Adopts Preponderance Standard, Restricts Free Speech

    July 6, 2011

    The University of Notre Dame has settled an investigation by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights into its sexual assault policies and procedures, The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. Predictably, the settlement involved Notre Dame agreeing to use the preponderance of the evidence standard in sexually related cases (FIRE explains its objections to this low standard of evidence here.) According to the OCR press release, the settlement “furthers the goals of OCR and the university to have in place procedures and practices that are designed to prevent a sexually hostile environment from occurring on campus.” FIRE has been worried that OCR’s failure to mention free […]

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  • The State of Free Speech on Campus: University of Notre Dame

    February 23, 2009

    Throughout the spring semester, FIRE is drawing special attention to the state of free speech at America’s top 25 national universities (as ranked by U.S. News & World Report). Today we review policies at the University of Notre Dame, which FIRE has given a red-light rating for its restrictions on free expression. As with all private schools, which are not legally bound by the First Amendment, we must start by explaining why students at Notre Dame are entitled to expect freedom of expression on campus. The answer can be found in Notre Dame’s own mission statement, which emphasizes the importance […]

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