Location: Rochester, New York
Federal Circuit: 2nd Circuit
University of Rochester 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.
In making acceptable use of resources, individuals covered by this policy must not: … Use e-mail, social networking sites or tools, or messaging services in violation of laws or regulations or to harass or intimidate another person, for example, by broadcasting unsolicited messages, by repeatedly sending unwanted mail, or by using someone else’s name or userid.
Harassment is (1) any unwanted conduct (2) that is intended to cause or could reasonably be
expected to cause an individual or group to feel intimidated, demeaned, abused or fear or have
concern for their personal safety (3) because of their age, color, disability, ethnicity, marital status,
military status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or other status
protected by law or because of their perceived or actual affiliation or association with individuals or
groups identified by such characteristics and (4) that could reasonably be regarded as so severe,
persistent, or pervasive as to disrupt the living, learning, and/or working environment of the
individual or group. Harassment includes any behavior that is unlawful harassment under applicable
New York State and/or federal law.
Examples of harassment can include, but are not limited to, unwanted physical contact or threats of
physical contact, intimidation, stalking, degrading and derogatory words, graffiti, pictures, jokes,
epithets, statements or stereotyping activities as well as other forms of verbal, visual or written
messages of intimidation.
Depending on the circumstances, the following types of behavior may constitute Sexual Harassment:
* Unwanted comments about an individual’s body, clothing or lifestyle that have sexual implications or demean the individual’s sexuality or gender;
* Unwanted sexual flirtations, leering or ogling;
* Unwanted sexual advances and propositions;
* Unwanted display of sexually demeaning objects, pictures or cartoons in areas visible to other members of the University community;
* Threats or insinuations that an individual’s refusal or willingness to submit to sexual advances will affect the individual’s status, evaluation, grades, wages, advancement, duties or career development;
* Unwanted and intentional sexual touching, patting, pinching, or brushing another’s body or clothing;
* Stalking, telephone or computer harassment, dating violence, sexual assault or date rape.
Any complaints regarding web pages that contain obscene, racist, misleading, or offensive material will be referred to the Assistant Dean of Students Office. The user with these questionable web pages will be allowed to maintain them until a final decision is made by University Administration.
The freedom of all people in a community of learning to ask questions and to seek answers is essential and actively encouraged. Each person has the right to learn, teach, and work — to express themselves through their ideas and activities — without threat to his or her education or career progress or to that of others. Freedom of expression of ideas and action is not to be limited by acts of intimidation, political or ideological oppression, abuse of authority, or threat of physical harm and well being.
The success of the University of Rochester depends on an environment that fosters vigorous thought and intellectual creativity. It requires an atmosphere in which diverse ideas can be expressed and discussed. The University of Rochester seeks to provide a setting that respects the contributions of all the individuals composing its community, that encourages intellectual and personal development, and that promotes the free exchange of ideas.
Harassment consists of any unwanted conduct that is intended to cause, or could reasonably be expected to cause, an individual or group to feel intimidated, demeaned or abused, or to fear or have concern for their personal safety—where this conduct could reasonably be regarded as so severe, persistent, or pervasive as to disrupt the living, learning, and/or working environment of the individual or group.
March 10, 2012
By now, most are familiar with the national tempest over conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh’s comments about Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, and her testimony to Congress about whether Georgetown and other Catholic universities should have to cover birth control through their insurance policies. Predictably, the controversy has spilled over to a university campus. But the campus is the University of Rochester, and the issue is not contraception, but campus policing of speech. UR economics professor Steven Landsburg addressed the arguments of Limbaugh and Fluke on his blog, The Big Questions, with three entries. In the first blog entry, “Rush to […]» Read More
April 12, 2013
Last week, I told you about the kerfuffle happening at the University of Rochester, where a professor, Steven Landsburg, has come under fire for hypothetical situations involving rape that he presented in a personal blog post. I praised university administrators for resisting the all-too-common urge to censor or punish the professor’s controversial expression, particularly since it has received such negative attention from the public. However, it seems the drama isn’t over. According to The Huffington Post, more than 30 students protested outside Professor Landsburg’s class on Monday. While FIRE certainly recognizes the students’ right to protest ideas that they don’t […]» Read More
April 4, 2013
It’s not often enough that FIRE gets to relay a good example of speech on campus, but today I’m happy to bring you not one but two schools that are fostering proper respect for values of free speech and liberty more generally on their campuses The first comes from the University of Rochester, where economics professor Steven Landsburg posed a controversial question on his personal blog, The Big Questions, concerning whether or not harm is done to rape victims if they are not physically damaged by their assault. As you might expect, Landsburg’s question stirred up news media from Gawker […]» Read More
March 12, 2012
In his most recent PJ Media article, FIRE’s Robert Shibley reported on the campus fallout from the recent kerfuffle about radio commentator Rush Limbaugh’s comments about Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke. University of Rochester (UR) economics professor Steven Landsburg took to his blog to partially defend Limbaugh’s comments and discuss the economic issues behind the demand that Catholic universities cover birth control in their insurance policies, leading Joel Seligman, UR’s president, to release a statement condemning Landsburg’s comments. Robert points out that while Seligman had the right to disagree with Landsburg’s posts (but not punish him for them), doing so […]» Read More