Adams State University

Location: Alamosa, Colorado
Website: http://www.adams.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 10th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Adams 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.

At present, FIRE has not been involved in any cases at this school.

Red Light Policies

  • Student Handbook: Sexual Harassment Policy

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: June 1, 2016

    Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal and nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. The harasser could be a member of the faculty, staff, someone outside the campus community or a fellow student.

    Sexual harassment can take many forms ranging from repeated and unwanted comments intended to stigmatize another on the basis of one’s sex, to subtle pressure for sexual activity to unwelcome physical conduct such as unwanted touching of another’s body to sexual violence.

    Other examples of sexual harassment include (but are NOT limited to):

    • Graphic comments about a person’s body
    • Sexually explicit pictures or suggestive objects placed in a living or work space (that a reasonable person would find offensive)
    • Unwanted propositions of a sexual nature, or demands for sexual favors
    • Stalking
    • Unwanted telephone calls or e-mails with sexually explicit content
    • Unwanted sexual contact

    » Read More


Yellow Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Declaration of Tolerance

    Speech Code Category: Policies Restricting Freedom of Conscience
    Last updated: June 1, 2016

    Tolerance is a personal decision that comes from a belief that every person is unique. To help make the College a better place for all, I pledge to have respect for people whose abilities, beliefs, culture, race, sexual identity or other characteristics are different from my own. To fulfill this pledge, I will:

    • Examine my own biases and work to overcome them,
    • Set a positive example for my family and friends,
    • Work for tolerance in my own community, and
    • Speak out against hate and injustice.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Peaceful Assembly

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: June 1, 2016

    Students planning a demonstration are required by the College to give advance notice and register the event in the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs. Staff in the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs can frequently assist in arranging a suitable place for the demonstration. ASC retains the right of determining a reasonable time, place and manner for all on campus events.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: ASU Affirmations

    Speech Code Category: Policies Restricting Freedom of Conscience
    Last updated: June 1, 2016

    As a student at ASU, you are joining a community of learners and scholars. Choosing to join this community involved a conscious commitment to uphold this community’s values and expectations. These standards ensure that all members of our community have an optimal environment in which to teach, to learn and to benefit from the ASU experience. … I will relate to others with civility and respect.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Code of Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: June 1, 2016

    All Students Are Required To: … Refrain from abusive conduct, including physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, stalking, coercion, and/or other conduct which threatens or endangers the physical or psychological health, safety, or welfare of one’s self, another individual or a group of individuals.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Code of Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: June 1, 2016

    Proscribed conduct includes but is not limited to directing obscene or sexually offensive utterances, gestures or displays at another …taking or posting of text messages/photographs/images of a sexual nature except in an approved academic context ….

    » Read More

  • Residence Life Handbook: Decorations

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: June 1, 2016

    Should window decorations be considered inappropriate, the resident will be requested to remove them. Controversial or antagonistic materials might draw personal confrontations from others within the community who may be offended by the content. The placing of inappropriate or offensive material including, but not limited to, nudity or extremely violent items on the outside of a room door may result in immediate removal. Community standards are stated as decorations or displayed material one would find in the community of Alamosa.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Code of Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies
    Last updated: June 1, 2016

    All Students Are Required To: … Refrain from bullying of any type, including but not limited to, physical bullying or cyber bullying.

    » Read More


Green Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Electronic Communications Policy

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: June 1, 2016

    College electronic communications facilities shall not be used to: … Threaten, intimidate, harass, or defame others in violation of College policies or state and federal laws.

    » Read More


  • Public University Perplexed by March Against President for Calling Professor a Terrorist

    August 25, 2016

    By Stephen Bates at The College Fix Critics of the Adams State University administration are planning to march to the president’s office today at noon to register their grievances about its treatment of Danny Ledonne, a former professor it banned from campus last year… Read more here.

    » Read More
  • Public University Pays Critical Professor $100,000 for Calling Him a Terrorist

    July 28, 2016

    By Greg Piper at The College Fix There are better ways to deal with grumpy professors than accusing them of ‘terrorism.’… Read more here.

    » Read More
  • University Threatens Former Professor for Showing up at President’s Meetings

    October 27, 2015

    By Greg Piper at The College Fix  Cats and dogs, Trump and Jeb!, academics and administrators: They don’t really get along. Colorado’s Adams State University has joinedChicago State University in taking legal actionto keep faculty from saying critical things about the administration. ASU President Beverlee McClure sent the chief of campus police to the home of Danny Ledonne, a filmmaker and onetime ASU film instructor, to hand-deliver a letter warning him he’d be arrested for trespassing if he stepped foot on campus, Denver alt-weekly Westwordreports. In the small college town of Alamosa, this was tantamount to Ledonne’s exclusion from public life, […]

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  • Professor Gets Settlement in Lawsuit After Banishment For Critical Blogs

    July 26, 2016

    Adams State University will settle a federal lawsuit brought by a former ASU professor who says the school violated his free speech and due process rights when it banned him from campus over blog posts criticizing the university’s pay practices. The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado announced in a press release yesterday that ASU agreed to rescind the “No Trespass Order” it enacted against Danny Ledonne and will pay $100,000 to settle the lawsuit the ACLU of Colorado brought on Ledonne’s behalf in February. Ledonne was banned from campus in October 2015, two days after he began blogging critically […]

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  • Barred from Adams State, Former Faculty Member Sues over an Utter Lack of Due Process

    February 13, 2016

    Last November, FIRE criticized Adams State University (ASU) in Colorado for its curious and sudden designation of “persona non grata” status to a former faculty member, Danny Ledonne, who taught at ASU from 2011 to 2015. He was not re-hired by ASU after Spring 2015, and in October, Ledonne launched the blog WatchingAdams.org, from which he criticized ASU’s wage and labor policies. ASU banned Ledonne from its campus just two days after the blog’s first entry, purporting to act pursuant to a policy that it had instituted only the day before, and apparently only to target Ledonne. In fact, the […]

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  • What Does It Take to Get Barred from Adams State University? Not Much

    November 3, 2015

    At Adams State University (ASU) in Colorado, a controversy has been brewing over the questionable use of a hastily-enacted persona non grata policy against former faculty member Danny Ledonne, whose only offense, as best we can tell, seems to have been establishing himself as a critic of certain ASU policies and practices. Here’s how the Denver-based weekly newspaper Westword described his efforts in an October 19 article: Ledonne worked part-time at ASU, teaching up to three courses a semester, from 2011 until 2014, then one year as a full-time visiting professor, with full benefits; his contract wasn’t renewed last spring. […]

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  • ‘Tenured’ Doesn’t Mean ‘Elitist’

    April 29, 2005

    In response to my post “Job Security = Academic Freedom?” David Mazel, an assistant professor of English at Adams State College, wrote in with the following comments about freedom of speech on campus: I’m a FIRE fan and an opponent of speech codes. I have defended students accused of harassment (for example, a student DJ here at Adams State College whose handle was “Pimp-Smackin’ McCracken” and whose fliers were taken down by campus housing authorities who found the word “pimp” inherently demeaning to women). I have worked with students and administrators here to develop a new campus “poster policy” that respects both the spirit of the First Amendment […]

    » Read More