Fordham University

Location: Bronx, New York
Type: Private
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Speech Code Rating

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
  • Student Handbook: Information Technology Usage

    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: March 4, 2020

    IT resources and services cannot be assessed or used in the following manner: … Using any IT resource or communication services, including email or other means, to intimidate, insult, embarrass and harass others; to interfere unreasonably with an individual’s work, research or educational performance; or... Read More
  • Student Handbook: Bullying

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies
    Last updated: March 4, 2020

    Bullying creates feelings of defenselessness, fear, undermines a person’s diginity, and is defined as the repeated, unreasonable actions of a person or group of persons directed toward another person or group of persons, which are intended to hurt, intimidate, degrade, humiliate, and/or undermine a... Read More
  • Student Handbook: Distribution of Literature

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: March 4, 2020

    2. Registered student organizations often distribute information in the form of handouts, fliers, and newsletters … As with any other club or organization activity, these events must be coordinated with the Office for Student Involvement and/or the Assistant Dean/Director of Student Involvement. The source of ... Read More
  • Student Handbook: Advertisements in Student Publications

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes
    Last updated: March 4, 2020

    Advertisements must be legal, truthful, and compatible with the values and mission of the University as a Jesuit, Catholic institution. These values include concern for each student, respect for individuals and groups of people and for the dignity of the human person. To this end, the University prohibit... Read More
  • Student Handbook: Speakers Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: March 4, 2020

    [E]xpression that is indecent or is grossly obscene or grossly offensive on matters such as race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation is inconsistent with accepted norms of conduct at the University. Read More
  • Student Handbook: Demonstration Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: March 4, 2020

    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 even... Read More
  • Sexual Misconduct Policy & Procedures for the Fordham University Community

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: March 4, 2020

    Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that is severe, pervasive, or persistent, including but not limited to sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, and: … Such conduct is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent to have the p... Read More
  • Student Handbook: The University Code of Conduct

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: March 4, 2020

    Harassment of another person, whether physical, sexual, or verbal, either oral or written. Read More
  • Fordham University Mission Statement

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: March 4, 2020

    Fordham strives for excellence in research and teaching, and guarantees the freedom of inquiry required by rigorous thinking and the quest for truth. Read More
  • Student Handbook: Demonstration Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: March 4, 2020

    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 their positions and to work for their acceptance whether they assent to or dissent from existing situations in the University or society. Read More
  • Student Handbook: Bias-Related Incidents and/or Hate Crimes

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: March 4, 2020

    [T]he University values freedom of expression and the open exchange of ideas. The expression of controversial ideas and differing views is a vital part of University discourse. Although the expression of an idea or point of view may be offensive or inflammatory to others, it may not constitute a hate crime or bias-r... Read More
  • FIRE to New York’s highest court: Hold Fordham to its promises in Students for Justice in Palestine case

    February 17, 2021

    FIRE filed a brief in New York’s highest court today, asking the court to accept an appeal from the Fordham students who have been trying to form a pro-Palestinian club since 2015.  The filing comes on the same day Fordham was named one of FIRE’s 2021 10 Worst Schools for Free Speech.  As we have… Read more

  • 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech: 2021

    February 17, 2021

    This year, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is releasing its 10th list of the “worst colleges for free speech.” Since our first list in 2011, more than 70 institutions in 31 states have found themselves named and shamed for actively working to shut down student and faculty speech rights. Each year, hundreds of… Read more

  • FIRE presents the 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech: 2021

    February 17, 2021

    PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 17, 2021 — Would you make a student homeless during the pandemic because you didn’t like something he said? Or threaten faculty doctors fighting COVID-19 with termination for speaking to the press? If you’re a campus official at one of the schools on this list, you just might! In the 10th edition of… Read more

  • Austin Tong is suing Fordham — to protect your rights.

    September 1, 2020

    The call came in to Austin Tong’s parents’ Long Island home just before 10:30 p.m. His dad answered, but the man on the phone wanted Austin. On the other end of the line were two Fordham University security officers.  They were also, they said, right outside. “My dad gave me the phone,” Tong recalls. “The… Read more

  • Analysis: Department of Education investigates Fordham over broken speech promises in Austin Tong case

    August 25, 2020

    Fordham University’s ongoing attempt to punish student Austin Tong for his social media posts faces new opposition after the Department of Education on Thursday sent a letter notifying Fordham that it is investigating whether the university’s actions violate its promises of free expression. In theory, the investigation could lead to financial penalties of up to… Read more

  • In court filing, Fordham gives up the charade

    August 20, 2020

    In a court filing this week, Fordham University finally admitted a truth that FIRE and Fordham students have known for a while: Fordham just doesn’t care about student speech rights.  Sure, Fordham makes big promises about freedom of expression. The university “guarantees the freedom of inquiry” to students, and claims they have “a right to… Read more

  • FIRE files amicus brief after Fordham ignores state law, its own policies, our advice, and common sense in banning pro-Palestinian student group

    July 31, 2020

    Editor’s note: Due to an electronic filing oversight beyond the control of amici or amici’s counsel, the motion to file was successfully filed on Aug. 4, not on July 31 as originally reported. Today, a coalition of civil liberties organizations, led by FIRE, filed a motion for leave to file a friend-of-the-court brief in the case… Read more

