Florida A&M University

Location: Tallahassee, Florida
Website: http://www.famu.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 11th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Florida A&M 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
  • Student Code of Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: July 6, 2015

    Use of computing facilities and resources to send obscene or abusive messages or material.

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  • Student Code of Conduct – Sexual Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: July 6, 2015

    Sexual Harassment: Any words, conduct or action of a repeated nature being directed at a male or female; including the inappropriate display of gender-based pictorial images offensive or degrading to a person of that gender, including, but not limited to sexual posters, photographs, cartoons, drawings, or other displays of sexually suggestive objects or pictures, that creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment that interferes with, denies or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s programs and activities.

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  • Residence Life Guidebook: Offensive/Reckless Behavior

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: July 6, 2015

    Behavior and/or activities that are considered offensive to others that do not constitute ones freedom of expression is prohibited while in public areas of the residential facilities if it has been requested that an individual refrain from such behaviors and/or activities. Behaviors/activities that may be considered offensive may include the use of profanity, ethnic/racial slurs, and behaviors that recklessly cause annoyance, discomfort, or alarm.

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  • Student Handbook: Dress Standards

    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes
    Last updated: July 6, 2015

    Examples of inappropriate dress and/or appearance include but are not limited to: … Clothing with derogatory, offensive and/or lewd messages either in words or pictures.

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  • Non-Discrimination Policy and Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Procedures

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: July 6, 2015

    Harassment shall include, but not be limited to:

    1. Any slurs, innuendoes or other verbal or physical conduct reflecting on an individual’s race, ethnic background, gender or handicapping condition which has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational or work environment; has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the individual’s work or school performance or participation; or otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment or educational opportunities. …

    3. Sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or educational career; submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for educational or employment decisions affecting the individual; or such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or educational environment.

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  • Student Code of Conduct – Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: July 6, 2015

    Harassment: Verbal or written abuse (including electronic communications or internet activity), threats, intimidation, coercion and/or other conduct that endangers the health, safety, or welfare of others, or places another individual in reasonable fear of physical harm or creates a hostile environment in which others are unable to reasonably conduct or participate in work, education, research, living or other activities. Harassment also includes actions defined in Regulation 10.103.

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Green Light Policies
  • Due Process, Other Rights and Responsibilities

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: July 6, 2015

    All students enrolled at the university shall be accorded the basic rights as set forth below. … The right of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly as defined and governed by the constitutions of the United States and the State of Florida and the regulations of the University.

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  • Student Code of Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: July 6, 2015

    Disorderly Conduct: Behavior that disturbs the peace or undermines public safety, such as causing a disturbance or being unruly.

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  • After Being Called Out, College Seems to Have Revised Speech Code

    April 24, 2015

    By Bob Kellogg at OneNewsNow The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has dubbed a Florida school as having the “Speech Code of the Month” because of the school’s outrageous restriction on free speech. Florida A&M’s Student Code of Conduct, among other things, forbids the “use of profanity” and the use of “insulting” language. FIRE’s Samantha Harris says she’s now finding an updated version of the policy on FAMU’s website which is not blatantly unconstitutional. “The old policy is still available in some places on their site, so it’s sort of unclear,” she tells OneNewsNow. “I’d like to get some […]

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  • Speech Code of the Month: Florida A&M University

    April 14, 2015

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for April 2015: Florida A&M University (FAMU). According to FAMU’s Student Code of Conduct, “disorderly conduct” includes not only things like public drunkenness, but also the “use of profanity in public” and the use of “insulting” language. This policy is a clear violation of FAMU students’ First Amendment rights. The Supreme Court has made clear that a blanket ban on the public use of profanity is unconstitutional. In Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15 (1971), Paul Robert Cohen, a Vietnam War protester, walked into a county courthouse wearing a jacket emblazoned with […]

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  • SPLC’s LoMonte Takes On FAMU’s ‘Hostile Takeover’ of Student Newspaper

    February 12, 2013

    Writing in the Tampa Bay Times, Student Press Law Center Executive Director Frank LoMonte takes on Florida A&M University’s shocking decision to disband The Famuan, a student newspaper that has sharply criticized the university in recent years, and then reconstitute it without its previous slate of editors. LoMonte writes: In January, the dean of FAMU’s school of journalism and communications suddenly and without explanation placed the newspaper on a three-week “hiatus” and removed all of its editors, forcing them to reapply for their positions. The editors gamely responded by creating their own online startup to meet the campus’ need for […]

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