Speech Code: The Pomona College student body believes that free speech is critical to Pomona’s mission as an educational institution, and therefore, the norm is that speech and other forms of expression are protected. However, in the following cases, speech and other forms of expression are unprotected and a violation of the Student Code:
- Speech that constitutes harassment, as defined by the College’s Non-Discrimination Policy.
- Speech that constitutes fighting words. To constitute fighting words, the speech must meet all of the following three criteria. First, the speech must be addressed at a specific individual or particular group of individuals. Second, the speech must be abusive rather than a communication of ideas. Third, when considered objectively, the speech must be likely to provoke a violent reaction.
- Speech that incites imminent lawless action. To constitute incitement of imminent lawless action, the speech must meet all of the following three criteria. First, the speech must advocate for, or attempt to cause, lawless action in the near future. Lawless action includes, but is not limited to, violence or the destruction of property. Second, when considered objectively, the speech, in context, must be likely to produce such lawless action. Third, the speaker must intend to cause such lawless action.
- Speech that constitutes a true threat. To constitute a true threat, the speech must communicate a serious intent to harm a specific person or a particular group of persons. While the speaker does not necessarily have to intend to carry out the threat, the threat must be serious enough to cause an individual to fear for their physical safety in order to qualify as a true threat.