  • Advice to Fordham: Ignoring FIRE will only get you scorched

    July 23, 2020

    Almost a week after the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education warned Fordham University that it must immediately rescind the egregious punishment it handed down to a student who posted an off-campus Instagram photo holding a legally obtained gun, the university remains silent. FIRE requested a response by July 22, but the private university has… Read more

  • Fordham student punished for holding gun in Instagram photo memorializing Tiananmen Square massacre

    July 17, 2020

    University bars student from campus and demands bias training Student, who emigrated from China, forced to write apology letter for post memorializing anniversary of Chinese government’s massacre of pro-democracy activists in Tiananmen Square FIRE: Fordham betrayed its ideals and this student THE BRONX, N.Y., July 17, 2020 — The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education… Read more

  • April 2020 Speech Code of the Month: Fordham University

    April 2, 2020

    As colleges across the country have closed their physical campuses and moved to online instruction in response to the COVID-19 crisis, it may seem unnecessary to designate a policy as our Speech Code of the Month. After all, if students aren’t on campus, they aren’t taking part in demonstrations on the quad or posting signs… Read more

  • After two-plus years in court, Students for Justice in Palestine wins recognition at Fordham

    August 7, 2019

    Since December 2016, Fordham University has refused to grant official recognition to a chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (“SJP”) based on the group’s political views. That may come to an end soon, however, as a New York court this week ordered Fordham to recognize the student organization.  The SJP students filed their lawsuit… Read more

  • Fordham objects to new student joining lawsuit over rejected Students for Justice in Palestine chapter

    March 19, 2019

    Over two years after Fordham University refused to recognize a prospective chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine on the basis of its political beliefs, a group of students continues to fight the school’s decision in court. But over a year after asking a Manhattan judge to order Fordham to recognize the chapter, three of… Read more

  • UPDATE: After Florida school shooting, ‘Worst Colleges for Free Speech’ promising high schoolers a right to protest

    March 14, 2018

    Update: FIRE has tallied the number of colleges and universities that have made statements supporting free speech, based on the list compiled by Chris Peterson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology assistant director of undergraduate admissions. Out of the schools in our Spotlight database that made statements on free speech, 61 have a “red light” speech code… Read more

  • The 10 worst colleges for free speech: 2018

    February 12, 2018

    Every year, FIRE chooses the 10 worst colleges for free speech — and unfortunately, 2017 left us with plenty of options: Campuses were rocked by violent mob censorship, monitored by bias response teams, plagued by free speech zones, and beset by far too many disinvitation attempts. Although the number of colleges with the most restrictive… Read more

  • FIRE names America’s 10 worst colleges for free speech: 2018

    February 12, 2018

    PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 12, 2018 — Each year, colleges across the country find dubious ways to silence student and faculty expression. In the last year, administrators became embroiled in litigation for telling a student he couldn’t hand out Spanish-language copies of the U.S. Constitution outside a free speech zone, continued a years-long effort to ban a… Read more

  • Fordham University faces judge, packed courtroom, as it dissembles to defend its refusal of recognition of Students for Justice in Palestine chapter

    January 3, 2018

    This afternoon, Fordham University asked a New York court to dismiss a lawsuit brought against the university arising from its refusal to recognize a chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine — a refusal that landed Fordham on FIRE’s 2017 list of America’s 10 worst schools for free speech. Following a hearing in a courtroom… Read more

  • Fordham University sued over rejection of Students for Justice in Palestine chapter

    April 26, 2017

    Fordham University is facing a lawsuit in a New York state court over its refusal to recognize a chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, which the university rejected because of a fear of “polarization” on campus. Fordham’s conduct, after promising that students would be free to express differing views on campus, was so egregious… Read more

  • Fordham University Named One of America’s 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech After Banning Students for Justice in Palestine

    February 22, 2017

    SJP was banned solely based on the group’s political viewpoint TODAY: Disciplinary hearing for a student who peacefully protested the school’s decision PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 22, 2017—Fordham University’s relentless and ongoing effort to stifle the free speech and association rights of students who want to start a chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) has… Read more

  • FIRE Announces America’s 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech: 2017

    February 22, 2017

    PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 22, 2017—More than 92 percent of American colleges maintain speech codes that either clearly restrict—or could too easily be used to restrict—free speech. Each year, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) takes a closer look at campus censorship to identify America’s 10 worst colleges for free speech. The 2017 list of… Read more

  • Fordham Finds New, Equally Unacceptable Justification for Denying Recognition to Students for Justice in Palestine

    January 27, 2017

    Yet again, another university seems to have forgotten the first law of holes: When you find yourself in one, stop digging. On Wednesday, FIRE and the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) publicly called on Fordham University to reverse its viewpoint discriminatory refusal to recognize a prospective Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter. In our… Read more

  • FIRE, NCAC Call on Fordham to Recognize Students for Justice in Palestine

    January 25, 2017

    NEW YORK, Jan. 25, 2017—Fordham University is refusing to recognize a prospective chapter of the group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) on the basis of the group’s political beliefs. Today, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) are calling on Fordham University to reverse the university’s… Read more

  • Tip of the Iceberg: Recent Controversy Reveals More Free Speech Problems at Fordham

    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… Read more

  • Fordham University Hits Bottom, Keeps Digging in Ann Coulter Disinvite Kerfuffle

    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… Read more

  • Robert Shibley on ‘College Insurrection’ on Fordham’s Ann Coulter Controversy

    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… Read more

  • At Fordham University, President’s Criticism of Student Group Sparks Controversy

    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 more