Delaware State University

Location: Dover, Delaware
Website: http://www.desu.edu/
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 3rd Circuit

Tell Delaware State University to revise its speech policies by filling out this form.

Speech Code Rating

Delaware 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 here.

At present, FIRE has not been involved in any cases at this school.

Red Light Policies

  • Student Judicial Handbook: Conduct Standards and Policies- Personal Violations

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: May 31, 2018

    Verbal abuse: The use of harsh, often insulting language to any member of the University community.

    » Read More

  • Acceptable Use Policy

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: May 31, 2018

    Users are obligated to never use University systems (such as the Intranet or Internet) to engage in activities that are unlawful, violate University policies or in ways that would:

    • Be disruptive, cause offense to others, or harm morale.
    • Be considered harassing or discriminatory or create a hostile work environment.
    • Result in Delaware State University’s liability, embarrassment or loss of reputation.

    » Read More


Yellow Light Policies
  • POLICY AND PROCEDURES: Equal Opportunity, Harassment and Nondiscrimination

    Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies
    Last updated: May 31, 2018

    Bullying, defined as repeated and/or severe aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control or diminish another person, physically or mentally on the basis of actual or perceived membership in a protected class.

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  • Student Judicial Handbook: General Standards of Conduct- Decorum

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: May 31, 2018

    Students are expected to refrain from using four-letter words, obscenities and non-verbal behavior that is not acceptable under Delaware State University’s standard of decency, when communicating (verbally, nonverbally or in writing) with parents, students, visitors, professional staff, and others on University Premises or during University Activities. This policy does not extend to private conversations where no one present is offended by the language, but does include any communication in public where others may overhear and be offended by the conduct or behavior. Nor does this policy extend to any communications protected by the First Amendment. Violations may be subject to judicial action under the category of verbal abuse and, where applicable, insubordination.

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  • Student Judicial Handbook: Conduct Standards and Policies- Personal Violations

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: May 31, 2018

    Disorderly Conduct: Constituting a public nuisance by being offensive to public order or decency. Disorderly conduct includes, but is not limited to engaging in violent behavior, making unreasonable loud noise, lewd or indecent behavior or an offensive utterance or gesture.

    » Read More

  • Student Judicial Handbook: Conduct Standards and Policies- Property Violations

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: May 31, 2018

    Use of computing facilities to send obscene, pornographic, or abusive messages.

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  • POLICY AND PROCEDURES: Equal Opportunity, Harassment and Nondiscrimination

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: May 31, 2018

    Harassment constitutes a form of discrimination that is prohibited by law. Delaware State University will remedy all forms of harassment when reported, whether or not the harassment rises to the level of creating a hostile environment. When harassment rises to the level of creating a hostile environment, Delaware State University may also impose sanctions on the harasser. Delaware State University’s harassment policy explicitly prohibits any form of harassment, defined as unwelcome conduct on the basis of actual or perceived membership in a protected class, by any member or group of the community.

    A hostile environment may be created by oral, written, graphic, or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent/pervasive and objectively offensive that it interferes with, limits or denies the ability of an individual to participate in or benefit from educational programs or activities or employment access, benefits or opportunities.

    Offensive conduct and/or harassment that does not rise to the level of discrimination or that is of a generic nature not on the basis of a protected status may not result in the imposition of discipline under University policy, but will be addressed through civil confrontation, remedial actions, education and/or effective conflict resolution mechanisms.

    Sexual harassment is: unwelcome, sexual or gender-based verbal, written or physical conduct.

    Sexual harassment creates a hostile environment, and may be disciplined, when it is: sufficiently severe, persistent/pervasive and/or objectively offensive that it, has the effect of unreasonably interfering with, denying or limiting employment opportunities or the ability to participate in or benefit from any University program, and is based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment or retaliation.

    » Read More

  • Student Judicial Handbook: Individual or Group Protest Action Policy

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: May 31, 2018

    All students who wish to organize a group protest, whether or not they are members of a recognized student organization, must follow the same procedures as student organizations to request access to facilities or a location on University premises. The University reserves the right to set limits on the appropriate time, place and manner of the protest.

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At present, FIRE does not maintain information on this school's policies.
  • Speech Code of the Month: Delaware State University

    April 20, 2018

    FIRE announces our Speech Code of the Month for April 2018: Delaware State University. Much ink has been spilled over the past few days about Fresno State University’s investigation of a professor for controversial comments she made on Twitter. Unfortunately, however, Fresno State is far from the only public school that, despite its First Amendment obligations, threatens to infringe on online expression. Delaware State University, for example, maintains an “Acceptable Use Policy” prohibiting any internet usage that would, among other things, “cause offense to others,” “harm morale,” or cause “embarrassment or loss of reputation” to the university. This policy prohibits […]

    » Read More