Barnard College

Location: New York, New York
Type: Private
Tell Barnard College to revise its speech policies by filling out this form.

Speech Code Rating

Barnard College 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

Campus Climate

Overall Ranking

out of 154 colleges surveyed Read more
  • Title IX & Equity: Barnard Policy Definitions

    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: February 26, 2021

    Discriminatory Harassment is harassment on the basis of a protected classification, including harassment of an individual in connection with a stereotyped group characteristic, or because of that person’s identification with a particular group.  Such harassment is any conduct, verbal, nonverbal, or physical, o... Read More
  • Grievance Procedures for Gender-Based Misconduct, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: February 26, 2021

    Potential instances of Gender-Based Misconduct … • Belittling remarks about a person’s body parts, gender, or sexual orientation based on gender-stereotyping • Inappropriate sexual innuendoes or humor, obscene gestures of a sexual or gender-based nature … • Offensive sexual graffiti, pictures, or p... Read More
  • Barnard College Student Code of Conduct

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: February 26, 2021

    Students are required to engage in responsible social conduct that reflects credit upon the College community and to model good citizenship in any community.  Any student found to have committed or to have attempted to commit the following misconduct is subject to the disciplinary process and sanctions: … Verb... Read More
  • Grievance Policy for Addressing Formal Complaints of Sexual Harassment Under the Title IX Regulations

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: February 26, 2021

    For the purposes of this Title IX Grievance Policy, “covered sexual harassment” includes any conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following: … Unwelcome conduct that a reasonable person would determine is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a pers... Read More
  • Title IX & Equity: Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment- Academic Freedom and Employment Responsibility

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: February 26, 2021

    Under the College’s Code of Academic Freedom and Tenure “all officers of instruction and all officers of administration while giving instruction are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subjects and . . . they are entitled to freedom in research and in the publication of its results.” Similarly, ... Read More

FIRE surveyed roughly 37,000 students at 154 colleges and universities about the climate for free speech at their institutions. In 2021, FIRE released rankings of those schools, based on a number of factors, including openness, tolerance, self-expression, administrative support for free speech, and campus policies, scoring overall speech climate on a scale from 0-100. See the full report on FIRE’s 2021 College Free Speech Rankings for more information.


Rankings / out of 154 colleges surveyed

Overall Ranking 133
Ideological Diversity 158

Overall / out of a top score of 100

Overall Score 54.97
Openness 11.41
Tolerance (Liberals) 12.55
Tolerance (Conservatives) 5.92
Administrative Support 6.09
Comfort 16.07
Disruptive Conduct 8.92
Speech Code RED
At present, FIRE has not been publicly involved in any cases at this school.
  • March 2021 Speech Code of the Month: Barnard College

    March 1, 2021

    Colleges usually earn a spot as FIRE’s Speech Code of the Month for maintaining a policy that is plainly restrictive of student expression on its face, but this month is a little different — we’re concerned about college policies we can’t even view.  Barnard College password-protects several of its speech codes, hiding them from prospective… Read more

  • Columbia Student Urges ‘Free-Speech Renewal’ in 2015

    December 31, 2014

    Columbia University junior Bryan Schonfeld has seen firsthand the unhealthy climate for speech on college campuses, and he describes some bewildering examples of students’ and administrators’ aversion to free expression in an article for the New York Daily News this week. Torch readers may recall that Columbia Law School was among the institutions that agreed… Read more

  • Shibley in ‘Forbes’ on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and Campus Free Speech

    March 18, 2014

    A handful of recent incidents at American colleges and universities illustrate a troubling pattern of students being censored or punished for participating in the debate over Israeli-Palestinian relations. Today in ‘Forbes,’ FIRE’s Robert Shibley writes about how the longstanding conflict is part of a threat to free expression here in the United States.

  • New York City Council Considers Speech Ban

    August 9, 2007

    David Harsanyi reports on The Huffington Post that the New York City Council “may be on the verge of banning the slur ‘bitch’” as well as “the slang word ‘ho.’” (The Council would no doubt receive moral support from Barnard College, which bans any of George Carlin’s seven dirty words from appearing on any posted… Read more

  • Speech Codes of the Year: 2006

    December 29, 2006

    As Torch readers know, each month FIRE singles out a particularly egregious speech code for our Speech Code of the Month award. While all twelve Speech Codes of the Month for 2006 were both tragic and laughable, I would like to highlight a few that deserve special mention as our Speech Codes of the Year:… Read more

  • Speech Code of the Month: Barnard College

    April 4, 2006

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for April 2006: Barnard College. This speech code deserves special recognition because it accomplishes the unique feat of violating itself. The Barnard College Posting Policy provides that “the following words cannot appear on any posted information at Barnard—shit, piss, suck, cunt, fuck, motherfucker, cocksucker and tits.” So… Read more