Clarion University of Pennsylvania

Location: Clarion, Pennsylvania
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 3rd Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Clarion University of Pennsylvania 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 here.

  • Pennsylvania House of Representatives Select Committee on Student Academic Freedom

    September 19, 2005

    The Pennsylvania House of Representatives brought together a committee to examine allegations that Pennsylvania’s public universities were plagued by liberal ideology and indoctrination. David A. French, at the time president of FIRE, served as a legal adviser to the panel. FIRE released FIRE Report on the First Amendment Responsibilities of Pennsylvania State-Funded Colleges and Universities, explaining that Pennsylvania universities are bound to follow the strictures of the U.S. and Pennsylvania Constitutions, notably to respect the expressive rights of students and faculty members, to protect religious liberty on campus, and to protect freedom of conscience on campus.

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Yellow Light Policies
  • Student Rights, Regulations, and Procedures: Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or conduct of a sexual nature will constitute sexual harassment when: … Such conduct is sufficiently pervasive or severe to have the effect of interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or academic environment.

    Examples of sexual harassment include: conduct of a sexual nature that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to have the effect of harassing or stigmatizing others on the basis of their sex or sexual orientation.

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  • Student Rights, Regulations, and Procedures: Peaceful Assembly Policy 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies

    [I]n an effort to prevent the disruption of the normal conduct of university affairs, the endangerment of the health and safety of individuals, and/or damage of property, the university hereby designates the Gemmell outside performing area as the “Peaceful Assembly Area” on the Clarion campus and is unrestricted on time of day or day of week. Alternative locations can be planned for an area on-campus, Monday through Friday after 7 p.m., that is no less than 50-feet away from an academic building or residence hall, or Saturday and Sunday, no restrictions on time, but must be at least 50-feet away from an academic building or residence hall.

    Individuals wishing to organize a peaceful assembly must complete the Peaceful Assembly Space Request Form located in the Events and Scheduling Office in consultation with the Director of Campus Life. Such events are scheduled on a first-come-first-served basis, are restricted to the Gemmell Performance Area, except as noted above, and must: a. Have the completed Peaceful Assembly Space Request Form turned into the Events & Scheduling Office at least 48 hours in advance of the start of the event ….

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  • Acceptable Use of Technology Resources Policy 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies

    The use of computer systems, telecommunications facilities, networks or other electronic resources of the institution for the following purposes is deemed unacceptable: … To abuse, defame, harass or threaten another individual or group. … Other unauthorized acts or actions not in accordance with University policies, or not in the best interests of Clarion University.

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  • Judicial and Mediation Services: Bullying Information 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies

    U.S. National Center for Education Statistics suggests that bullying can be classified into two categories: direct bullying, which consists of physical aggression, and indirect bullying (also known as social aggression), which more often consists of social isolation or emotional manipulation. If you feel that you are being bullied, please complete the Bullying Report Form.

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  • Housing Handbook: Student Responsibilities 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility

    Use of profane or obscene language is not acceptable behavior and may result in disciplinary action.

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Green Light Policies
  • Student Rights, Regulations, and Procedures: Preamble 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    Clarion University of Pennsylvania exists for the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, the development of students, and the general well-being of society. Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable for the attainment of these goals.

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  • Student Rights, Regulations, and Procedures: Conduct Regulations 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Harassment which may be thought of as when the person uses intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person by striking, shoving, kicking or otherwise subjecting the person to physical contact, or attempts, or threatens to do the same. Harassment also includes following the person in or about a public place, or uses a course of repeated conduct serving no legitimate purpose after being told to cease this action.

    For purposes of this policy, unsolicited sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, verbal comments, gestures, or physical contact of a sexual nature which are unwelcome constitute sexual harassment when: Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic standing. The conduct directed at an individual is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it undermines and detracts for the victim’s educational experience. A reasonable person exhibiting the same characteristics of the victim of the harassing conduct would be adversely affected to a degree that interferes with their abilities to participate and utilize the benefits of an institutional activity, employment, academic performance, or resources.

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This school does not have any media coverage at this time.
  • A Call for Clarion University to Reform Its Speech Codes

    February 13, 2014

    This week, I wrote a letter to the editor of the Clarion University of Pennsylvania student newspaper The Clarion Call about reforming Clarion’s unconstitutional speech codes. Like one in six colleges nationwide, Clarion restricts students’ expressive rights with a “free speech zone” policy, and letters to the editor like this are a good way to get students and faculty involved in challenging speech codes on campus. Check out my letter here. If you’re a student and you’re interested in changing your school’s speech codes, please consider joining FIRE’s Student Network or writing an op-ed or letter to the editor of […]

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  • Vandalism of Students’ Pro-life Display in Pa. Must Be Addressed

    April 27, 2011

    According to, last week saw the severe vandalism and destruction of a student group’s pro-life display at Clarion University, a public university in Pennsylvania. In an article yesterday that includes photos of the vandalism, Steven Ertelt reports that the display, “Cemetery of the Innocents,” features about 350 small pink and blue crosses to represent “unborn children who have been killed in abortions.” The photos show many of the crosses turned upside down or broken into pieces and streaked with red paint. One photo shows the words “Pro-Choice!” painted in red in front of one of the display’s signs. To make […]

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