Florida International University

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

Speech Code Rating

Florida International University has been given the speech code rating Red. A red light university has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech. Read more here.

  • Florida International University: Racial and Ethnic Restrictions for Class Enrollment

    February 6, 2002

    Florida International University (FIU), maintained ethnicity and race requirements for certain language classes. For example, certain Spanish courses limited enrollment to “Hispanic bilinguals educated in the U.S….whose mother tongue is Spanish,” “U.S. Hispanic bilinguals,” and “U.S. Hispanic Bilinguals Only.”; When informed of this policy FIRE explained its immorality and unconstitutionality to the administration. Following FIRE’s lengthy and quiet involvement, the policy was revised.

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Red Light Policies

  • Sexual Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    (a) For the purpose of this regulation, sexual harassment is defined as any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which:

    1. Makes submission to or rejection of such conduct either an explicit or implicit basis for employment and/or academic decisions affecting the individual; or

    2. Unreasonably interferes with the individual’s employment or academic performance by creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment

    Conduct which falls into the definition of sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to: …

    3. Verbal harassment or abuse of a sexual nature, including intimating by way of suggestion a desire for sexual relations, or making jokes or remarks of a sexual nature which are not germane to academic course content.
    4. Use of sexually suggestive terms or gestures to describe a person’s body, clothing, or sexual activities.
    5. Displaying or posting through any medium, including, but not limited to, electronic communication, offensive, sexually suggestive pictures, or materials in the workplace.

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Yellow Light Policies
  • Demonstrations 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies

    All persons and organizations conducting demonstrations on University grounds must abide by the general requirement that no such activities may interfere with, disrupt, or impede the normal operations of the University or otherwise interfere with or infringe on the rights of others. Interference with, disruption of, or impeding the normal operations of the University and/or interference with the rights of others includes, without limitation: … threatening persons or using fighting words which are those words that by their mere utterance inflict violence or would tend to incite a reasonable person to violence or other breach of peace.

    In order to coordinate University events and other activities taking place on University grounds, with due consideration for the health and safety of all individuals, any person or organization who intends to demonstrate on University grounds must notify the University at least two (2) business days in advance if: (a) the demonstration event shall involve a group consisting of more than 30 participants; or (b) if sound amplification equipment shall be used.

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  • Student Code of Conduct: Offenses- Promotions/Posting 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies

    Solicitation (i.e., passing or handing out flyers/promotional material, etc.) on campus, including on-campus housing facilities, without prior approval from the appropriate University officials. This includes, but is not limited to, the disbursement of any forms of promotional/informational material on University property or objects (i.e., motor vehicles) on University property.

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Green Light Policies
  • Student Code of Conduct: Offenses- Personal Abuse 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    (k) Personal Abuse

    1. Verbal or written abuse, threats, intimidation, and/or coercion that objectively endangers the health, safety, or well-being of others. Fighting words and statements which reasonably endanger the health and safety of any person are not protected speech and may result in University action. This definition shall not be interpreted to abridge the right of any member of the University community to freedom of expression protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and any other applicable law.

    2. Conduct directed at any person, including a Member of the University Community, which is intended to cause fear, distress, or intimidation and would cause fear, distress, or intimidation to a reasonable person or would place a reasonable person in fear of injury or death.

    3. Conduct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent that a reasonable person would be adversely affected to a degree that interferes with or limits a his/her ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or opportunities offered by the University school when such conduct is based on race, color, national origin, gender, disability, or any status protected by federal or Florida law.

    4. Interference with the freedom of another person or group to move about in a lawful manner.

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  • Student Code of Conduct: Freedom of Expression and Assembly 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    Students are guaranteed freedom of expression.

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  • Student Code of Conduct: Offenses- Sexual Misconduct 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Sexual harassment constitutes, in the aggregate, incidents that are sufficiently pervasive, persistent, or severe that a reasonable person would be adversely affected to a degree that interferes with his/her ability to participate in or to realize the intended benefits of a University activity, employment, or resources.

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  • Florida International University Upholds Legal Equality: Abandons Racial and Ethnic Requirements for Language Courses

    February 6, 2002

    MIAMI, FL—Florida International University (FIU), responding to FIRE, has issued a strong and unqualified defense of legal equality. Addressing the concerns raised by FIRE President Alan Charles Kors, who challenged a racial and ethnic requirement for several language courses, FIU General Counsel Thomas Mead Santoro made changes to the requirements for the courses to ensure that FIU complies with its ethical obligations, not to mention its obligations to federal and state statutes and regulations, and to the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. In September 2001, a student contacted FIRE with concerns […]

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