Drexel University

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Type: Private
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Speech Code Rating

Drexel 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
  • Policy IT-7: Email Policy

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

    Abuse of Email Privileges Use of email is a privilege, not a right. This privilege can be revoked. Unacceptable behavior includes, but is not limited to: … 2. Use of offensive language … Penalties for unacceptable behavior range from de-activation of the account (for minor first offenses) through univers... Read More
  • Policy OED-1: Discrimination, Harassment, and Bias Incident Prevention Policy- Bias Incident

    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: August 28, 2018

    The University prohibits Discrimination, Harassment, and Bias Incidents. Bias Incident: Bias incidents include conduct or behavior (verbal, nonverbal, or written) that is threatening, harassing, bullying, discriminatory, and is based on a person’s identity or affiliation such as race, color, ethnicity, national orig... Read More
  • Policy OED-3: Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Misconduct Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 28, 2018

    Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual or gender-based nature when: … 8Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance by creating an intimidatin... Read More
  • Policy OED-1: Discrimination, Harassment, and Bias Incident Prevention Policy- Harassment

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 28, 2018

    Harassment is unwelcome verbal, written, electronic, or physical conduct when that conduct is: (1) based on a Protected Category as defined in this document; and (2) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance by creating an intimidating, hosti... Read More
  • Code of Conduct: Posting

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: August 28, 2018

    Fliers and posters may only be hung throughout the campus on approved posting locations. All materials for posting must be stamped prior to distribution. … Any materials of an obscene nature are prohibited as well as language or material that, in context, depicts or describes, in terms patently offensive as me... Read More
  • Policy IT-1: Acceptable Use Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: August 28, 2018

    The following activities are specifically prohibited: … Users may not possess, distribute or send unlawful communications of any kind, including but not limited to threats of violence, obscenity, child pornography and/or harassing communications (as defined by law), or participate or facilitate communicati... Read More
  • Drexel University: Professor Faces Investigation for Controversial Tweets

    June 6, 2017

    On Christmas Eve 2016, Drexel University Associate Professor George Ciccariello-Maher posted a message to his Twitter account reading, “All I Want For Christmas is White Genocide.” Ciccariello-Maher posted a follow-up tweet the next day reading, “To clarify: when the whites were massacred during the Haitian revolution, that was a good thing indeed.” The tweets prompted… Read more

  • The 10 worst colleges for free speech: 2018

    February 12, 2018

    Every year, FIRE chooses the 10 worst colleges for free speech — and unfortunately, 2017 left us with plenty of options: Campuses were rocked by violent mob censorship, monitored by bias response teams, plagued by free speech zones, and beset by far too many disinvitation attempts. Although the number of colleges with the most restrictive… Read more

  • FIRE names America’s 10 worst colleges for free speech: 2018

    February 12, 2018

    PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 12, 2018 — Each year, colleges across the country find dubious ways to silence student and faculty expression. In the last year, administrators became embroiled in litigation for telling a student he couldn’t hand out Spanish-language copies of the U.S. Constitution outside a free speech zone, continued a years-long effort to ban a… Read more

  • Drexel professor resigns after months-long investigation, exile from campus

    December 29, 2017

    Yesterday, Associate Professor George Ciccariello-Maher announced that he would no longer teach at Drexel University, bringing an unfortunate end to Drexel’s months-long investigation of his tweets — an investigation FIRE has repeatedly called on Drexel to abandon. The trouble for Ciccariello-Maher began last Christmas Eve, when he tweeted “All I Want For Christmas is White… Read more

  • Drexel University avoids transparency about why it barred professor from campus, as criticism piles up

    December 4, 2017

    Ten months ago, Drexel University embarked on an investigation into the “extremely damaging conduct” of Professor George Ciccariello-Maher in making a joke lampooning a white nationalist theory — a Twitter joke that went viral due, in part, to a Russian Twitter account. In October, Drexel barred Ciccariello-Maher from its campus, citing threats from people outraged… Read more

  • Russia-linked Twitter account helped Drexel professor’s ‘White Genocide’ tweet go viral, prompting university investigation

    October 20, 2017

    Last week, Drexel University placed political science professor George Ciccariello-Maher on involuntary leave and barred him from campus, citing a “growing number of threats” directed at him over his personal political views. (As of yesterday, he was allowed to resume teaching his undergraduate courses — but only by “synchronous online instruction.” In other words, via… Read more

  • Drexel publicly promised professor freedom of expression, but privately pursues investigation

    June 6, 2017

    Drexel University Associate Professor George Ciccariello-Maher is no stranger to controversy. Last Christmas Eve, he posted a tweet to his private Twitter account that read: “All I Want for Christmas is White Genocide,” pillorying the notion advanced by some white nationalists that miscegenation and low fertility rates will bring about the end of white people…. Read more

  • Christmas Eve Tweet Results in Trouble for Drexel Professor [UPDATED]

    December 27, 2016

    On Christmas Eve, Drexel University Associate Professor George Ciccariello-Maher posted a satirical tweet, which read: “All I Want for Christmas is White Genocide.” On Christmas Day, Ciccariello-Maher posted a follow-up tweet: “To clarify: when the whites were massacred during the Haitian revolution, that was a good thing indeed.” Ciccariello-Maher has since made his Twitter account… Read more

  • Mandatory Trigger Warnings, Part Two

    September 1, 2016

    Yesterday, I reported on several university Title IX/sexual misconduct policies I found that appear to require professors to use trigger warnings. This discovery runs contrary to the assertion—made in the wake of the University of Chicago’s recent denunciation of trigger warnings—that no university has ever mandated their use. Specifically, language in force at Drexel University… Read more

  • Think Trigger Warnings Are Never Mandatory on Campus? Think Again.

