Chicago State University

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Type: Public
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Speech Code Rating

Chicago State University 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
  • Computer Usage Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: June 28, 2018

    Electronic mail and all other electronic communication (including websites and blog posts) should adhere to the University standards of conduct which prohibits any communication which tends to embarrass, humiliate or shed a negative light on any member of the community. Respect others you contact electronically by a... Read More
  • Code of Excellence/Rights and Responsibilities

    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Speech Code Category: Policies Restricting Freedom of Conscience
    Last updated: June 28, 2018

    As a member of the Chicago State University Community, I pledge the following: … I will respect the dignity of all persons. Behaviors which compromise or demean the dignity of individuals or groups, including hazing, intimidating, taunting, teasing, baiting, ridiculing, insulting, harassing, and discriminating... Read More
  • Electronic Harassment/Cyberbullying Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: June 28, 2018

    “Cyberbullying” means (i) deliberate and repeated conduct or activity that threatens, harasses, intimidates an individual, places an individual in reasonable fear of harm to the individual or damage to the individual’s property, or has the effect of substantially disrupting the individual’s d... Read More
  • Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 10, 2019

    Sexual harassment is unwelcomed sexual verbal, graphical, or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, denies, or limits someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s educational program or activities, and is based on power dif... Read More
  • Student Handbook: Posting Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: September 10, 2019

    The Student Activities Center staff must review all posters, flyers and other announcements. … All posters, flyers, and other announcements must be approved and receive the appropriate approval stamp prior to posting on designated bulletin boards. Read More
  • Student Code of Conduct

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: September 10, 2019

    The CSU community engages in open discussion, free discourse, spirited debate and peaceful dissent.  Free inquiry is indispensable to the purposes of the University and should be protected as a matter of academic freedom within the institution.  Accordingly, conditions must exist which allow and encourage this freed... Read More
  • Chicago State University – Stand Up For Speech Lawsuit

    July 1, 2014

    Chicago State administrators repeatedly have endeavored to shut down ‘CSU Faculty Voice,’ a blog authored by CSU faculty members that is often highly critical of the CSU administration’s perceived corruption and incompetence.

  • So to Speak podcast: Campus free speech roundup

    January 24, 2019

    On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we are joined by four members of FIRE’s staff to discuss the latest campus free speech news, including two new FIRE initiatives to tackle art censorship and restrictions on free speech and academic freedom abroad. Participants in this show are: Nico Perrino, host of… Read more

  • VICTORY: Chicago State to rewrite policies, pay $650,000 to settle professors’ First Amendment lawsuit

    January 8, 2019

    University repeatedly tried to shut down faculty blog critical of former administration Settlement is the 13th for FIRE’s litigation project, aimed at eliminating campus speech codes that plague 90 percent of public colleges CHICAGO, Jan. 8, 2019 — Chicago State University has agreed to pay $650,000 to settle a First Amendment lawsuit filed by faculty… Read more

  • Lawsuit update: Federal court clears way to the courthouse for Chicago State University professors

    October 5, 2017

    Last Friday, a federal district court in Illinois ruled that two Chicago State University professors’ Stand Up For Speech lawsuit may proceed to trial. Professors Phillip Beverly and Robert Bionaz filed the First Amendment lawsuit in July 2014 with FIRE’s assistance after Chicago State officials tried to force the shutdown of the professors’ blog. The… Read more

  • ‘Standstill Order’ Bars Chicago State University From Censoring Blog During FIRE-Led Lawsuit

    July 30, 2015

    CHICAGO, July 30, 2015—Yesterday, a federal judge ordered Chicago State University (CSU) not to “take any steps to shut down the CSU Faculty Voice blog or interfere with its operation in any way.” Although the order does not address the ultimate merits of the First Amendment claim, it allows the case to proceed without any… Read more

