Barnard College

Location: New York, New York
Type: Private
Federal Circuit: 2nd Circuit

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 here.

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

Red Light Policies

  • Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment of Barnard College

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: October 26, 2017

    Harassment is any conduct, verbal, nonverbal, or physical, on or off campus, that has the effect, because of its severity and/or persistence, of unreasonably interfering with an individual or group’s educational or work performance or that creates a hostile educational, work, or living environment on the basis of a protected classification. This may include harassment of an individual in connection with a stereotyped group characteristic, or because of that person’s identification with a particular group.

    Discriminatory harassment includes but is not limited to: epithets or slurs; negative stereotyping; denigrating jokes; and display or circulation in the working, learning, or living environment (including electronic transmission) of written or graphic material.

    Gender-Based Harassment includes acts of verbal, non-verbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on gender, gender identity, or gender-stereotyping.  Gender-based harassment can occur when an individual or group is harassed either for exhibiting stereotypical characteristics of a particular sex or failing to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity.

    Sexual Harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment may also consist of unwelcome physical contact, requests for sexual favors, visual displays of degrading sexual images, sexually suggestive conduct, or remarks of a sexual nature. Such communication or physical conduct constitute sexual harassment when: …

    3.      Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s performance on the job or in the classroom; or

    4.      Such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating or hostile work or study environment for an individual or group of individuals.

    » Read More

Yellow Light Policies
  • Columbia University Gender-Based Misconduct Policies for Students

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: October 26, 2017

    Gender-based harassment can occur if students are harassed either for exhibiting what is perceived as a stereotypical characteristic of their gender or for failing to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity, and that harassing conduct unreasonably interferes with another student’s education or participation in educational programs or activities, or creates an intimidating, hostile, demeaning, or offensive academic, campus, and/or living environment. …

    The following describes some conduct that may be gender-based harassment: • Acts of aggression, intimidation, stalking, or hostility based on gender or gender stereotyping; or • Threats or non-consensual disclosure of a person’s gender identity or that a person is transgender or non-binary (i.e. “outing”)

    The following describes some of the acts that may be sexual harassment:

    Displaying pictures, posters, calendars, graffiti, objects, promotional material, reading materials, or other materials that are sexually demeaning or pornographic in nature.


    » Read More

  • Barnard College Student Code of Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: October 26, 2017

    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: … Verbal abuse, intimidation, and/or coercion.

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  • Barnard College Posting Policy

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: October 26, 2017

    Profanity, vulgarity, or other offensive language not conducive to the educational environment may not be included on postings.  Postings that have inappropriate and/or derogatory information targeted to one specific member, or group of members, of the Barnard community will not be tolerated. The provided approved posting areas are intended for sharing information to benefit the campus community as a whole. Any personal messages or postings that violate Barnard’s Community Standards or Non-Discrimination Policy may be removed at the discretion of the professional staff.  Effort would be made to discuss such decision with the responsible party/organization, if identifying information is included on the posting.

    » Read More

Green Light Policies
  • 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 to delay final exams for students who claimed to be either too traumatized by or too busy protesting grand juries’ decisions not to indict in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases. The administrative response at Columbia didn’t end there, though. According to Schonfeld, university […]

    » 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.

    » Read More
  • 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 information on campus. Ironically, the policy actually writes the words out, which means that posting the policy on campus would actually constitute a violation of the policy.) Harsanyi laments the fact that the right to free speech has largely been absent from the discussion of […]

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  • 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: Jacksonville State University in Alabama. The student code of conduct at Jacksonville State provides that “No student shall threaten, offend, or degrade anyone on University owned or operated property.” Got that? You may not offend anyone on University property. Barnard College in New York City. […]

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  • 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 I guess that means that if you post the Posting Policy on campus, you have violated the Posting Policy. You can’t make this stuff up. This list of words—with the exception of “suck,” which I guess Barnard administrators just decided to throw in for good […]

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