DePauw University

Location: Greencastle, Indiana
Type: Private
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Speech Code Rating

DePauw 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

Campus Climate

Overall Ranking

out of 55 colleges surveyed Read more
  • Student Handbook: Harassment Policy- Definition of Harassment and Notice of Non-Discrimination

    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 21, 2020

    [T]he University reaffirms the right of its students to live and learn, and its employees to teach and work, in an environment free from harassment and inappropriate and/or offensive comments or conduct. … To be unlawful, conduct must be sufficiently serious that it unreasonably interferes with an employeeR... Read More
  • Student Handbook: Electronic Communications and Acceptable Use Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: August 21, 2020

    Electronic communication facilities shall not be used to access or transmit electronic communication which promote or contain offensive, unlawful or inappropriate content, including, but not limited to content that is slanderous, defamatory, harassing, vulgar, threatening, intimidating, offensive, or that promotes h... Read More
  • Bias Incident Resources: Role of the Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT)

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: August 21, 2020

    A bias incident is an act of prejudice against an individual or groups based on their actual or perceived race/color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, gender, gender identity/expression, age, disability, sexual orientation, and/or veteran or military status. Examples may include vandalism to personal or univers... Read More
  • Student Handbook: Harassment Policy- Sexual Harassment

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 21, 2020

    DePauw is committed to providing students, employees and University guests an environment and workplace free of inappropriate comments or conduct of a sexual nature. Inquiries concerning the application of Title IX should be directed to the University’s Title IX Coordinator. Sexual or gender-based harassment i... Read More
  • Student Handbook: Student Right, Responsibilities and Freedoms

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: August 21, 2020

    DePauw University exists for the transmission of knowledge, the nurturing of integrity and the cultural development of its students. To attain these goals, free inquiry and free expression are imperative. … 3. Freedom of association: students are free and, in fact, encouraged to organize and join associations ... Read More

FIRE surveyed roughly 20,000 students at 55 colleges and universities about the climate for free speech at their institutions. In 2020, FIRE released rankings of those schools, based on a number of factors, including openness, tolerance, self-expression, administrative support for free speech, and campus policies, scoring overall speech climate on a scale from -4-100. See the full report on FIRE’s 2020 College Free Speech Rankings for more information.


Rankings / out of 55 colleges surveyed

Overall Ranking 55
Ranked by Liberals 52
Ranked by Conservatives 55
Ideological Diversity 34

Overall / out of a top score of 100

Overall Score 44.2
Openness 59.4
Tolerance 46.7
Administrative Support 56.2
Self-Expression 29.1
Speech Code RED
At present, FIRE has not been publicly involved in any cases at this school.
  • Speech Code of the Month: DePauw University

    October 21, 2016

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for October 2016: DePauw University in Indiana. DePauw’s Acceptable Use and Electronic Communications Policy provides, in relevant part: Electronic communication facilities shall not be used to access or transmit electronic communication which promote or contain offensive, unlawful or inappropriate content, including, but not limited to content that… Read more

  • Freed From Compulsory Attendance, DePauw Students Voluntarily Attend Day of Dialogue

    January 28, 2015

    Today, classes are cancelled at Indiana’s DePauw University so that students can attend “DePauw Dialogue,” a day of campus discussion “surrounding diversity and inclusiveness.” Unfortunately, DePauw initially attempted to ensure student participation by making the event mandatory. According to the student newspaper The DePauw: An email sent Friday by Vice President for Student Life Christopher… Read more

  • Due Process Advocates Take Critical Look at How Colleges Are Dealing with Sexual Assault Allegations

    September 15, 2014

    With colleges and universities revising their sexual assault policies for the new academic year and legislation on the horizon that could have serious repercussions for campus due process, it is critically important for policymakers to stay committed to protecting the rights of all students. Advocates for due process are stepping up to ensure that as… Read more

  • ‘Minding the Campus’: ‘Let’s Make Sure Those RA Brains Are Properly Washed’

    June 30, 2011

    Minding the Campus has excerpted a harrowing story of thought reform at DePauw University written by former resident assistant (RA) Rachel Cheeseman, who is a FIRE intern this summer. Here’s part of it: During the week-long series of RA training events, my fellow RAs and I were lectured repeatedly about white privilege, racism, sexism, and every other "ism." My… Read more

  • DePauw University’s Speech Code: No ‘Mimicking’ Allowed!

    November 25, 2008

    Since I have taken Wabash College to task in a recent post, it is only fair for me to say a few words about Wabash’s longtime Indiana rival, DePauw University. Unfortunately, my work is made quite easy by DePauw’s quite appalling speech code. FIRE gives DePauw a red-light rating because of its policies that both… Read more