Eastern Michigan University

Location: Ypsilanti, Michigan
Type: Public
Tell Eastern Michigan University to revise its speech policies by filling out this form.

Speech Code Rating

Eastern Michigan 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
At present, FIRE has not been publicly involved in any cases at this school.
  • This Time, We’re Failing to Talk About ‘American Sniper’

    April 20, 2015

    Every so often, a cultural touchstone descends on college campuses, with the effect of putting campus discourse under the microscope for all to see. The results, frequently, are discouraging. Clint Eastwood’s blockbuster film American Sniper, adapted from deceased Navy sniper Chris Kyle’s memoir, is the latest exhibit. That American Sniper is a controversial movie is… Read more

  • After Lawsuit, Eastern Michigan U. Agrees to Revise Unconstitutional Policy

    November 22, 2013

    In March, student organization Students for Life at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) enlisted Alliance Defending Freedom’s (ADF’s) help in suing the school after it denied the group funding based on its “political or ideological” views. ADF announced yesterday that EMU settled the case late last month, agreeing to fund all groups—including Students for Life—without consideration of the groups’ viewpoints…. Read more

  • After Sixth Circuit Loss, Eastern Michigan U Settles with Expelled Counseling Student

    December 12, 2012

    The Detroit Free Press reported on Monday that Eastern Michigan University (EMU) will pay former graduate student Julea Ward $75,000 to settle Ward’s lawsuit against the university. Ward filed suit in 2009 after being dismissed from EMU’s graduate counseling program for inquiring about the possibility of referring a gay client who sought counseling regarding a… Read more

  • Eastern Michigan Stands By Speech Code, Defying Legal Clarity

    July 12, 2012

    Despite months of appeals from FIRE, Eastern Michigan University (EMU) does not appear inclined to take its legal obligations under the First Amendment, as a public university, seriously. The university is simply not willing to revise a sexual harassment so clearly unconstitutional that FIRE named it our Speech Code of the Month in July 2011—let… Read more

  • ‘Julea Ward Freedom of Conscience Act’ before Michigan Legislature

    May 17, 2012

    Torch readers may recall the case of Julea Ward, an Eastern Michigan University (EMU) student in counseling who was expelled for seeking to refer a gay client to another counselor when counseling would have required violating her Christian beliefs. The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a victory for Ward in… Read more

  • Sixth Circuit Relies on High School Cases to Assess Graduate Student’s Rights

    February 10, 2012

    Last week here on The Torch, I discussed the interesting ruling from the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Ward v. Polite (.PDF). Before discussing the facts of the case and the Sixth Circuit’s holding, I noted that while the court reached the right result by allowing the First Amendment lawsuit… Read more

  • In ‘Ward v. Polite,’ Sixth Circuit Reaches Right Result, but with Wrong Reasoning

    January 30, 2012

    On Friday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that expelled Eastern Michigan University (EMU) counseling student Julea Ward’s First Amendment suit may continue, finding that a federal district court had improperly granted the EMU defendants summary judgment. Ward was expelled from EMU’s graduate counseling program after she inquired about referring… Read more

  • Sixth Circuit: Expelled Counseling Student Will Have Day in Court

    January 27, 2012

    In an opinion (.PDF) issued today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that the civil rights suit filed by former Eastern Michigan University counseling student Julea Ward may proceed. Ward was expelled from her graduate program after she inquired about referring a gay client during her student practicum due to… Read more

  • Speech Code of the Month: Eastern Michigan University

    July 5, 2011

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for July 2011: Eastern Michigan University (EMU). EMU’s Student Conduct Code defines “sexual harassment” as Conduct of a sexual nature that creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive campus, educational or working environment for another person. This includes unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, inappropriate sexual… Read more

  • Michigan Attorney General Supports Former Student’s Suit Against EMU

    March 14, 2011

    The Detroit News reports that Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has put his support behind Julea Ward, a former graduate student at Eastern Michigan University who is suing the school following her dismissal from its counseling program. The Detroit News writes that "Ward claims she was dismissed in March of 2009 after asking how to refer… Read more

  • Another Political Cartoon Controversy; This Time, at Eastern Michigan

    October 7, 2010

    Controversies over political cartoons in college newspapers are nothing new, but it’s always disappointing to see them spring back up. This time it’s Eastern Michigan University’s turn, where a cartoon depicting members of the Ku Klux Klan has drawn the ire of some students and, almost inevitably, the university itself. The Eastern Echo published the… Read more