Frostburg State University

Location: Frostburg, Maryland
Website: http://www.frostburg.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 4th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Frostburg 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.

At present, FIRE has not been involved in any cases at this school.
Yellow Light Policies
  • Gender-Based Harassment and Violence Policy

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: June 27, 2016

    Sexual Harassment is a form of unlawful sex discrimination and means any unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favors, or other unwelcome verbal, physical, or electronic conduct of a sexual nature when: … Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic or work performance, (i.e., it is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to create an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, demeaning or sexually offensive working or learning environment).

    A person’s subjective belief alone that the behavior is offensive does not necessarily make that behavior sexual harassment. The behavior must be objectively reasonable meaning that a reasonable person in similar circumstances and with similar identities would find the behavior hostile, intimidating, or abusive.

    The following list contains examples of behavior of a sexual nature that if unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassment.

    Physical Conduct: touching, hugging, kissing, fondling, or touching oneself sexually for others to view.

    Verbal Conduct: sexual or “dirty jokes,” comments on physical attributes or an individual’s body, spreading sexual rumors, bragging about one’s sexual activity in front of others, using sexually degrading words or sounds to a person or to describe a person, sexually explicit statements or stories that are not legitimately related to employment duties, course content, research, or other University program or activity.

    Visual Conduct: leering, displaying or distributing sexually explicit drawings, pictures, and/or written material.

    Written Conduct: letters, emails, instant messaging, text messaging, blogs, web pages, and social media containing comments, words, or images of conduct described above.

    » Read More

  • Pathfinder: General University Policies- Policy on Communication of Information

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: June 27, 2016

    Three areas of the campus have been designated as “public forum” areas for use by approved student groups, off-campus organizations and individuals: 1) the area of the clock tower, 2) the University Drive triangle between Chesapeake Dining Hall and Annapolis Hall, and 3) the library quad. No other areas may be used for gatherings, speeches or distribution of literature unless first approved by the Office of the President.

    » Read More

  • Residence Hall Posting Guidelines

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: June 27, 2016

    Fliers that will NOT be approved for posting: … Fliers containing content that would be considered offensive to the reasonable person (e.g. nudity, obscenities, etc.)

    » Read More


Green Light Policies
  • Policy Statements: University Standards of Personal and Group Conduct: Violence to Persons/Physical or Verbal Assault

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: June 27, 2016

    Assault includes verbal or written acts which place a person in personal fear or which have the effect of harassing or intimidating a person.

    » Read More

  • Policy Statements: University Standards of Personal and Group Conduct- Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: June 27, 2016

    Engaging in intentional conduct directed at a specific person or persons which seriously alarms or intimidates such person or persons and which serves no legitimate purpose. Such conduct may include: explicit or implicit threats, including gestures which place a person in reasonable fear of unwelcome physical contact, harm or death; following a person about in a public place or to or from his or her residence; making remarks in a public place to a specific person which are by common usage lewd, obscene, expose a person to public hatred or that can reasonably be expected to have a tendency to cause acts of violence by the person to whom the remark is addressed; or communicating by voice or graphic means or electronic formats including social media site postings or making a telephone call or text anonymously whether or not a conversation ensues.

    » Read More


  • Obama Administration Attacks ‘Reasonableness’ and ‘Common Sense’ in Sex Harassment Investigations

    September 13, 2016

    By Hans Bader at Competitive Enterprise Institute The Supreme Court has repeatedly said that not all sexual flirtation or interaction constitutes sexual harassment, and that whether conduct is bad enough to amount to harassment “should be judged from the perspective of a reasonable person in the plaintiff’s position, considering ‘all the circumstances.’” Thus, reasonableness is part of the legal standard… Read more here.

    » Read More
  • Examiner Local Editorial: Muzzling free speech on campus

    January 2, 2013

    One New Year’s resolution we’d like to see in 2013 is a renewed effort to uphold the First Amendment on college campuses. According to a new report by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, 62 percent of the nation’s colleges and universities “maintain severely restrictive speech codes … that clearly and substantially prohibit protected speech.” FIRE noted that the overwhelming majority of speech is protected. But narrow exceptions (such as “fighting words,” obscenity and defamation) “are often misused and abused by universities to punish constitutionally protected speech.” Restrictions intended to protect students from harassment or bullying have been […]

    » Read More
At present, FIRE does not maintain information on this school's policies.