Bowdoin College

Location: Brunswick, Maine
Type: Private
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Speech Code Rating

Bowdoin College 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

Campus Climate

Overall Ranking

out of 154 colleges surveyed Read more
27
  • Title IX: Policies- Definitions

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 6, 2021

    “Sexual Harassment” means unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. Where sexual harassment is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it substantially interferes with a student’s College employment, academic performance, participation in College programs or activities, or living, learning or working environment, the sexu... Read More
  • Code of Community Standards: College Policies- The Academic Honor Code and Social Code

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 6, 2021

    The following activities, occurring on or off College premises, constitute breaches of the Social Code: 1. Conduct that is unbecoming of a Bowdoin student, whether physical, verbal, or sexual in nature. Examples include, but are not limited to: lewd or indecent behavior (or sponsorship thereof); abuse or assault; th... Read More
  • Bias Incident Response Protocol

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: August 10, 2021

    Definition of and Communication about an Act of Bias An act of bias includes hate speech and/or threats (including those conveyed through graffiti), and unequal treatment or service. It may also include actions that reinforce stereotypes and stigmas, such as those associated with race, color, ethnicity, social class... Read More
  • Employee Freedom from Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct & Gender Based Violence Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 6, 2021

    In the context of students, sexual harassment includes unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that substantially interferes with the student’s college employment, participation in College programs or activities, or their living or learning environment. A single instance of unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature may cons... Read More
  • Faculty Handbook: Freedom of Speech and Political Activity

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: August 6, 2021

    Free speech is a constitutional right in a democratic society and a cornerstone of intellectual life at Bowdoin. Members of the college community are encouraged to express their views on all matters including controversial, political issues in the public domain. Preservation of freedom of speech is a primary task of... Read More
  • Code of Community Standards: The Academic Honor Code and Social Code

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: August 6, 2021

    Uncompromised intellectual inquiry lies at the heart of a liberal arts education. Read More
  • Code of Community Standards: The Bowdoin Learning Community

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: August 6, 2021

    Freedom of inquiry and expression: A learning community encourages free expression of widely varying views; it challenges assumptions and values. Read More
  • Bowdoin College Title IX Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 6, 2021

    For purposes of this Title IX Policy, “Sexual Harassment,” which is defined further below, means conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following: … unwelcome conduct that a reasonable person would consider so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive as to deny the victim equal access... 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 27
Ideological Diversity 132

Overall / out of a top score of 100

Overall Score 62.73
Openness 10.84
Tolerance (Liberals) 11.97
Tolerance (Conservatives) 7.21
Administrative Support 6.12
Comfort 16.59
Disruptive Conduct 9.99
Speech Code YELLOW
  • Bowdoin College: Professor Investigated Because Article Embarrasses the College

    February 26, 2009

    Economics professor Jonathan Goldstein was investigated after he distributed copies of a research paper that embarrassed the college in front of prospective students. Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd instigated an investigation “in the realm of harassment and hostile work environment, as well as for possible violation of other College policies.” Judd also suggested… Read more

  • Bowdoin College: When It Comes to Sombreros, Do As We Say, Not As We Do (Or We’ll Kick You Out of Your Dorm)

    March 7, 2016

    Bowdoin College—which only last year held an event offering sombreros for alumni to wear in photobooth pictures—is cracking down on students who attended a party last month where some attendees wore tiny sombreros. The event, a birthday party with a “tequila” theme, has provoked a backlash at Bowdoin, and attendees have been accused of “an… Read more

  • ‘NY Times’ on Lasting Impact of ‘CLS v. Martinez’

    June 10, 2014

    The New York Times’ Michael Paulson reviews the tension between student religious groups and college nondiscrimination policies in an article published today. I’m pleased to see front-page attention being paid to the fact that since the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, student religious groups are increasingly being forced off campus simply for requiring that group leaders actually share the group’s faith. As Paulson writes, student groups from Maine to California are being forced to either open their leadership ranks to students who don’t believe in the group’s tenets, or leave campus.

  • Rights in the News: FIRE on a Roll with Numerous Victories and Successful Videos

    April 24, 2009

    The past week at FIRE has been filled with victories for free speech on campus, and the media has responded. After FIRE’s victory for freedom of conscience at Virginia Tech, the St. Petersburg Times published a column by Bill Maxwell entitled "A diversity step too far." In it, Maxwell agrees with FIRE’s efforts to protect… Read more

  • Bowdoin Censures Professor Who Dared to Report Negatively on College

    April 23, 2009

    Earlier this month I reported on FIRE’s case at Bowdoin College, whose dean threw the book at an economics professor who dared to distribute a research paper that had conclusions that embarrassed the college. Had he not done so, his paper would not have been investigated at all, and the dean wouldn’t have gone through… Read more

  • Rights in the News: At Maryland, Virginia Tech, UMass and Elsewhere, FIRE Cases Grabbing Headlines

    April 10, 2009

    Another week, another crush of FIRE cases from around the country battling for headlines. I’ll start with Greg’s Huffington Post blog on the controversy swirling around the University of Maryland campus in the wake of a legislator’s threat to pull funding from the university if it allowed students to screen an adult film on campus—which,… Read more

  • Bowdoin College Throws the Book at Professor over Embarrassing Research Results

    April 10, 2009

    Doug Lederman at Inside Higher Ed reports today on FIRE’s case at Bowdoin College, where a professor and his research have been investigated after he distributed copies of a research paper that embarrassed the college in front of prospective students. Economics professor Jonathan Goldstein, who has been at Bowdoin for 29 years, was interested in… Read more