Fitchburg State University

Location: Fitchburg, Massachusetts
Website: http://www.fitchburgstate.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 4th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Fitchburg 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 here.

This school does not have any cases at this time.
Yellow Light Policies
  • Housing Policies and Procedures: Physical Abuse and Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: July 27, 2015

    Any resident involved in abuse or harassment, including verbal abuse or threats, of another person will have their housing occupancy agreement reviewed for termination.

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  • Student Code of Conduct: Student Conduct Process

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: July 27, 2015

    Fitchburg State College expects its students to act in a mature and responsible manner. Respect for the rights of others, openness to new and challenging ideas, civility and courtesy are examples of this expectation.

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  • Massachusetts State Universities Equal Opportunity, Diversity and Affirmative Action Plan

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: July 27, 2015

    Discriminatory harassment. A form of unlawful discrimination including verbal and/or physical conduct based on legally protected characteristics and/or membership in a protected class that: 1. has the purpose or effect of creating an objectively intimidating, hostile or offensive work or educational environment; 2. has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or educational opportunities; or 3. otherwise unreasonably adversely affects an individual’s employment or educational opportunities.

    Examples of discriminatory harassment, all of which are prohibited by this Policy, include, but are not limited to: …

    • Directing epithets, slurs, derogatory comments, unwelcome jokes or stories at an individual or group because of that person or persons’ membership in a protected class.
    • Displaying hostile, derogatory and/or intimidating symbols/objects, such as offensive posters, cartoons, bulletins, drawings, photographs, magazines, written articles or stories, screen savers, or electronic communications, to an individual or group because of that person or persons’ membership in a protected class.

    [A]ny form of speech or conduct that is protected by the principles of academic freedom or the First Amendment to the United States Constitution is not subject to this Policy.

    Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature is prohibited when:

    • submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education; and/or
    • submission to, or rejection of, such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual; and/or
    • such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance or creating a sexually intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment, educational, or living environment.

    Examples of sexual harassment may include, but are not limited to:

    • repeatedly pressuring another person for sexual activity;
    • making sexist remarks about an individual’s clothing, body or sexual activities;
    • unnecessary touching, patting or pinching another person;
    • demanding sex from a subordinate while making threats concerning the subordinate’s job;
    • demanding sex from a student while making implied threats concerning the student’s grade;
    • electronically transmitting derogatory, demeaning or pornographic materials;
    • posting explicit sexual pictures on an exterior office door or on a computer monitor; and
    • sexually assaulting another person.

    In order for conduct to constitute sexual harassment under this Policy, a reasonable person under similar circumstance would have to conclude that the behavior was harassing or discriminatory.

    The Universities are committed to protecting, maintaining and encouraging both freedom of expression and full academic freedom of inquiry, teaching, service and research. Nothing in this Policy shall be construed to penalize a member of the University community for expressing an opinion, theory, or idea in the process of responsible teaching and learning. Any form of speech or conduct, no matter how offensive, unpleasant or even hateful, which is protected by the principles of academic freedom or the U.S. Constitution, is not subject to this policy.

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  • Information Technology: Acceptable Use Policy

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: July 27, 2015

    The following behaviors are prohibited while using College technology resources or to resources in which FSU is connected or affiliated with: … Sending messages that are malicious or that a reasonable person would find to be harassing.

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  • Student Code of Conduct: Definitions

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: July 27, 2015

    Harassment—means the severe or repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal, or electronic expression, or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at another individual that has the effect of: causing physical or emotional harm to the other student or damage to the other student’s property; placing the other student in reasonable fear of harm to him/herself or damage to his/her property; creating a hostile environment at school for the other student; infringing on the rights of other students on campus; materially and substantially altering the education process or orderly operations of the university.

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  • Student Handbook: Poster Policy

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: July 27, 2015

    Only organizations recognized by the Student Government Association (SGA) can promote events. … All posters/flyers must be SGA approved with the official stamp and signed by a current SGA member. Those not stamped and signed will be removed.

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  • Housing Policies and Procedures: Signs, Pictures, and Posters

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: July 27, 2015

    Pictures and other material that may be considered objectionable should not be displayed in areas that may be visible outside the student room.

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Green Light Policies
  • Student Code of Conduct: Student Conduct Process

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: July 27, 2015

    Fitchburg State University recognizes that students, as members of society and citizens of the United States of America, are entitled to respect, consideration and guaranteed freedoms of speech, assembly and association under the constitution.

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  • Student Handbook: Bill of Rights

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: July 27, 2015

    Free inquiry, expression and assembly are guaranteed to all students.

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