    August 31, 2016

    Last week, the University of Chicago (UChicago) sent a letter to incoming students affirming the university’s commitment to robust and even uncomfortable dialogue and debate on campus. While many—including FIRE—lauded the university’s statement, some critics argued that the letter’s statement that it does not support “so-called ‘trigger warnings’” was unnecessary since no universities actually mandate… Read more

  • FIRE’s Azhar Majeed Urges Drexel and Temple to Abolish Speech Codes in ‘Philadelphia Inquirer’

    August 19, 2015

    Today, The Philadelphia Inquirer features an op-ed co-authored by FIRE’s Individual Rights Education Program Director Azhar Majeed, identifying unconstitutional and illiberal speech codes at Temple University and Drexel University and calling on university administrators to abolish them. Azhar and co-author Max Levy (a Drexel alum) write that despite the universities’ location in freedom-loving Philadelphia, “both… Read more

  • Drexel Student Calls On Administration to Rescind Speech Codes

    October 26, 2009

    Drexel Student Liberty Front is an active libertarian student organization at Drexel University in Philadelphia. During the last week of September, the Student Liberty Front hosted three FIRE speakers for "Students Rights Week" and passed out FIRE’s Guides to Student Rights on Campus. The group continues to advocate for students’ rights. Last week, Student Liberty… Read more

  • Slow Progress Toward Free Speech at Drexel University: Speech Code of the Month Revised, but Concerns Remain

    November 20, 2008

    In a positive development for free speech, Drexel University has revised its much-maligned student harassment policy. The policy, which prohibited "the use of derogatory names" as well as "inconsiderate jokes," was named FIRE’s Speech Code of the Month back in September 2006. We publicized the policy in the media and on The Torch, and also… Read more

  • ‘The Bulletin’ on Speech Code Report

    December 21, 2007

    Philadelphia newspaper The Bulletin has an article about FIRE’s 2007 speech codes report, Spotlight on Speech Codes 2007: The State of Free Speech on our Nation’s Campuses. The article focuses on Philadelphia-area schools in particular, noting that both Drexel University and West Chester University get poor, “red light” ratings for suppressing student speech. Drexel, Torch… Read more

  • Today’s ‘Campus Alert’: Don’t Laugh Too Hard

    May 21, 2007

    Our weekly Campus Alert column in the New York Post focuses today on speech codes at Drexel University, Northeastern University, and Johns Hopkins University—all of which have been named FIRE’s Speech Code of the Month for banning constitutionally protected expression on their respective campuses.   Drexel, which was given the dubious honor of being recognized… Read more

  • Speech Codes of the Year: 2006

    December 29, 2006

    As Torch readers know, each month FIRE singles out a particularly egregious speech code for our Speech Code of the Month award. While all twelve Speech Codes of the Month for 2006 were both tragic and laughable, I would like to highlight a few that deserve special mention as our Speech Codes of the Year:… Read more

  • Kaminer: No Laughing Allowed

    November 27, 2006

    FIRE Board of Advisors member Wendy Kaminer writes an engaging and thoughtful op-ed in the December 2006/January 2007 issue of Free Inquiry magazine. Kaminer draws attention to former FIRE Speech Codes of the Month, including Drexel University (September 2006) and Colorado State University (August 2006), writing: Speech codes that prohibit people from insulting each other… Read more

  • ‘Ned Flanders, Marty McFly unwelcome at Drexel University’

    October 9, 2006

    Check out FIRE’s own Luke Sheahan’s op ed in The Triangle Online, the web edition of Drexel University’s student newspaper. Drexel had the dubious distinction of being September’s Speech Code of the Month.  Its policies ban “the use of derogatory names,” “inconsiderate jokes” and “inappropriately directed laughter.”  As Luke points out: What is an “inconsiderate… Read more

  • Ned Flanders, Marty McFly unwelcome at Drexel University

    October 6, 2006

    “You’re an ugly, hate-filled man,” said Ned Flanders to Moe on The Simpsons. It was a good thing Ned was speaking on television rather than at Drexel University; if he had been speaking at Drexel, he would be a harasser! Flanders would have violated Drexel’s harassment policy by referring to the ugly, hate-filled Springfield bar… Read more

  • Speech Code of the Month: Drexel University

    September 1, 2006

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for September 2006: Drexel University. There are some trends that, once they go out of style the first time, should never be revived. But some people won’t learn. In the fashion world, for example, leggings and high-waisted, tapered-leg “mom jeans” have (to my horror) regained popularity. And… Read more