Virginia State University

Location: Petersburg, Virginia
Website: http://www.vsu.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 4th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Virginia State University 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: Student Code of Conduct 13-14

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

    Students shall not injure, harass, threaten, offend, or degrade a member of the University community. … Verbal abuse, the use of obscene, profane, or derogatory language that abuses or defames another, is prohibited.

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  • Student Handbook: Student Code of Conduct 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies

    Students shall not abuse or misuse University computer equipment, materials, or systems or networks by: accessing, sending, or displaying offensive messages, pictures, or profane or abusive language; damaging computer equipment, networks or systems; violating copyright laws; using false and unauthorized identification or password, or trespassing into another student’s work; or using University equipment, supplies, systems or networks for any illegal activities as defined by Virginia statute or federal law.

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Yellow Light Policies
  • Community Living Guide: Bill of Rights 13-14

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

    All residents will be held accountable for violations of all rules and regulations of Virginia State University as provided in this Student Handbook and Community Living Guide. You have the Right to… An environment free from fear of intimidation, physical, and emotional harm, racial, or sexual harassment.

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  • Community Living Guide: General Governing Policies 13-14

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

    Profanity is prohibited at Virginia State University. This includes profanity directed at the Department professional or Para-professional staff. Such actions will result in expulsion from the hall.

    Violence in any form will not be tolerated. This includes verbal abuse, and hurtful language directed toward the Department’s professional and student staff. Any such acts will constitute disciplinary action by the Department of Residence Life, Office of Judicial Affairs and/or the Virginia State University Police Department.

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  • Student Handbook: Policy on the Prohibition of Sexual Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other conduct of a sexual nature, or
    action taken in retaliation for reporting such behavior, when: … such conduct has the purpose of effect of unreasonably interfering with a person’s work or academic performance or creating a hostile and offensive work or learning environment.

    Sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to, the following: 1. sexually suggestive conduct or remarks about clothing, body, or sexual activities directed personally at a member of the University community; 2. whistling in a suggestive manner directed personally at others in the University community; 3. sexual propositions, invitations, or other unwanted pressures for sexual contact ….

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  • Student Handbook: Conduct and Decorum 13-14

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

    It is expected that students … will refrain from the use of profane language.

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  • Student Handbook: Student Code of Conduct 13-14

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

    Students shall not engage in lewd, obscene conduct or expression on University property or in University-owned or -operated buildings.

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This school does not have any media coverage at this time.
  • Speech Codes of the Year: 2013

    December 26, 2013

    Each month, FIRE singles out a particularly reprehensible campus speech code for our Speech Code of the Month designation. While all of 2013’s Speech Codes of the Month flagrantly violated students’ or faculty members’ right to free expression, two of them were so egregious that they deserve special mention as 2013’s Speech Codes of the Year. Troy University Troy, a public university in Alabama, defines harassment (PDF) as “any comments or conduct consisting of words or actions that are unwelcome or offensive to a person in relation to sex, race, age, religion, national origin, color, marital status, pregnancy, or disability or veteran’s status.” This […]

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  • Speech Code of the Month: Virginia State University

    December 11, 2013

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for December 2013: Virginia State University. According to Virginia State’s Student Code of Conduct (PDF), “[s]tudents shall not injure, harass, threaten, offend, or degrade a member of the University community” (emphasis added). Any violation of this provision “is subject to disciplinary sanctions including, but not limited to warning, probation, loss of privileges, fines, restitution, residence hall suspension, residence hall expulsion, Virginia State University suspension, and Virginia State University expulsion.” So here we have a public university, legally bound by the First Amendment, threatening to expel students if they “offend” another student on campus. Do you support […]

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