Carnegie Mellon University

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Type: Private
Federal Circuit: 3rd Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Carnegie Mellon University has been given the speech code rating Green. Green light institutions are those colleges and universities whose policies nominally protect free speech. Read more here.

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

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: May 22, 2017

    Sexual Harassment” is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other visual, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: … such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s work or educational performance; or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working and/or learning environment; or of interfering with one’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity.

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  • Student Handbook: Community Standards, Policies and Procedures- Disorderly Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: May 22, 2017

    Disorderly conduct is ordinarily defined as the use of abusive or obscene language or gestures to/by a member of the campus community, publicly intoxicated behavior or persistence, after a request to desist, in behavior which inconveniences or impedes other members of the campus community in their proper use of or passage through the campus area.

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Green Light Policies
  • Carnegie Mellon University Computing Policy

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: May 22, 2017

    The following activities are expressly prohibited at Carnegie Mellon: … Using mail messages to harass or intimidate another person (such as by repeatedly sending unwanted mail or broadcasting unsolicited mail).

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  • Student Handbook: Community Standards, Policies and Procedures – Discriminatory Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: May 22, 2017

    Acts of discriminatory harassment or intimidation by a student directed toward any member of the community are inconsistent with this commitment and will not be tolerated. Consistent with the University’s Statement of Assurance, prohibited acts include harassment and intimidation motivated by discriminatory intent based on race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, ancestry, belief, veteran status, or genetic information.

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  • Carnegie Mellon University Policy on Freedom of Expression

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression, Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: May 22, 2017

    Carnegie Mellon University values the freedoms of speech, thought, expression and assembly—in themselves and as part of our core educational and intellectual mission. If individuals are to cherish freedom, they must experience it. The very concept of freedom assumes that people usually choose wisely from a range of available ideas and that the range and implications of ideas cannot be fully understood unless we hold vital our rights to know, to express, and to choose. The university must be a place where all ideas may be expressed freely and where no alternative is withheld from consideration. The only limits on these freedoms are those dictated by law and those necessary to protect the rights of other members of the University community and to ensure the normal functioning of the University.

    On Carnegie Mellon’s campus, anyone may distribute printed material, offer petitions for signature, make speeches, and hold protests or demonstrations outside university buildings. All such activities must be peaceful, avoiding acts or credible threats of violence and preserving the normal operation of the university. No event shall infringe upon the rights or privileges of anyone not in sympathy with it, and no one will be permitted to harm others, damage or deface property, block access to university buildings or disrupt classes. The enforcement of these conditions will not depend in any way on the message or sponsorship of the act or event.

    When guests are invited by a recognized campus organization, they may express their ideas not because they have a right to do so, but because members of the campus community have a right to hear, see, and experience diverse intellectual and creative inquiry. Defending that right is a fundamental obligation of the university. Controversy cannot be permitted to abridge the freedoms of speech, thought, expression or assembly. They are not matters of convenience, but of necessity.

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  • Search and Seizure

    August 23, 2016

    By Jake New at Inside Higher Ed This fall, for the first time, fraternities and sororities at Indiana University must sign an agreement that would allow university employees, including police officers, to enter and search their houses whenever there is reason to suspect laws or university rules are being broken… Read more here.

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  • The Seven Best Colleges For Free Speech

    May 23, 2011

    by Greg Lukianoff The Huffington Post   View this article at The Huffington Post.

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  • Polly gaffes

    April 16, 2005

    By Mark Bergin at World Magazine Scott McConnell disputes the postmodern fads of elementary pedagogy, calling multiculturalism and lax discipline educational stumbling blocks. The former graduate student at Le Moyne College in Syracuse advocates a more traditional classroom—complete with cultural value judgments and corporal punishment. Such ideas, according to Le Moyne officials, merit expulsion. Mr. McConnell’s story tops the Collegiate Network’s 2005 Campus Outrage Awards, an annual listing of ridiculous happenings in academia. The Pollys—so dubbed in mockery of political correctness run amok—are meant to incite more than just chuckles among conservatives. “We want to focus national attention on the absurdity […]

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  • ‘Pollys’ Spotlight Politically Correct Excesses On U.S. Campuses

    April 14, 2005

    By Jim Brown at Agape Press A higher education watchdog group has unveiled its annual “Campus Outrage Awards,” documenting the worst “absurdities” and most egregious examples of political correctness on college campuses this year. The president of Harvard University receiving a faculty vote of no confidence for suggesting that innate differences might account for some of the inequalities between men and women in certain fields of endeavor; and Duke University hosting a Palestine Solidarity Movement conference with a segment designed to recruit students for terrorist groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad — those are just two of the dubious honorees […]

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  • 2005 Campus Outrage Awards

    April 1, 2005

    Collegiate Network Duke spends over $50,000 on a tactical training session for activists dedicated to the destruction of the state of Israel, while a graduate student at LeMoyne College is expelled for writing that light spanking has a legitimate role in classroom discipline. A UNLV professor is engulfed in a whirlwind of controversy after making a remark about the financial planning habits of homosexuals, while a student at Occidental College is convicted of sexually harassing the whole school over the radio. Ward Churchill is defended by the academic community for declaring that victims of the World Trade Center bombing deserved […]

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  • Under the Radar: Political Correctness Never Died

    July 1, 2004

    By Cathy Young at Reason

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  • Speech Code Countdown: Most of America’s ‘Best Colleges’ Restrict Speech

    October 5, 2016

    U.S. News & World Report recently released its annual rankings of the “Best Colleges” for 2017. The rankings are based on a multitude of “indicators of academic excellence” that prospective students use to narrow down their college application lists, including graduation and retention rate, financial resources, the institution’s reputation, and student selectivity. But U.S. News’ ranking system fails aspiring students by overlooking one of the most important factors students should consider when choosing a college or university: whether the institution is committed to free speech. FIRE has revisited these rankings to answer that very question. And over the next few […]

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  • What Makes a ‘Green Light’ Computer Use Policy?

    January 10, 2014

    FIRE has recently been examining some of the best “green light” university policies here on The Torch, including policies regarding harassment and civility. The policies discussed in those entries, maintained by Mississippi State University and North Carolina State University, respectively, are ideal examples for other schools to follow in crafting their own policy. Today, we examine computer and Internet usage policies. Many universities maintain broad restrictions on students’ ability to express themselves online and over email. Frequently, this occurs because computer use and network use policies are issued by university IT departments with little to no oversight from university administrators who may have a better […]

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  • FIRE Names Seven Best Schools for Free Speech on ‘Huffington Post’

    May 24, 2011

    PHILADELPHIA, May 24, 2011—Today the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) commends the nation’s seven best colleges and universities for freedom of speech in an article by FIRE President Greg Lukianoff on The Huffington Post. The colleges listed are Arizona State University, Dartmouth College, The College of William & Mary, the University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and the University of Virginia. “FIRE spends most of its time bringing much-needed attention to the sorry state of free speech for students and faculty on our nation’s campuses,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “Today, we wanted to […]

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  • The State of Free Speech on Campus: Carnegie Mellon University

    February 3, 2009

    Throughout the spring semester, FIRE is drawing special attention to the state of free speech at America’s top 25 national universities (as ranked by U.S. News & World Report). Thus far, we have told you about the restrictive policies in place at UCLA, the University of Virginia, and Georgetown University. Today we review policies at Carnegie Mellon University, the first institution in our series to receive a green-light rating. A green-light rating means that FIRE has found no policies that seriously imperil student speech on campus. A green-light rating does not imply perfection; there may still be room for improvement […]

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