Furman University

Location: Greenville, South Carolina
Website: http://www.furman.edu
Type: Private
Federal Circuit: 4th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Furman 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.

At present, FIRE has not been involved in any cases at this school.

Red Light Policies

  • The Helmsman: Student Conduct Code – Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: June 22, 2016

    Harassment is defined as any unwelcome verbal, nonverbal, written, electronic, or physical conduct. Harassment comes in many forms and can be based on various protected categories. No definition can be all encompassing. Harassment based on race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, or sexual orientation of any person, or the perception that a person has one or more of these characteristics violates this Policy. Any hostile or offensive conduct based on protected status can constitute prohibited harassment. For example, the behavior is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it has the effect of substantially interfering with the individual’s work or educational performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning environment for employment, education, on-campus living, or participation in a University activity.

    Prohibited forms of harassment under this policy include, but are not limited to:

    1. Verbal Harassment. Inappropriate or offensive remarks, slurs, jokes or innuendoes based on a person’s race, gender, sexual orientation, or other protected status. This may include, but is not limited to, inappropriate comments regarding an individual’s body, physical appearance, attire, marital status or sexual orientation; unwelcome comments; verbal abuse, threats or intimidation; or patronizing or ridiculing statements that convey derogatory attitudes based on a protected status.

    2. Physical Harassment. Inappropriate or offensive touching, assault, or physical interference with free movement. It also includes any physical assault or intimidation directed at an individual due to that person’s protected status.

    3. Visual or Written Harassment. The display or circulation of visual or written material that degrades an individual or group based on protected status. this may include, but is not limited to, posters, cartoons, drawings, graffiti, reading materials, computer graphics or electronic media transmissions.

    4. Environmental Harassment. A hostile academic or work environment exists where it is permeated by innuendo; insults or abusive comments directed at an individual or group based protected status; or gratuitous comments regarding an individual or group based protected status that are not relevant to the subject matter in the classroom or work environment. It can also be created by an unwarranted focus on, or stereotyping of, particular racial or ethnic groups, sexual orientations, genders or other protected statuses. An environment may also be hostile toward anyone who merely witnesses prohibited harassment in his or her immediate surroundings, although the conduct is directed at others. The determination of whether an environment is hostile is based on the totality of the circumstances, including such factors as the frequency of the conduct, the severity of the conduct, whether the conduct is humiliating or physically threatening, and whether the conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual’s learning or work.

    » Read More

  • Sexual Misconduct Policy

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: June 22, 2016

    “Sexual Harassment” is any unwelcome verbal, nonverbal, written, electronic, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Examples of Sexual Harassment include instances in which: …

    (ii) The behavior is so severe or pervasive that it has the effect of substantially interfering with the individual’s work or educational performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning environment for employment, education, on‐campus living, or participation in a University activity. Examples of this type of sexual harassment include:

    (1) one or more instances of Sexual Assault;

    (2) persistent unwelcome efforts to develop a romantic or sexual relationship;

    (3) unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors;

    (4) unwelcome commentary about an individual’s body or sexual activities;

    (5) repeated and unwelcome sexually‐oriented teasing, joking, or flirting; and

    (6) verbal abuse of a sexual nature.

    Sexual Harassment also includes acts of intimidation, bullying, aggression or hostility based on gender or gender‐stereotyping, even if the acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.

    » Read More


Yellow Light Policies
  • The Helmsman: Administrative Policies- Peaceable Assembly

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: June 22, 2016

    Peaceful assembly is allowed on campus with approval from the University Police who can assist with identifying appropriate venues/locations for such activities. At the same time, it is affirmed that this University should not be expected to provide a platform for persons who would be obscene, who would advocate immorality or who would incite to violence. … There shall be no use of violence, force, obscene or indecorous language or conduct in protest or demonstrations.

    » Read More

  • The Helmsman: Student Conduct Code- Acts of Intolerance

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: June 22, 2016

    Acts of intolerance are prohibited. An act of intolerance can include either overt or covert actions, including verbal attacks and/or physical assaults on students and/or their property (including campus housing doors), which interfere with the educational process at Furman or cause harm.

