University of South Alabama

Location: Mobile, Alabama
Website: http://www.southalabama.edu/
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 11th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

University of South Alabama 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.

This school does not have any cases at this time.

Red Light Policies

  • Student Handbook: Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    For purposes of university policy, sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, verbal or non-verbal conduct that is intimidating, demeaning, hostile or offensive with an inappropriate focus on sex, sexual history, individual gender-based characteristics, or sexual orientation….

    Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

    • Sexually degrading words or gestures used to describe an individual;
    • Unnecessary touching, patting, pinching, or brushing of another’s body or clothing;
    • Repeated offensive sexual flirtation, leering, or ogling;
    • Stalking, telephone (including texting), or computer harassment (including use of social media);
    • Display of sexually demeaning objects, pictures, or cartoons in hallways, outdoor areas, offices, and rooms publicly accessible to members of the University community;
    • Direct or implied threats or insinuations that an individual’s refusal to submit to sexual advances will affect adversely the individual’s status, evaluation, wages, advancement, duties, or career development.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Policies- Student Code of Conduct 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    The term “discriminatory harassment” refers to intentional behavior, including but not limited to written, electronic, verbal, or physical acts that denigrate or show hostility toward an individual on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, veteran status, genetic information, or disability.

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  • Student Handbook: Policies- Student Code of Conduct 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    The term “sexual harassment” includes, but is not limited to, verbal or non-verbal conduct that is intimidating, demeaning, hostile, or offensive with an inappropriate focus on sex, sexual history, individual gender-based characteristics, or sexual orientation; unwelcomed verbal or physical advances; unwelcomed verbal or physical advances; attempts to subject a person to unwanted sexual attention or to coerce a person into sexual relations; and/or retaliation for a refusal to comply with sexual demands. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Housing and Residence Life Policies and Procedures- Communication 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility

    Freedom of speech does not absolve a student of the responsibility to respect other individuals. Therefore, disruptive profanity, hate speech, or verbal intimidation will not be tolerated and will be subject to disciplinary action. All residents will be expected to maintain a sense of civility towards each other and the staff.

    » Read More


Yellow Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Policies- Solicitation Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies

    University of South Alabama student organizations, departments or other affiliates of the university are permitted to engage in solicitation activities such as fundraisers, information distribution and organizational promotion on campus. Such events require advanced registration with the designated facility representative. … Solicitation privileges may be revoked for violation of rules and/or regulations, or for conduct which may be characterized as offensive or harassing.

    USA reserves the right to require that speakers, scheduled and unscheduled, sponsored and unsponsored,
    use the areas around the Student Center in order to avoid disruption of the normal function of the
    University and to assure the fl ow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Demonstrations, speeches, and debates will be held around the Student Center unless the Vice President for Student Affairs is able to coordinate another appropriate campus location no less than three working days prior to the event. Authorization for any speech or demonstration beyond the Student Center will require identification of the individual or organization involved and agreement to abide by these regulations, which will not be unreasonably withheld.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Policies- Student Code of Conduct 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    The term “harassment” means pervasive or severe, unwanted and annoying actions of one party or a group
    against another. It is also defined as using abusive language, including electronic communication, tending
    to incite an immediate breach of the peace to any person, persistent following or stalking of a person, or
    engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts that harm or seriously annoy another person. The University uses the reasonable person standard to determine when acts are defined as annoying, alarming, or harassing in nature.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Policies- Student Code of Conduct 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility

    “Disorderly conduct” occurs when an individual acts with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, when he: … In a public place uses abusive or obscene language or makes an obscene gesture.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Policies- Posting Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Posting Policies

    All posters must bear the stamped approval of the Student Center Office except in those areas designated as space for a specific organization or department. … Only material which does not conflict with the educational mission of the University shall be approved.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Policies- Student Computer Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies

    Activity that violates state or federal law. This may include viewing, downloading, posting, printing or sending pornography, or other sexually explicit, profane, obscene, hostile, or blatantly offensive and intimidating material, including hate speech, threats, harassing communications (as defined by law), or information that violates any state or federal laws.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: USA Spirit 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Policies Restricting Freedom of Conscience

    Becoming a member of the University of South Alabama’s community necessitates that the spirit of a truly civilized community be fully embraced. As a member of the University community: …

    I will respect the spirit of equality which upholds the dignity of all persons. … a commitment to this ideal means I will not compromise or demean the dignity of individuals or groups, including hazing, intimidation, teasing, baiting, insulting, harassing, and discrimination. Instead, I will uphold the worth of all individuals.

    I will uphold the spirit of diversity which celebrates differences and discourages bigotry. … a commitment to this ideal affirms support for equal rights regardless of  age, sex, race, religion, disability, ethnic heritage, socio-economic status, political, social or other affiliation.

    I will practice the spirit of stewardship which seeks to conserve the earth’s resources and to properly use all resources at my disposal. … a commitment to this ideal means I will conserve the campus environment
    and will use the resources provided me wisely, not wasting where I can conserve, not expecting others to pick or clean up. …

    When one embraces the Spirit of South Alabama by joining the community, it behooves that person to exemplify and encourage behavior which promotes integrity, equality, privacy, diversity, service, stewardship, and involvement.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Housing and Residence Life Policies- Room Decorating 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Posting Policies, Statement

    Students may be asked to remove materials that appear to be offensive to others.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Housing and Residence Life Policies and Procedures- Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Harassment is defined as annoying or attempting or threatening physical harm or causing apprehension
    of harm to another person, using abusive language, including electronic communication, tending to incite an
    immediate breach of the peace to any person, persistent following or stalking of a person, or engaging in a
    course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts that alarm or seriously annoy another person.

    » Read More


Green Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Policies- Student Code of Conduct 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    The University of South Alabama is a community of scholars in which the ideals of freedom of inquiry,
    freedom of thought, freedom of expression, and freedom of the individual are sustained. The University is
    committed to supporting the exercise of any right guaranteed to individuals by the Constitution and the Code of
    Alabama and to educating students relative to their responsibilities.

    » Read More


  • Troy art student sues after nude photos banned

    November 1, 2005

    An art student sued Troy University on Monday, saying the school violated his free speech rights by censoring his artwork and implementing a campus speech code that unconstitutionally restricts speech. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Montgomery, contends Troy officials removed portions of Blake Dews’ artwork because it featured female nudity. The university issued a statement defending its decision on Dews’ art. ”The photographs in question displayed male full frontal nudity and the university did not consider the photographs to be consistent with our community ‘s standards,” the statement said. ”This is a matter now under litigation and […]

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  • U. of South Alabama Pro-Life Group Alleges First, Fourteenth Amendment Violations

    August 29, 2014

    The University of South Alabama (USA) student group Students for Life USA filed suit against the university in federal court in April, alleging that by restricting the group’s speech to a tiny “speech zone” on campus, the university violated members’ First Amendment right to freedom of expression, as well as their Fourteenth Amendment rights to due process and equal protection. Earlier this month, USA revised a solicitation policy at issue in the lawsuit, but according to Students for Life USA and the group’s counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the second policy identified in the suit still infringes on student rights. ADF filed an amended complaint (PDF) this week, which includes requests to enjoin enforcement of both policies and to provide nominal damages and attorneys’ fees.

    » Read More