Eastern Kentucky University

Location: Richmond, Kentucky
Website: http://www.eku.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 6th Circuit

Thank Eastern Kentucky University for its commitment to free speech.

Speech Code Rating

Eastern Kentucky University has been given the speech code rating Green. Green light institutions are those colleges and universities whose policies nominally protect free speech. Read more here.

At present, FIRE has not been involved in any cases at this school.
Green Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Non-Discrimination and Harassment Policy

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: February 5, 2018

    Definitions: …

    Hostile Environment:  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. …

    Sexual Harassment: Sexual Harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

    • Submission to such conduct is either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s education or employment;
    • Submission to or rejection of any such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for education or employment decisions; or
    • Such conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of or have the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or education environment.

    Sexual Harassment does not include verbal expression or written or electronic material relevant and appropriately related to course subject matter or curriculum. This policy shall not abridge academic freedom nor the University’s educational mission.

    » Read More

  • Policy and Regulation Library: 11.2.2P- Code of Ethics for Computing & Communications

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: February 5, 2018

    The use of information technology resources for unlawful purposes is prohibited. Examples of unlawful use include, but are not limited to: defrauding, threatening, abusing, defaming, harassing, intimidating or transmitting obscene messages or media. Using information technology is no different than similar conduct carried out in person, by telephone or by mail. Violations through electronic media will subject the individual to the same University sanctions.

    » Read More

  • Student Rights and Responsibilities: Fundamental Principles- Fundamental Rights of Students

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: February 5, 2018

    As citizens, students enjoy the same freedoms as are guaranteed by the Constitutions of the United States and the Commonwealth of Kentucky and have the same duties and responsibilities, as do other citizens.

    Students are free to discuss, to express opinions and to hear expression of diverse opinions.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: General Regulations Concerning Student Behavior

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: February 5, 2018

    Engaging in a course of conduct which is intended to harass, intimidate, or unreasonably impair the person’s ability to participate in or fully benefit from the University’s environment.

    » Read More

  • Eastern gets green light for free speech

    February 6, 2013

    Eastern has received a green light from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for recent policy revisions that make the university more First Amendment friendly. Mike Reagle, associate vice president for Student Affairs, described FIRE as a group that was founded to make sure students, faculty and staff’s rights are maintained at universities. FIRE reviews school policies across the United States and highlights policies that are in violation of the First Amendment. Samantha Harris, the director of speech code research at FIRE, said the green light classification Eastern just received means the school is no longer in violation […]

    » Read More
  • Kentucky Campus Free Expression Act Endorsed by EKU Student Government

    February 10, 2017

    Last month, I wrote about the introduction of legislation in Kentucky to protect the free speech rights of students enrolled in public colleges and universities throughout the state. I’m pleased to share that the Campus Free Expression (CAFE) Act has earned the full endorsement of the Student Government Association at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). In a resolution dated February 7, the Student Government Association states: Whereas, The Eastern Kentucky University Student Government Association seeks to ensure that students rights on campus are safe guarded; and Whereas, The Student Government Association believes that universities should encourage the exchanging of ideas among […]

    » Read More
  • 2013 in Review: Threats from Washington, Victories in the States

    December 30, 2013

    As 2013 comes to a close, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) looks back on a year that was headlined by dire threats to free speech and student rights on campus.

    » Read More
  • FIRE’s Will Creeley Heads to Kentucky to Speak at UK, EKU

    April 1, 2013

    Tomorrow, FIRE’s Director of Legal and Public Advocacy Will Creeley heads to the Bluegrass State to discuss student rights at the University of Kentucky (UK) and Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). At both schools, Creeley will examine the state of the law on freedom of speech on today’s college campuses, discussing the decades of legal precedent upholding First Amendment protections on college campuses, common restrictions on student and faculty speech, and shocking instances of censorship on campus. Creeley will also answer questions about how students can best protect their rights and the limited exceptions to freedom of expression. For those of […]

    » Read More
  • ‘The Eastern Progress’ Reports on EKU’s New Green Light Status

    February 7, 2013

    Monday, FIRE announced that it had added Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) to its exclusive list of 16 colleges and universities whose policies do not unduly burden free speech (or “green light” schools, if you prefer something shorter). Today, EKU’s student newspaper, The Eastern Progress, reports on the school’s brand new green light rating and quotes FIRE’s Director of Speech Code Research Samantha Harris. Be sure to check out the full article on The Eastern Progress’ website!

    » Read More
  • Eastern Kentucky University Earns Highest Rating for Free Speech

    February 4, 2013

    LEXINGTON, Ky., February 4, 2013—Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) in nearby Richmond has eliminated all of its speech codes, earning the highest, “green light” rating for free speech from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). While the overwhelming majority of the nation’s colleges and universities maintain policies that clearly and substantially restrict freedom of speech, EKU is now a proud exception as one of just 16 schools nationwide to earn a green light and as Kentucky’s first green light school. EKU administrators worked with FIRE attorneys to ensure compliance with the First Amendment. “The entire Eastern Kentucky University community should […]

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  • False Free Speech Defenses in Kentucky, Minnesota, and California

    March 1, 2010

    As FIRE continues to be successful in our efforts to prevent schools from violating the First Amendment, universities are devising more creative—and specious—ways to rebut FIRE’s admonitions. The most recent odd response involves claiming that a university’s discussion of enacting unconstitutional speech policies is itself protected speech. This defense not only misses the point, but it threatens to obscure and undermine First Amendment rights. Students, in tandem with administrators, have also begun falsely invoking free speech as a defense against criticisms that they are censoring their peers. Last week, Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) President Doug Whitlock responded to FIRE’s charge […]

    » Read More
  • Rights in the News: With FIRE’s Help, Students Standing Up to Their Speech Codes

    October 16, 2009

    FIRE was elated to begin the week with the announcement that The College of William & Mary had reformed the last of its troublesome speech codes and become one of just eleven colleges to earn a “green light” rating in FIRE’s Spotlight database. Perhaps the fever has spread to neighboring James Madison University, where the focus has intensified on JMU’s policy on “Obscene Conduct” since it was named FIRE’s Speech Code of the Month. Not surprisingly, heightened awareness of the policy sowed discontent among the student body–enough so that this week JMU’s student newspaper The Breeze reported that JMU has […]

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  • Rights in the News: At Maryland, Virginia Tech, UMass and Elsewhere, FIRE Cases Grabbing Headlines

    April 10, 2009

    Another week, another crush of FIRE cases from around the country battling for headlines. I’ll start with Greg’s Huffington Post blog on the controversy swirling around the University of Maryland campus in the wake of a legislator’s threat to pull funding from the university if it allowed students to screen an adult film on campus—which, after a hiccup or two, they went ahead and did anyway. Elsewhere, Robert addressed a brewing controversy at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst via a column in The Boston Globe, while Adam took to the editorial pages of Virginia Tech’s student newspaper The Collegiate […]

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  • Celebrating First Amendment freedoms

    April 9, 2009

    In 2006, at San Francisco State University (SFSU), members of the university’s College Republicans were under investigation after hosting an anti-terrorism rally in which participants stepped on makeshift Hamas and Hezbollah flags. Charges filed against the Republicans stated they created a “hostile environment.” Some students witnessing the act reported they were offended and filed a complaint against the Republicans. The Republicans contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, better known as FIRE, for help in defending their First Amendment rights. College administrators at SFSU were ignoring that it is legal free speech to burn or desecrate religious or political […]

    » Read More