    Acts of intolerance are defined as malicious behaviors that can be motivated by prejudice toward a person or group. They also include malicious behaviors that because of their intent and/or outcome can cause harm, threaten and/or be personally directed against or target an individual or group. These behaviors are based on perceived or actual characteristics such as race, national origin, color, creed, religion, sex, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other category protected by applicable state or federal law.

    » Read More

  • The Helmsman: Administrative Policies- Posting of Signs and Banners

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: June 22, 2016

    The University retains the right to deny posting of any materials on campus.

    Promotion of alcohol beverages, illegal drugs, or any other illegal activities in text, graphic or any other form is prohibited.

    » Read More

  • The Helmsman: Bullying/Cyberbullying

    Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies
    Last updated: June 22, 2016

    Bullying and cyberbullying is prohibited. Bullying may involve situations that include, but are not limited to:

    • Imbalance of Power: people who bully use their power to control or harm and the people being bullied may have a hard time defending themselves.
    • Intent to Cause Harm: actions done by accident are not bullying; the person bullying has a goal to cause harm.
    • Repetition: incidents of bullying happen to the same person over and over by the same person or group.

    Bullying can take many forms. Examples include:

    • Verbal: name-calling, teasing.
    • Social: spreading rumors, leaving people out on purpose, breaking up friendships.
    • Physical: hitting, punching, shoving.
    • Cyberbullying: using the Internet, mobile phones or other digital technologies to harm others.

    » Read More

  • The Helmsman: Student Conduct Code- Solicitation

    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes
    Last updated: June 22, 2016

    Solicitation, defined as approaching any individual with a request or plea, is not allowed on campus, to include campus housing. No individuals or groups will be given permission to solicit on a door-to-door basis. With advanced written permission, the Trone Student Center will assist Furman individuals, groups and vendors who wish to set up tables in high-traffic areas.

    » Read More

  • The Helmsman: Student Organization Conduct Expectations- Harassment and Sexual Misconduct

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: June 22, 2016

    Student organizations will not tolerate or condone any form of harassment or sexual misconduct by any of its members, whether physical, mental or emotional. This is to include any actions, activities, events or themes, whether on or off campus, which are demeaning to women, men or minority groups including, but not limited to verbal harassment, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct by individuals or members acting together

    » Read More


Green Light Policies
  • The Helmsman: Student Conduct Procedures- The University’s Rights and Responsibilities

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: June 22, 2016

    Students are guaranteed freedom of inquiry and expression.

    » Read More

  • The Helmsman: Administrative Policies- Peaceable Assembly

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: June 22, 2016

    One of the marks of a vital university is freedom of inquiry and expression. Indeed, such a freedom is the mark of a free and democratic society. Education, as contrasted with indoctrination, must provide the student with a wide spectrum of views on vital issues. It is the responsibility of the University, as well as one of its purposes, to help the student learn to distinguish fact from myth, objectivity from bias, tolerance from intolerance. The student should learn to think rationally and reach valid conclusions. The student who is not exposed to varying views on an issue may be denied opportunity to learn the elements of rational thinking. Consequently, the student could miss one of the most important aims of education. Only in a spirit of free inquiry can the student be prepared to assume the responsibilities of constructive citizenship.

    » Read More


At present, FIRE does not maintain information on this school's policies.
  • Problems with University Bias Policies and Attempts to Improve Campus Climate

    November 19, 2012

    This fall, FIRE is writing a blog series about how schools can reform their problematic speech codes and earn a “green light” rating from us—a distinction currently awarded to just 15 of the more than 400 schools in our Spotlight database, but one we hope to be able to award to many more in the years to come. In this series, we are discussing common problems with campus speech codes, focusing on examples from schools that are just a few small changes away from earning a green light rating. So far, we have examined how universities restrict speech by mandating […]

    » Read More
  • Posting Policies Frequently Restrict Student Expression

    October 30, 2012

    This fall, FIRE is writing a blog series about how schools can reform their problematic speech codes and earn a “green light” rating from FIRE—a distinction currently awarded to just 16 of the more than 400 schools in our Spotlight database, but one we hope to be able to award to many more in the years to come. In this series, we are discussing common problems with campus speech codes, focusing on examples from schools that are just a few small changes away from earning a green light rating. So far, we have examined how universities restrict speech by mandating “civility,” […]

    » Read More