Dickinson College

Location: Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Website: http://www.dickinson.edu
Type: Private
Federal Circuit: 3rd Circuit

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Speech Code Rating

Dickinson College 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 Handbook: Bias Incident Protocol

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: January 10, 2019

    B.E.R.T responders will NOT be involved in the investigative aspects of bias incidents. Dickinson’s Department of Public Safety (and when applicable Carlisle Police Dept.) will continue to be the primary investigators.

    Bias incident is defined as a pejorative act or expression that a reasonable person would conclude is directed at and/or impacts a member or group based on but not limited to those characteristics outlined above. A bias motivated incident can occur whether the act or expression was intentional or unintentional.

    In cases where bias incidents are not violations of the Community Standards, the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the Grievance Policy or any other applicable policy of the College, the Bias Education & Response Team (B.E.R.T) Coordinator will serve as the primary coordinator for seeking resolution. Approaches to resolving incidents may include but are not limited to: conflict resolution sessions between target/witness and perpetrator(s), organizing community forums, community service requirement, etc.

    » Read More

Yellow Light Policies
  • Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: January 10, 2019

    Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature when one or more of the following conditions are present: … Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance, i.e. it is sufficiently serious, pervasive, or persistent as to create an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, demeaning, or sexually offensive working, academic, residential, or social environment under both an objective (a reasonable person’s view) and subjective (the complainant’s view) standard.

    The College also prohibits gender-based harassment, which may include acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex or sex-stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.

    » Read More

  • Community Standards: Social Misconduct

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: January 10, 2019

    Engaging in conduct that has the purpose or effect of creating a hostile environment or which deprives another person of the ability to fully participate in the programs or opportunities of the college based on that person’s race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, disability or other characteristic protected by law (other than sex discrimination) or College policy is a violation of the Community Standards. Discriminatory Conduct may occur in a single egregious instance or may be the cumulative result of a series of incidents and may include, but is not limited to, acts of verbal, nonverbal or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility, including such conduct that occurs electronically or via social media.

    Physical, verbal or psychological abuse, harassment, intimidation or other harmful conduct, including those made electronically or via social media, that threatens, endangers, or has the potential to endanger the health, well-being or safety of another individual. It can include but is not limited to threats, intimidation, assaulting another person, and/or purposefully injuring another individual.

    Conduct that is disorderly, annoying, disruptive, lewd, overly aggressive, obscene or which causes alarm.

    » Read More

Green Light Policies
At present, FIRE does not maintain information on this school's policies.
  • Speech Code of the Month: Dickinson College

    March 27, 2017

    FIRE announces our Speech Code of the Month for March 2017: Dickinson College in Pennsylvania. Like many colleges and universities, Dickinson has a protocol for reporting “bias incidents.” This Orwellian phenomenon has become so widespread that FIRE recently released a report on it, surveying more than 230 bias reporting systems nationwide. As we noted in our report, these policies typically define “bias” very broadly, so these protocols often create a culture in which students are encouraged to report on one another to the administration any time someone is subjectively offended. At Dickinson, a “bias incident” is defined as “[d]iscriminatory behavior […]

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  • Ian McEwan’s Message to College Graduates: Protect Offensive Speech

    May 19, 2015

    While commencement speakers across the nation share their wisdom and advice with their audiences, one speaker at Dickinson College chose to deliver a very specific charge this year: Protect free speech. Ian McEwan, an award-winning English novelist, urged Dickinson graduates to uphold freedom of expression, which “sustains all the other freedoms we enjoy.” He invited the graduates to join noted free speech advocates ranging back to John Milton by “us[ing] your fine liberal education to preserve for future generations the beautiful and precious but also awkward, sometimes inconvenient and even offensive culture of freedom of expression we have.” He called […]

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