East Tennessee State University

Location: Johnson City, Tennessee
Type: Public
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Speech Code Rating

East Tennessee State University 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
  • East Tennessee State University Policy on Use of Campus Property and Facilities

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: October 14, 2021

    The University has designated Public Speaking Areas that may be used as a space for meetings, rallies, protests, and demonstrations. For safety reasons, the period in which these areas are available is between dawn to dusk but no greater than 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily. Non-Affiliated Persons must reserve spaces f... Read More
  • East Tennessee State University Policy on Use of Campus Property and Facilities: Bulletin Boards

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: October 14, 2021

    The University generally requires prior approval for the use of any bulletin boards on campus. Read More
  • ETSU Policy on Discrimination and Harassment

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: October 14, 2021

    Harassment Conduct based on a protected class that adversely affects a term or condition of a person’s employment or education program or activity; has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a person’s employment or education program or activity or creating a hostile environment; or is used as a basi... Read More
  • ETSU Title IX: Definitions- Cyber-Stalking

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: October 14, 2021

    Cyber-stalking: A particular form of stalking in which electronic media such as the internet, social networks, blogs, cell phones, texts, or other similar devices or forms of contact are used to pursue, harass, or to make unwelcome contact with another person in an unsolicited fashion. Some examples of cyber-stalkin... Read More
  • ETSU Title IX: Definitions- Harassment

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: October 14, 2021

    Harassment is conduct that is based on a person’s race, color, religion, creed, ethic or national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, age (as applicable), status as a covered veteran, genetic information, or any other category protected by federal or state civil rights law,... Read More
  • ETSU Title IX: Definitions- Sexual Harassment

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: October 14, 2021

    Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when one of the following criteria is met: submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly as a term or condition of the individual’s employment or of the individual’s status ... Read More
  • ETSU Emergency Title IX Rule

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: October 14, 2021

    Sexual harassment: conduct because of sex that satisfies one (1) or more of the following: … Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to ETSU’s education program or activity; … Read More
  • FIRE, NCAC, and PEN America: Tennessee public universities must respect their student-athletes’ First Amendment rights 

    February 24, 2021

    Last week, an image of the East Tennessee State University men’s basketball team taking a knee during the Star-Spangled Banner provoked an outcry from state legislators. Demands for action reached a crescendo on Monday, when all 27 Republican state senators called on public universities in Tennessee to ban the practice. Today, FIRE, the National Coalition… Read more

  • Student Arrested By East Tennessee State University Police for ‘Civil Rights Intimidation’

    October 3, 2016

    Last week, East Tennessee State University (ETSU) freshman Tristan Rettke was arrested by campus police and charged with a felony under Tennessee’s Civil Rights Intimidation statute after confronting peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters in the ETSU free speech area. Rettke’s act—dressing in a gorilla mask and attempting to hand bananas to the protesters in an… Read more

  • Tennessee Bill to Punish UT for Sex Week Becomes Law

    May 23, 2016

    For several years, the Tennessee legislature has threatened to take action against the University of Tennessee (UT) for allowing students to conduct an annual “Sex Week” on campus. Now the state legislature has followed through on its misguided threat by passing HB 2248, which states: State funds shall not be expended by the University of… Read more

  • ETSU, Brute?

    June 8, 2012

    Okay, it’s a terrible Shakespearean pun. But as bad a pun as this blog post’s title is, it’s still nowhere near as disappointing as the state of free speech at East Tennessee State University (ETSU).   The basic story is that as part of a "civility week," the Student Government Association created T-shirts with various… Read more