California State University – Sacramento

Location: Sacramento, California
Website: http://www.csus.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 9th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

California State University – Sacramento 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.

Red Light Policies

  • Guide to Residential Life Handbook: Harassment, Intimidation, Bullying, Verbal Abuse

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 18, 2015

    Harassment, intimidation, bullying and verbal abuse can take many forms including but not limited to: slurs, rumors, jokes, innuendos, demeaning, vulgar and abusive comments, drawing cartoons, pranks, gestures, physical attacks, threats, or other written, oral, or physical actions. This policy is not intended to prohibit expression of religious, philosophical, or political views, provided that such expression does not substantially disrupt the community or educational environment.

    It can also include:

    * Verbal, non-verbal, or physical abuse
    * Exclusion based upon personal or group differences
    * Intimidation or humiliation based on personal or group differences
    * Abusive language, threats of any kind — real, false, implied, or perceived — against a person or property or similar acts of bigotry, racism, sexism or discrimination
    * Jokes, comments, gossip or graffiti that perpetuate personal or group myths, fallacies, prejudices or stereotypes
    * Any subtle or direct references, based on race, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, national origin or religion, which demeans
    excludes, intimidates, or adversely affects an individual or group
    * Unsolicited e-mail or telephone calls which contain abusive language or threats, cause discomfort, or are derogatory or sexual in nature
    * Unsolicited, deliberate or repeated sexually derogatory statements, or gestures or physical contact which are objectionable to the recipient and which cause discomfort or humiliation
    * Pressure from a person of either sex against a person of the opposite or same sex
    * Unwelcome sexual behavior or words including demands for sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt threats concerning an individual’s educational or employment status

    » Read More

  • Guide to Residential Life Handbook: Cyber Bullying

    Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies
    Last updated: August 18, 2015

    Engaging in any form of harassment over the Internet is commonly referred to as cyber bullying. cyber bullying includes, but is not limited to the following misuses of technology: harassing, teasing, intimidating, or threatening another person by sending or posting inappropriate and hurtful email messages, instant messages, text messages, digital pictures or images or Website postings, including blogs and social network systems.

    » Read More

  • University Policy Manual: Student Sexual Misconduct Policy

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 17, 2015

    An individual’s conduct constitutes sexual harassment when it is sexual in nature and unwanted by the person toward whom it is directed.

    » Read More


Yellow Light Policies
  • Guide to Residential Life Handbook: Community Expectations

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: August 18, 2015

    Sacramento State is a community of individuals from diverse backgrounds. In this community setting, harassment, bigotry and denigration of individuals is not acceptable.

    » Read More

  • University Catalog: Appendices- Student Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: August 18, 2015

    Students are expected to be good citizens and to engage in responsible behaviors that reflect well upon their university, to be civil to one another and to others in the campus community, and contribute positively to student and university life.

    » Read More

  • Executive Order 1097: Systemwide Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation, Sexual Misconduct, Dating and Domestic Violence, and Stalking against Students and Systemwide Procedure for Addressing Such Complaints by Students

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 18, 2015

      1. Sexual Harassment, a form of Sex Discrimination, is unwelcome verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that includes but is not limited to sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and any other conduct of a sexual nature where:
        1. Submission to, or rejection of, the conduct is explicitly or implicitly used as the basis for any decision affecting a Complainant’s academic status or progress, or access to benefits and services, honors, programs, or activities available at or through the University; or
        2. The conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that its effect, whether or not intended, could be considered by a reasonable person in the shoes of the Complainant, and is in fact considered by the Complainant, as limiting his or her ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities or opportunities offered by the University; or
        3. The conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that its effect, whether or not intended, could be considered by a reasonable person in the shoes of the Complainant, and is in fact considered by the Complainant, as creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.

    Sexual Harassment could include being forced to engage in unwanted sexual contact as a condition of membership in a student organization; being subjected to video exploitation or a campaign of sexually explicit graffiti; or frequently being exposed to unwanted images of a sexual nature in a classroom that are unrelated to the coursework.

    Sexual Harassment also includes acts of verbal, non-verbal or physical aggression, intimidation or hostility based on Gender or sex-stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.

    This policy covers unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. While romantic, sexual, intimate, personal or social relationships between members of the University community may begin as consensual, they may evolve into situations that lead to Sexual Harassment or Sexual Misconduct, including Dating or Domestic Violence, or Stalking, subject to this policy.

    » Read More

  • University Policy Manual: Amended Rules Regulating the Time, Place and Manner of Individual Expression and Conduct on Campus

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: August 17, 2015

    For any public meeting, demonstration, rally, etc., held on University premises, advance reservations are required and the activity will be assigned to a specific designated area of campus.

    Reservations for use of campus facilities and outdoor spaces are required.

    Disruptive and/or unauthorized activities on campus include, but are not limited to, the following: … Use of space by a group which advocates unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, age, disability or veteran status.

    » Read More

  • University Policy Manual: Student Rights and Responsibilities

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: August 17, 2015

    Students have the right to assume and expect:

    That race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, age, disability or veteran status shall not be used in a derogatory manner in the classroom.

    » Read More

  • University Policy Manual: Student Conduct Code

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: August 17, 2015

    Use of computing facilities and resources to send obscene, intimidating, or abusive messages.

    » Read More


Green Light Policies
  • University Policy Manual: Student Conduct Code

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 17, 2015

    Conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person within or related to the University community, including physical abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, or sexual misconduct.

    » Read More

  • University Policy Manual: Student Rights and Responsibilities

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: August 17, 2015

    This University exists to provide an opportunity for education to enable students to live a more perceptive and fulfilling life. Its aim is to inspire them in creative and critical thinking and to encourage them to contribute their ideas for the improvement of the society in which they live.

    Basic to the achievement of these purposes is freedom of expression and communication.

    » Read More


  • Some colleges need to take free-speech classes, according to survey

    December 21, 2012

    The Watchdog Blog Many of America’s colleges appear to need to take a few courses in free speech. More than 60 percent of the 400-plus colleges and universities studied by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education have policies that restrict students’ First Amendment rights. In a report released this week, FIRE also raised concern over federal and state regulations governing bullying and harassment that the report labeled sloppily written and implemented. To be fair, FIRE acknowledged that the number of schools with “red light” free-speech codes has declined for the fifth straight year. And more schools eliminated their restrictive speech policies in 2012, earning […]

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  • ‘State Hornet’ on CSU – Sacramento’s Red-Light Speech Codes

    January 27, 2011

    A recent article in The State Hornet, at California State University – Sacramento (Sac State), notes the university’s poor rating—and the generally poor ratings of its California peers–in FIRE’s 2011 Spotlight on Speech Codes report. As The State Hornet points out in its front-page article, “Sac State received the red-light ranking along with Chico State, UC Santa Cruz and UC Davis, while other California universities such as UC Santa Barbara and UC Berkeley received a yellow light.” The paper also points out that “64 percent of the 33 California university campuses received a red light,” the lowest of the three ratings in FIRE’s Spotlight […]

    » Read More