Location: Bronx, New York
Federal Circuit: 2nd Circuit
Fordham 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.
Red Light Policies
Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
IT resources and services cannot be assessed or used in the following manner: … Using any IT resource or communication services, including e-mail or other means to intimidate, insult, embarrass and harass others; to interfere unreasonably with an individual’s work, research or educational performance; or to create a hostile or offensive working or learning environment.
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
It is a violation of this policy for any member of the University community to engage in sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: … such conduct is sufficiently pervasive, offensive or abusive to have the purpose or reasonable effect of interfering with an individual’s work or educational performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment.
Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to: … unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which an individual regards as undesirable or offensive, including, but not necessarily limited to, sexually explicit jokes, statements and questions or remarks about sexual activity or experience.
Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies
Bullying is defined as the repeated, unreasonable actions of a person (or group of persons) directed towards another person or group of persons, which are intended to hurt, intimidate, degrade, humiliate, and/or undermine. Such actions create a risk to the health or safety of the University community. Bullying can take many forms, including, but not limited to, verbal (teasing, threats, naming-calling), social (spreading rumors, leaving people out on purpose), and physical (hitting, punching, shoving). Bullying can also occur through the Internet, mobile phones, and other digital technologies. Bullying behavior creates feelings of defenselessness, fear, and injustice and undermines a person’s right to dignity. The University strictly prohibits bullying. Anyone found to engage in bullying behavior may be subject to disciplinary action.
Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes
Advertisements must be legal, truthful, and compatible with the values and mission of the University as a Jesuit, Catholic institution (concern for each student, respect for individuals and groups of people, dignity of the human person).
To this end, the University prohibits the publication of ads containing or providing sources for, but not limited to, sexual content (1-900 phone lines, strip clubs, web sites, etc.); alcohol consumption (bars, clubs, bartending schools, etc.); tobacco; reproductive services (abortion, birth control, sperm or egg donation, etc.); the promotion of hate against any group; illegal activities; any other subject matter which, after discussion and review with University officials, is determined to be inconsistent with the values and mission of the University.
Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
[E]xpression that is indecent or is grossly obscene or grossly offensive on matters such as race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual preference is inconsistent with accepted norms of conduct at the University.
Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
Organizers and participants must follow these guidelines in planning and conducting pickets and other demonstration events: … A member of the Fordham University community must be designated Organizer/Liaison for the event. The Organizer/Liaison must meet with the Dean of Students to coordinate the planned event and is encouraged to schedule this meeting well in advance. To schedule this meeting, the organizer must appear at the Dean of Students office for his/her campus. The Dean of Students/designate will meet with the organizer within 1 business day. The planned demonstration may be scheduled no less than 2 business days after this meeting.
Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
Registered student organizations are free to distribute literature with the approval of the Assistant Dean or Director of Student Leadership and Community Development. The source of the material and the name of the organization must be stated. … Individual students, if sponsored by a University club, office, or department, are similarly free to distribute, with the same responsibilities as student organizations.
Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
By its very nature, the University is a place where ideas and opinions are formulated and exchanged. Each member of the University has a right to freely express his or her positions and to work for their acceptance whether he/she assents to or dissents from existing situations in the University or society.
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
Harassment of another person, whether physical, sexual, or verbal, either oral or written.
March 14, 2015
By Canton Winer at USA Today When I read headlines for the “Top 10 Schools for _______,” I usually don’t expect my university to be on the list. In fairness, I love my school and top 10 lists are generally meaningless. When I saw a headline ranking the 10 worst colleges for free speech, however, I did a double take. As a senior at Fordham University, I’ve become used to the university’s particular brand of free speech restriction. At this point, the unfriendly free speech environment has become so entrenched that few students even seem to question the status quo. […]» Read More
November 26, 2012
Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, decried the state of First Amendment rights on college campuses in the Wall Street Journal last week. He cited several examples in which school administrations curtailed freedom of speech in order to avoid conflict. When Fordham University’s College Republicans invited the controversial conservative pundit Ann Coulter to speak on campus, the university’s president opposed the measure so forcefully that the group rescinded the invitation. When Tufts University students published excerpts from the Quran and facts about the status of women in Saudi Arabia during Islamic Awareness Week, the content […]» Read More
November 20, 2012
Americans are forever on the lookout for institutions that can threaten their most cherished right — that of free speech. But even the most paranoid among us would not think that the place where the freedom of speech is suppressed the most is actually somewhere that should be heavily invested in protecting it: college campuses. According to Sohrab Ahmari writing for The Wall Street Journal, the modern university is “the most authoritarian institution” in the country today. Greg Lukianoff, the president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, is unlikely to disagree with this assessment. For more than a decade, […]» Read More
November 16, 2012
At Yale University, you can be prevented from putting an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote on your T-shirt. At Tufts, you can be censured for quoting certain passages from the Quran. Welcome to the most authoritarian institution in America: the modern university—”a bizarre, parallel dimension,” as Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, calls it. Mr. Lukianoff, a 38-year-old Stanford Law grad, has spent the past decade fighting free-speech battles on college campuses. The latest was last week at Fordham University, where President Joseph McShane scolded College Republicans for the sin of inviting Ann Coulter to speak. […]» Read More
December 7, 2012
After Fordham University made waves a few weeks back over President Joseph McShane’s harsh condemnation of the university’s College Republicans for inviting Ann Coulter to speak on campus (an invite which, it turned out, the group had already decided to rescind), FIRE began to hear from students at Fordham who wanted to (anonymously) tell us more about the climate for free speech and dissent on campus. First, it bears explaining why we are talking about the right to free speech at a private, Catholic university like Fordham. The answer is simple: Fordham holds itself out as an institution that is […]» Read More
November 15, 2012
Over the past few days, FIRE has highlighted a disappointing situation at Fordham University. In brief: the Fordham College Republicans invited Ann Coulter to speak, public pressure mounted to rescind her invitation, Fordham University President Joseph McShane, S.J., while not cowing to the pressure to ban Coulter from campus, nonetheless denounced her views (and denounced the students for inviting her). Seeing which way the wind was blowing, the College Republicans disinvited Coulter shortly before McShane’s denunciation went out. Here is a good account from one involved student. FIRE’s own Robert Shibley, in his second guest post on the topic at […]» Read More
November 14, 2012
FIRE Senior Vice President Robert Shibley has a new piece at College Insurrection about Fordham University’s condemnation of the College Republicans’ now-rescinded speaking invitation to Ann Coulter, which we discussed earlier this week on The Torch. Robert’s column focuses in particular on the Catholic university’s strikingly selective outrage—as you may remember, the university president chose to condemn Coulter while remaining silent on the upcoming appearance of Peter Singer, who has stated that “killing a disabled infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person. Very often it is not wrong at all.” Robert writes: In the end, the only reasonable […]» Read More
November 12, 2012
On Friday of last week, the Reverend Joseph M. McShane, president of Fordham University, sent an email to Fordham students and their parents strongly criticizing the Fordham College Republicans’ decision to invite conservative commentator Ann Coulter to speak. Apparently unbeknownst to McShane, the College Republicans had already decided to rescind the invitation. The university’s statement read as follows: The College Republicans, a student club at Fordham University, has invited Ann Coulter to speak on campus on November 29. The event is funded through student activity fees and is not open to the public nor the media. Student groups are allowed, […]» Read More