Grand Valley State University

Location: Allendale, Michigan
Type: Public
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Speech Code Rating

Grand Valley 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
  • Posting: Approval Requirements

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: September 26, 2019

    ALL POSTERS MUST HAVE: Name of event, date, time, location (if poster is for an event). Name of organization or department. Contact information – Can be a phone number, email address, or website POSTERS CANNOT: Have any promotion or information about the sale or use of alcohol. If you are serving non-alcoho... Read More
  • Anti-Harassment Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 26, 2019

    Harassment is unprofessional conduct that could reasonably be understood as (1) having the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment, (2) having the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or access to educational activities and... Read More
  • Team Against Bias: Our Commitment to Addressing Bias on Campus

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: September 26, 2019

    Grand Valley State University strives to create an inclusive and equitable campus community where people are treated with dignity and respect.  If anyone in the Grand Valley community feels belittled, disrespected, or isolated based on their identity, there is a mechanism to report the incident (see below). The univ... Read More
  • Affirmative Action: Frequently Asked Questions

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 26, 2019

    Sexual harassment, including same-sex sexual harassment, is any unwanted attention of a sexual nature from someone in the workplace or classroom that causes discomfort or interferes with work or academic performance. Sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature... Read More
  • Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment (Including Retaliation) Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 26, 2019

    1. Sexual Harassment is unwelcome sexual, sex-based, request for sexual favors whether verbal, written, graphic, physical or otherwise, or other unwanted conduct of a sexual nature. When conditions are present as outlined in a. and/or b. below. 2. Gender-Based Harassment includes harassment based on gender, sexual o... Read More
  • Grounds and Facility Use Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: September 26, 2019

    University property is primarily dedicated to academic, student life and administrative functions. But it also represents the “marketplace of ideas,” and especially for students, many areas of campus represent a public forum for speech and other Expressive Activities. For students and registered student ... Read More
  • Grand Valley State University abolishes free speech zones in lawsuit settlement

    March 6, 2017

    Last week, Michigan’s Grand Valley State University confirmed the settlement of a First Amendment lawsuit filed on behalf of students and their student organization challenging allegedly unconstitutional restrictions on their campus free speech rights, including a policy cabining demonstrations to two small free speech zones. Attorneys for Alliance Defending Freedom filed the suit last December… Read more

  • Admins at ‘Red Light’ Schools Claim to Value Free Speech, But Policies Suggest Otherwise

    February 4, 2014

    Last month, FIRE released its 2014 report on campus speech codes, which revealed that 59% of the 427 colleges and universities analyzed maintain policies that clearly and substantially restrict constitutionally protected speech. When quizzed recently by student journalists about their institution’s speech codes, administrators at “red light” institutions Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and Grand Valley… Read more

  • Support Pours in for Grand Valley State Student Journalist Harangued by Administrators

    January 17, 2014

    We recently brought you the unfortunate story of Grand Valley State University (GVSU) student and Grand Valley Lanthorn student newspaper editor-in-chief Lizzy Balboa, who was beleaguered by campus administrators for publishing an editorial expressing concern that GVSU might be prioritizing donor appeasement over education, free speech rights, and academic freedom. Shockingly, administrators reportedly told Balboa that she was unworthy of her… Read more

  • Grand Valley State Administrators Attack Newspaper Staff for Criticizing Donor Handling

    January 14, 2014

    It is no secret that many colleges and universities are heavily reliant on the financial generosity of alumni, and often even large corporate or institutional interests. While this is not itself necessarily problematic, it can serve as a terrible incentive for administrators to stifle speech that might offend financial supporters or otherwise dissuade them from giving. The… Read more

  • Victory for Freedom of Conscience at Grand Valley State University: Music Department Axes Political Litmus Test

    July 28, 2009

    Grand Valley State University (GVSU) has promised to remove “demonstrated commitment to the principles of diversity” from the stated job requirements for prospective faculty seeking appointment to GVSU’s Department of Music. The department will restate its requirements in terms of relevant experience, not vaguely worded personal commitments regarding a controversial political issue. The change, which… Read more

  • Victory for Freedom of Conscience at Grand Valley State University: Music Department Axes Political Litmus Test

    July 28, 2009

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., July 28, 2009—Grand Valley State University (GVSU) has promised to remove “demonstrated commitment to the principles of diversity” from the stated job requirements for faculty seeking appointment to GVSU’s Department of Music. The department will restate its requirements in terms of relevant experience, not vaguely worded personal commitments regarding a controversial political… Read more

  • FIRE Remembers September 11

    September 11, 2007

    Today, FIRE joins individuals across America and around the world in reflecting upon the tragic events of September 11, 2001. As university students and professors from Maine to California host commemorations today to remember those who suffered and died six years ago, we take a moment to look back at how those events played out… Read more

  • FIRE Gets Results

    April 8, 2005

    Today’s FIRE press release celebrates a victory for free speech and expression at Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU), where students were threatened with punishment if they held an affirmative action bake sale protest. If you’re not familiar with these protests, we explain them in our press release, so take a look there. Unfortunately, the victory at… Read more

  • Bake Sale Battles Continue: FIRE Gains Victory at NEIU, Turns Sights on Grand Valley State University

    April 8, 2005

    CHICAGO, April 8, 2005—In a victory for free speech on campus, Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) has decided to allow the College Republicans to hold an affirmative action bake sale protest on campus with “no preconditions.”  The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) received written confirmation of the change on Wednesday afternoon, less than 36… Read more