Grinnell College

Location: Grinnell, Iowa
Website: http://www.grinnell.edu
Type: Private
Federal Circuit: 8th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Grinnell College 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

  • Student Handbook: Campus Life Policies- Hate Crimes and Bias-Motivated Incidents Policy

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: February 17, 2016

    [A] bias-motivated incident … is an expression of hostility against a person, group, or property thereof because of such person’s (or group’s) identifying or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender, gender identity or expression, and/or sexual orientation.

    If the College’s investigation indicates that the alleged perpetrator(s) are Grinnell College students, the case may be brought to the College Hearing Board. For full information about the student conduct process, please visit the following link. Since these behaviors are not reflective of our Community Standards, student(s) found responsible for bias-related charges may face outcomes up to and including suspension, dismissal or degree withdrawal.

    » Read More

  • Sexual Respect at Grinnell College: About Sexual Misconduct

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: February 17, 2016

    Definitions regarding forms of prohibited conduct, consent and related concepts, and other terms are listed below.

    Bias-Motivated Incident: an expression of hostility against a person, group, or property thereof because of such person’s (or group’s) identifying or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender, gender identity or expression, and/or sexual orientation.

    Sexual Harassment: unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

    » Read More


Yellow Light Policies
  • Information Technology Services: Academic Computer Usage

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: February 17, 2016

    Grinnell College supports the free expression and exchange of ideas and opinions and hopes that users of its computer systems will actively explore the possibilities of electronic publication on the World Wide Web. The College encourages students, faculty, and staff to develop and publish WWW pages through its servers (www.grinnell.edu, www.lib.grin.edu, web.grinnell.edu, and www.math.grin.edu).

    Exercising one’s right to free speech in an academic community, however, also entails some responsibilities that authors should be aware of:

    It is improper and inappropriate to use the College’s World Wide Web servers purposely to annoy, abuse, libel, threaten, or harass anyone, individually or collectively, or to violate state or federal laws.

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  • GRINNELL COLLEGE POLICY, PROCEDURES AND GUIDE TO PREVENTING, REPORTING, AND RESPONDING TO SEXUAL MISCONDUCT AND OTHER FORMS OF INTERPERSONAL VIOLENCE

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: February 17, 2016

    Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other unwanted verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when one of the following conditions is present: … Such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, academic, or social environment under both an objective and subjective standard (hostile environment).

    Sexual or gender-based harassment: … Does NOT have to include intent to harm, be directed at a specific target, or involve repeated incidents.

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Green Light Policies
  • About Grinnell: Mission and Values

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: February 17, 2016

    When Grinnell College framed its charter in the Iowa Territory of the United States in 1846, it set forth a mission to educate its students “for the different professions and for the honorable discharge of the duties of life.” The College pursues that mission by providing an education in the liberal arts through free inquiry and the open exchange of ideas.

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  • Ten Colleges And Universities Where Free Speech is in Danger

    June 20, 2016

    By Kelly McDonald at The Daily Caller  These popular schools all have one thing in common: they use vaguely-worded policies to prevent the free exchange of ideas, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Below are ten colleges and universities that FIRE has designated “red light” schools. “A red light university has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech,” FIRE explains… Read more here.

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  • Grinnell Introduces ‘Hate Crime and Bias-Motivated Incidents’ Reporting System

    April 13, 2016

    By Joshua Eisen at Campus Reform Grinnell College recently introduced a bias reporting system that allows students to report “expressions[s] of hostility” to campus police… Read more here.

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  • Report: UI, ISU and UNI on “red light” speech code list

    December 18, 2012

    A new report lists the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa among schools that earn the lowest rating regarding free speech on campus. The UI, ISU and UNI were among the schools on the “red light” list from the 2013 report on campus speech codes by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.  Grinnell College was on the “yellow light” list in the report. More than three-fifths — 62.1 percent — of the 409 schools surveyed have speech codes that “clearly fail to meet First Amendment standards,” according to the foundation. Those schools were […]

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  • Speech Code of the Month: Grinnell College

    March 18, 2016

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for March 2016: Grinnell College in Iowa. FIRE recently downgraded Grinnell College to our poorest, “red light” speech code rating for a “bias-motivated incident” policy that makes a great deal of speech punishable at the college. Grinnell defines a bias-motivated incident as an expression of hostility against a person, group, or property thereof because of such person’s (or group’s) identifying or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender, gender identity or expression, and/or sexual orientation. Grinnell takes these incidents very seriously, promising that “[s]ince these behaviors are not reflective of […]

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