Athens State University

Location: Athens, Alabama
Website: http://www.athens.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 11th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Athens State University has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more here.

At present, FIRE has not been involved in any cases at this school.
Yellow Light Policies
  • Harassment and Discrimination Policy and Procedure

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: December 16, 2016

    Harassment is conduct that is (1) unwelcome; (2) discriminatory on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, sex, pregnancy, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, veteran status, or any other status protected by state or federal law; and (3) directed at a specific individual or individuals. Harassment violates University policy when it is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent that it denies or limits, or is likely to deny or limit, a reasonable person’s ability to participate in or benefit from University programs, services, opportunities, or activities. Harassment can include but is not limited to verbal or non-verbal communication, written or graphic communication, electronic communication, and/or physical conduct. Examples of prohibited harassment may include, but are not limited to physical harassment, such as touching, pinching, grabbing, or brushing against another person without their consent; and (b) severe, pervasive, or persistent insults, jokes or derisive comments relating to a person’s protected characteristic.

    » Read More

  • Student Organization Handbook: Regulations for Posting and Distributing Organization Materials

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: December 16, 2016

    All materials to be posted or distributed must be reviewed for University Policy compliance by the Office of Student Activities. Reviewed materials will be expiration date stamped and posted/distributed in approved campus locations.

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  • Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: December 16, 2016

    Harassment is conduct that is (1) unwelcome; (2) discriminatory on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, sex, pregnancy, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, veteran status, or any other status protected by state or federal law; and (3) directed at a specific individual or individuals. Harassment violates University policy when it is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent that it denies or limits, or is likely to deny or limit, a reasonable person’s ability to participate in or benefit from University programs, services, opportunities, or activities.
    Harassment can include but is not limited to verbal or non-verbal communication, written or graphic communication, electronic communication, and/or physical conduct. Examples of prohibited harassment may include, but are not limited to physical harassment, such as touching, pinching, grabbing, or brushing against another person without their consent; and (b) severe, pervasive, or persistent insults, jokes or derisive comments relating to a person’s protected characteristic.

    Sexual Harassment is harassment (as defined above) of a sexual nature. It can include verbal or nonverbal communication or physical conduct. It is prohibited by this policy when it is sufficiently severe, pervasive or persistent that it denies or limits or is likely to deny or limit a reasonable person’s ability to participate in or benefit from University programs, services, opportunities or activities. Examples of prohibited sexual harassment include, but are not limited to (a) repeated sexual solicitations toward a person who has indicated they are unwelcome; (b) conditioning favorable treatment in connection with any University program upon sexual favors; (c) threats of a sexual nature that do not rise to the level of sexual assault or domestic violence; and (d) severe, pervasive, or persistent insults or derisive comments related to sex, gender, or sexual orientation directed at a specific individual.

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Green Light Policies
  • Computer Technology Acceptable Use Policy

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: December 16, 2016

    Unacceptable uses include, but are not limited to, the following:

    Creating, displaying, transmitting or making accessible threatening, defamatory, libelous, discriminatory, obscene, or harassing language and/or material.

    » Read More


  • Alert Lets Colleges Know Of Need For Change In Speech Policies

    March 20, 2015

    By Bob Kellogg at OneNewsNow Unconstitutional speech policies at a couple of southern universities are being tagged with “red light” ratings from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. Azhar Majeed of FIRE says the prohibitive policy at Athens State University in Alabama prevents students from transmitting anything online deemed to be “threatening,” “sexist,” “offensive,” or even “annoying.” “And so these are very broad terms,” Majeed says. “These are broad regulations and they cut out and make punishable a great deal of student speech that’s protected by the First Amendment.” As a result of the letter sent by FIRE, Majeed […]

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  • Alabama, Mississippi Colleges Cited For Free Speech Infringement Policies

    March 6, 2015

    By Johnny Kampis at MississippiWatchdog.org CULLMAN, Ala. — At Athens State University in Alabama, students can’t transmit online anything deemed “threatening,” annoying” or “offensive.” At the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, student organizations must register with the Office of Student Activities a month in advance before conducting protests or demonstrations. These policies earned those schools a “red light” rating this year from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which issues an annual report examining free speech on the nation’s college campuses. Seventy percent of colleges and universities in Alabama and Mississippi examined by the Philadelphia-based FIRE received red light ratings — 10 […]

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  • Unfree Speech on Campus

    December 12, 2014

    at The Wall Street Journal Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky famously postulated that the test of a free society is the ability to express opinions in the town square without fear of reprisal. Most American colleges wouldn’t pass that test, according to a new report by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (Fire). The foundation reports that 55% of the 437 colleges it surveyed this year maintain “severely restrictive” policies that “clearly and substantially prohibit protected speech.” They include 61 private schools and 180 public colleges. Incredibly, this represents progress from Fire’s survey seven years ago when 75% of colleges maintained restrictive […]

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  • FIRE Report Finds Very Restrictive Speech Codes at American Universities

    January 21, 2014

    by Alec Torres The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) released its annual report on college-campus speech codes last week finding that while the percentage of colleges that seriously infringe upon students’ free-speech rights has diminished in recent years, many universities still burden students with overbearing and sometimes ridiculous speech regulations. Here’s a look at some of the most egregious speech codes that FIRE found: The University of Connecticut requires that “every member of the University shall refrain from actions that intimidate, humiliate, or demean persons or groups, or that undermine their security or self-esteem.” At Athens State University in Alabama, […]

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At present, FIRE does not maintain information on this school's policies.