University of Southern Mississippi

Location: Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Website: http://www.usm.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 5th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

University of Southern Mississippi 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

  • Residence Life Handbook: Southern Miss Standard 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Policies Restricting Freedom of Conscience, Statement

    Choosing to
    join the Southern Miss community obligates each member to support
    these precepts ... A respect for language that is appropriate, never obscene, and
    neither demeans nor intimidates.

    » Read More

  • Residence Life Handbook: Community Living- Language Issues 13-14

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

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

    » Read More

  • Free Speech, Demonstration and Protest 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies, Statement

    The University has established a high visibility area on campus in order to facilitate robust debate and the free exchange of ideas. This "Speakers' Corner" on Weathersby Lawn, located south of the Walker Science Building, may be used by any person, including non-students and other campus guests. ... Demonstrations or protests sponsored by a student organization must be registered with the Office of Student Activities. If a student organization desires to demonstrate in areas other than the Speakers’ Corner ... the University requires the student organization to complete an event form through the Office of Student Activities at least ONE month in advance of the activity.

    » Read More


Yellow Light Policies
Green Light Policies
  • Acceptable Use Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies, Statement

    The following activities are strictly prohibited, without exception: ... Using a Southern Miss computing asset to actively engage in procuring or transmitting material in violation of sexual harassment or hostile workplace laws in the user's local jurisdiction. ... Sending email messages, including "junk mail/SPAM" or other advertising material, to individuals who did not specifically request such material (email spam). ... Any form of harassment via email, telephone, or paging; whether through language, frequency, or size of messages.

    » Read More

  • Faculty Handbook: Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    This policy applies to all faculty, staff, employees, students, and student-
    employees with respect to activities occurring on any University property and University-related
    activities occurring off-campus, including University programs outside the United States.

    » Read More

  • Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Assault, and Sexual Harassment Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    Sexual harassment is unwelcome, gender-based visual, graphic, electronic, verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, denies or limits an individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s work environment, educational programs and/or activities, and is based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation.

    » Read More


This school does not have any media coverage at this time.
  • Discipline of Southern Mississippi Band Members Raises Possible Free Speech Concerns

    March 21, 2012

    The Associated Press reports that the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) has taken disciplinary action against five members of the university’s pep band for chanting “Where’s your green card” at Kansas State University basketball player Angel Rodriguez while he shot free throws during a game against USM last week. The university confirmed in a statement issued yesterday that “[t]he students have had their pep band scholarships revoked, have been removed from the band, and will be required to complete a two-hour cultural sensitivity training course this week.” University sports teams and bands are not independent from the university in the […]

    » Read More
  • In Mississippi, ‘The Clarion-Ledger’ Reports on Dangers of State Colleges’ Speech Codes

    August 16, 2010

    In today’s edition of The Clarion-Ledger, the Jackson, Mississippi newspaper reports on speech codes maintained at public colleges statewide. Spurred by FIRE’s recent victory at nearby Hinds Community College, reporter Elizabeth Crisp writes: Students at Mississippi universities may have to watch what they say more than those in other states because of policies that free-speech advocates say are oppressive. At Ole Miss, someone could theoretically get in trouble for sending an e-mail about how much they “hate” rival Mississippi State. Jackson State students could be punished for unsolicited flirting. Speaking freely outside so-called “free-speech zones” on most of the campuses […]

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