  • Chicago State Plaintiffs Show Court What Chilled Speech Looks Like

    April 24, 2015

    “Chilling effect” on speech is the most common metaphor in First Amendment law. The government may not punish people for expressing unpopular views, nor may it create a climate of fear (i.e., a chill) that induces citizens to censor themselves to stay out of trouble. Not surprisingly, chill is notoriously difficult to quantify. Courts have… Read more

  • Ex-Chicago State Admin: I Was Pressured to File False Harassment Claim Against Faculty Critic

    March 20, 2015

    CHICAGO, March 20, 2015—A former high-level administrator at Chicago State University alleged in a statement filed yesterday in federal court that Chicago State President Wayne Watson pressured her to file a false sexual harassment complaint against Professor Philip Beverly, an outspoken faculty critic of Watson’s administration. According to the declaration of former Chicago State Vice President… Read more

  • FIRE Announces 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech in 2014

    March 2, 2015

    PHILADELPHIA, March 2, 2015—More than half of America’s top colleges maintain speech codes that blatantly violate First Amendment standards. But every year the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) takes a closer look at the previous year’s incidents of college censorship to determine the nation’s 10 worst abusers of student and faculty free speech… Read more

  • Citing ‘Stand Up For Speech’ Cases, FIRE Urges Supreme Court Not to Expand ‘Government Speech’ Doctrine

    February 18, 2015

    Yesterday, FIRE filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief in the case Walker v. Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc., which is currently before the Supreme Court. An amicus brief allows organizations that are not directly involved in the litigation to share their expertise with the justices and make them aware of potential unintended… Read more

  • Chicago State’s Attempt to Stop Stand Up For Speech Lawsuit Fails

    January 15, 2015

    Late Tuesday, a federal judge completely rejected Chicago State University’s (CSU’s) argument that Stand Up For Speech plaintiffs Phil Beverly and Robert Bionaz may not bring a First Amendment claim against the university. Professors Beverly and Bionaz run a popular blog, the CSU Faculty Voice, which is highly critical of the CSU administration. CSU tried… Read more

  • Chicago State University Continues to Squeeze Faculty Free Speech

    October 6, 2014

    Supporters of FIRE’s mission to defend free speech in academia may already be familiar with Chicago State University’s years-long campaign to shut down criticism of its administration. Some of its staunchest critics, however—a group of faculty members who blog at CSU Faculty Voice—refuse to be silenced. CSU has employed a number of methods to try to… Read more

  • FIRE’s Azhar Majeed in ‘Chicago Tribune’ on Chicago State Lawsuit

    July 7, 2014

    Azhar Majeed, Director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Education Program, takes Chicago State University (CSU) to task in the Chicago Tribune today. As part of FIRE’s new Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project, two CSU professors have filed suit against the university for its unconstitutional speech codes and attempts to shut down CSU Faculty Voice, a blog to which the professors contribute.

  • This Fourth of July, Students and Faculty Are ‘Retracing the Steps to Free Speech’

    July 4, 2014

    We learn in grade school that freedom of speech is the hallmark of a free nation and the cornerstone of democracy. Yet the urge to censor seems almost irresistible, no matter who wields authority. As FIRE followers know all too well, public colleges and universities routinely restrict and punish constitutionally protected expression. In academia, where First Amendment freedoms are most precious, they are at serious risk. Nearly 60 percent of the 427 institutions that FIRE has surveyed maintain policies that clearly and substantially infringe upon freedom of speech.

  • FIRE’s Shibley in ‘Washington Post’: Lawsuits ‘About to Become a Lot More Common’

    July 2, 2014

    Following yesterday’s launch of FIRE’s Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project, FIRE Senior Vice President Robert Shibley takes to The Washington Post today to explain why litigation is necessary:

  • Help Students and Professors Stand Up For Speech! Support FIRE Today

    July 2, 2014

    This week was an exciting one for FIRE, as we took a huge step forward in the fight for free expression on campus with the launch of our Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project. While we’re proud to usher in this new era in FIRE’s history, we’re even prouder to do so alongside the brave students and faculty members who have taken this opportunity to stand up for speech. We hope you will consider supporting these plaintiffs as they fight back against campus censorship.

  • Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project Makes Media Splash

    July 2, 2014

    Yesterday, FIRE launched our new Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project, a national effort to eliminate unconstitutional speech codes through targeted First Amendment lawsuits. Within minutes of the announcement, major media outlets were spreading the word, and over the past 24 hours, the nation’s top newspapers have reported on this big step in the fight for free speech on campus. Here is some of yesterday’s and today’s news coverage of Stand Up For Speech and the four lawsuits FIRE brought yesterday with the help of law firm Davis Wright Tremaine:

  • FIRE Brings Four Free Speech Lawsuits in One Day

    July 1, 2014

    WASHINGTON, July 1, 2014—This morning, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) coordinated the filing of lawsuits against Ohio University, Chicago State University, Iowa State University, and Citrus College (Calif.). The filings launch FIRE’s new Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project, a national effort to eliminate unconstitutional speech codes through targeted First Amendment lawsuits…. Read more

  • Chicago State Tries to Censor Faculty Blog … Again

    January 9, 2014

    Last November, in a blatant attempt to censor faculty speech, Chicago State University’s (CSU’s) legal counsel sent a cease-and-desist letter to Professor Phillip Beverly, claiming that Beverly’s CSU Faculty Voice blog infringed on the school’s trademarks and created the false impression that the website reflected CSU’s views as an institution. We at FIRE shared the blog contributors’ views that… Read more

  • AAUP: Academic Freedom Applies to Electronic Communication

    December 6, 2013

    Last month, the American Association of University Professors drafted a report reaffirming its conclusions from a 2004 report that electronic communications should be governed by the same principles of academic freedom as expression in traditional media. November’s report acknowledges that even in the past nine years, technology has advanced significantly in ways that have “potentially profound implications for both… Read more

  • Chicago State Tries to Shut Down Faculty Blog

    November 12, 2013

    Yesterday, Chicago State University’s (CSU’s) legal counsel and vice president for labor and legal affairs Patrick B. Cage sent a cease-and-desist letter to Professor Phillip Beverly, demanding he take down his CSU Faculty Voice blog on which he and several other professors have shared concerns and criticisms about the school since 2009. Cage claimed that the blog infringes on… Read more

  • Chicago State Hit With Costs and Attorney’s Fees in First Amendment Suit

    August 29, 2013

    Nearly five years after Chicago State University (CSU) unlawfully retaliated against former student editor George Providence II and former faculty advisor Gerian Steven Moore for the content of several articles published in Tempo, CSU’s student newspaper, Providence’s and Moore’s lawsuit against the university has finally concluded with a hefty penalty for CSU: $213,231 in court… Read more

  • Chicago State Abandons Effort to Muzzle Faculty

    April 9, 2012

    Well, that was fast. Chicago State University announced Friday that it has withdrawn a policy that would have required all faculty communications with media to be pre-approved by the university’s public relations administrators. The withdrawal came just hours after the policy’s restrictions made local news; Friday’s Chicago Tribune featured a story on the policy, including… Read more

  • Chicago State’s Shameful Attempt to Muzzle Faculty

    April 6, 2012

    Free speech for faculty? Not if Chicago State University can help it.  Today’s Chicago Tribune features a shocking report about Chicago State’s efforts to control all faculty speech to the media. Jodi Cohen reports:  In an email sent March 22 to faculty and staff, Sabrina Land, the university’s director of marketing and communications, wrote that… Read more

  • Federal Court Ruling Recognizes First Amendment Protection for College Newspapers under Illinois State Law

    September 21, 2010

    A lawsuit filed by the former faculty advisor and the former student editor of a campus newspaper at Chicago State University (CSU), alleging violations of the First Amendment by the CSU administration, is still alive after a federal court ruled on the case last week. As Inside Higher Ed reported, the federal district court denied… Read more