Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Federal Circuit: 10th Circuit
University of Utah has been given the speech code rating Green. Green light institutions are those colleges and universities whose policies nominally protect free speech. Read more here.
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
Physical or verbal assault, sexual harassment, hazing, threats, intimidation, coercion or any other behavior which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any member of the University community or any other person while on University premises, at University activities, or on premises over which the University has supervisory responsibility pursuant to state statute or local ordinance.
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
Sexual harassment includes verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s employment or educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for that individual’s employment, education, living environment, or participation in a university activity.
Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
Demonstrations and picketing on campus are legitimate means of expression. Anyone who wishes to engage in demonstrations and picketing shall be permitted to do so freely, as long as their conduct is not violent and does not unduly disrupt the functioning of the University or interfere with the rights of other members of the University community or damage University or private property. … Time, Place and Manner Restrictions: 1. Picketing or demonstrating must be orderly at all times and must not jeopardize public order or safety.
2. Picketing or demonstrating must not interfere with the entrances to buildings or the normal flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
3. Picketing or demonstrating must not interfere with organized meetings or other assemblies in such a way as to invade the rights of others to assemble and the rights of speakers to free expression.
4. Picketing or demonstrating must not interfere with classes and teaching, the use of offices or research facilities, the privacy of University housing, or the special needs of the hospital, Health Service, and other University activities related to teaching or research.
1. The University shall provide reasonably appropriate facilities in the area of the Union Plaza and adjoining lawns on the southwest side of the Union Building (bounded by the University Bookstore and Orson Spencer Hall) to enable speakers to address those wishing to listen. These facilities shall be available to any person, but members of the University community and their organizations shall have preference in the use of the facilities. Use of the facilities may be reserved through the Office of the Dean of Students or the Dean’s designate for up to two hours for purposes of speaking. Members of the University community or their organizations reserving use of the facilities shall have preference in its use in the order of their application and over those seeking to use the facilities without reservation. Persons using the facilities may make use of tables and other temporary means for displaying or distributing information while the person or organization representing them is making use of the facilities. The tables or other temporary means for displaying or distributing information shall be removed upon the expiration of the time during which the facilities are being used by the person or organization. 2. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as limiting the right of free speech elsewhere on the campus as provided by these regulations. The Office of the Dean of Students shall provide general notice of the existence of free speech facilities provided for in this section and the procedures for reserving use of the facilities.
Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
Students have certain rights as members of the University community in addition to those constitutional and statutory rights and privileges inherent from the State of Utah and the United States of America. Nothing in this document shall be construed so as to limit or abridge students’ constitutional rights. … Students have a right to examine and communicate ideas by any lawful means. Students will not be subject to academic or behavioral sanctions because of their constitutionally protected exercise of freedom of association, assembly, expression and the press.
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
[S]exual harassment is defined 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 employment or educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for that individual’s employment, education, living environment, or participation in a university activity.
The free and open discussion of issues or theories relating to sexuality or gender in an academic or professional setting, when appropriate to subject matter, will be presumed not to constitute sexual harassment even if it offends or embarrasses an individual unless other factors are involved. Such factors include targeting the discussion to an individual or carrying out the discussion in terms that are both patently unnecessary and gratuitously offensive.
Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
The following activity is prohibited: … Harass or intimidate others in violation of law or University of Utah policy; Violate laws or University of Utah policy prohibiting sexual harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or veteran status ….
December 20, 2012
by Bob Unruh at WND More than six of 10 colleges and universities across the United States have yet to figure out the First Amendment, because their “speech codes” conflict with the Constitution, according to a new report from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. “FIRE surveyed 409 schools for this report and found that over 62 percent maintain severely restrictive, ‘red-light’ speech codes – policies that clearly and substantially prohibit protected speech,” said the executive summary. “That this figure is so large is deeply troubling, but there is good news: for the fifth year in a row, the percentage of schools maintaining […]» Read More
May 9, 2010
A prank literally spelled out in the University of Utah student newspaper has prompted administrators to put a hold on nine students’ transcripts. The seniors wrote goodbye columns for The Daily Utah Chronicle’s April 28 edition. The first letter of each column is in larger type; together, they spell out two words referring to genitalia. Editor Rachel Hanson, one of the nine seniors, said she’s concerned the administration’s response could violate freedom of the press. “It was childish and stupid, but it’s not a cause for institutional notice,” said Jim Fisher, an associate professor of communication and the paper’s faculty […]» Read More
May 6, 2010
As a parting gift to the University of Utah, graduating senior writers at the student newspaper decided to leave with a vulgar word, or two. The starting letters of each of the nine veteran reporters’ and staff members’ editorials, including one written by editor-in-chief Rachel Hanson, spelled out coarse words for male and female reproductive organs in their final printed edition, which hit stands April 28. Since then, the stunt has gone viral, earning more than 8,400 votes on failblog.org. It has been shared on Facebook and Twitter at least 3,000 times. “It wasn’t meant to be obscene or pornographic,” […]» Read More
May 6, 2010
Administrators place hold on students’ transcripts following gag by Brian Maffly The Salt Lake Tribune The University of Utah student newspaper has a 12-year tradition of hiding vulgar or racy phrases in copy of the year’s final edition, but this time it appears the pranksters did a poor job of concealing the offensive language. Virtually emblazoned across the tops of two editorial pages in the Daily Utah Chronicle ‘s April 28 edition are references to male and female body parts, prompting U. administrators to place holds on the transcripts of the nine columnists, all seniors hoping to graduate today. […]» Read More
February 29, 2008
by Vincent Carroll Rocky Mountain News Why can’t universities debate the limits of acceptable speech without someone urging legal limits, too? It happened again this week during protests over publication of an offensive column on Asians in the University of Colorado’s Campus Press. Student government leaders presented Boulder campus Chancellor Bud Peterson with five issues they’d like him to examine – one of which was as outrageous as the column itself. They want the commentary evaluated in light of federal anti-discrimination laws. “Yes, there’s the editor, officer, crouching behind the desk! Cuff her!” With thinking like that in vogue, […]» Read More
September 30, 2011
I hate a bunch of things, such as brussels sprouts. I also hate certain actions, like murder. And while I respect the fundamental humanity of all persons, I have to admit that I also feel hatred for specific people who have done very bad things, like commit genocide in cold blood. The First Amendment leaves me free to hate all kinds of things and all kinds of people, for any reason or for no reason, and to tell others about it. I can even go up to someone and tell them I hate them, so long as I don’t say […]» Read More