Henderson State University

Location: Arkadelphia, Arkansas
Website: http://www.hsu.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 8th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Henderson 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
  • Technology Usage Guidelines

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: August 24, 2016

    Any use of University property that would cause public embarrassment or possible liability to the University is strictly forbidden, and this specifically including, but not limited to, viewing or downloading inappropriate material from the Internet in the presence of others or in any way displaying such material, whether inadvertently or by design, so that it may be in any manner observed by any other person(s).

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Residence Life Policies- Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 24, 2016

    Harassment is defined as verbal, written, visual, or physical conduct based on or motivated by an individual’s actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, ethnicity, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, or marital, veteran or disabled status or other characteristics as defined and protected by law in the location where a particular program is operating, that has the purpose or effect, from the point of view of a reasonable person, of objectively and substantially:
    a. undermining and detracting from or interfering with an individual’s education or work performance or access to university resources; or
    b. creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational, work, or living environment.

    Harassment may include repeated slurs, or taunts in the guise of jokes, or disparaging references to others, use of epithets, stereotypes, comments, gestures, threats, graffiti, display or circulation of written or visual materials, taunts or manner of speech, and negative reference to customs when such conduct is based on or motivated by one or more of the protected characteristics identified above, or other characteristics as defined and protected by applicable law.

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  • Student Handbook: Residence Life Policies- Decorations

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: August 24, 2016

    If decorations are deemed as a fire, health and safety issue, or offensive, you will be asked to take down said decorations.

    » Read More

  • Policy Prohibiting Sex- and Gender-Based Discrimination, Harassment, Misconduct and Retaliation

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 24, 2016

    Discriminatory Harassment: Detrimental action based on an individual’s race, color, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran status, sex, age, physical disability or mental disability. Harassing conduct may take various forms, including, name-calling, graphic or written statements (including the use of cell phones or the Internet), or other conduct that may be physically threatening, harmful, or humiliating. Harassment does not have to include intent to harm, be directed at a specific target, or involve repeated incidents. Gender-based harassment includes sexual harassment.

    […]

    Hostile Environment: A hostile environment exists when there is harassing conduct based on race, color, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran status, sex, age, physical disability or mental disability that is sufficiently serious (i.e., severe, pervasive, or persistent) and objectively offensive to deny or limit a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the university’s programs, services, opportunities, or activities; or when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s employment. Harassment that creates a hostile environment (“hostile environment harassment”) violates this policy.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities & Conduct- Publications

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: August 24, 2016

    A student, group, or organization may publish and distribute written material on campus without prior approval if such distribution and the content of the material is not disruptive to University operation.

    » Read More

  • Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 23, 2016

    Harassment. Any unwelcome conduct based on actual or perceived status including: [sex, gender, race, color, age, creed, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, veteran status, pregnancy status, religion, sexual orientation or other protected status]. Any unwelcome conduct should be reported to campus officials, who will act to remedy and resolve reported incidents on behalf of the victim and community.

    a) Hostile Environment. Sanctions can and will be imposed for the creation of a hostile environment only when [unwelcome] harassment is sufficiently severe, pervasive (or persistent) and objectively offensive that it unreasonably interferes with, limits or denies the ability to participate 10 Last updated 04-29-2015 in or benefit from Henderson’s educational or employment program or activities2

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Sign Policy

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: August 24, 2016

    All signs placed on campus must have the approval of the Garrison Center Director’s office located in the Garrison Center.

    » Read More

  • Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies
    Last updated: August 23, 2016

    Bullying and cyberbullying are repeated and/or severe aggressive behaviors that intimidate or intentionally harm or control another person physically or emotionally, and are not protected by freedom of expression.

    » Read More


  • Arkansas College Pushing to Ban Saggy Pants NOW Accused of Racism Sparks Controversy

    August 20, 2015

    By Meaghan Ellis at Inquisitr An Arkadelphia, Arkansas college is now the center of local controversy due to a seemingly offensive directive that many students feel is a form of racism. According to the Daily Caller, Henderson State University officials are making it known that saggy pants will not be tolerated around campus this school year. Although the controversial order is not an official rule that has been implemented to the public university’s guidelines, students were met with quite a surprise when they arrived for the 2015 fall semester. It has been reported that a number of signs have been […]

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  • ‘Disparate Impact’ Hits Below The Belt …

    August 18, 2015

    By John S. Rosenberg at National Review … or lowers the bar on where the belt should be Inside Higher Ed reports that officials at Arkansas’s Henderson State University recently posted signs banning “saggy pants” on campus. The signs were taken down after protests from students that the ban “targeted black students.” Both the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union,” Inside Higher Ed notes, have criticized such bans, “noting that they stifle free expression and disproportionately affect young black men.” Even F.I.R.E., whose protection of individual rights on campus is invaluable, seems to regard student belt levels a civil liberties issue. Will Creeley, director […]

    » Read More
  • University Ban on Saggy Pants Decried as Rascist

    August 17, 2015

    By Blake Neff at The Daily Caller A college’s attempt to crack down on the wearing of saggy pants is being attacked as racist against black people. Henderson State University, a public college in Arkadelphia, Ark., hasn’t officially banned such pants in its dress code, but recently signs appeared in its students center warning that saggy pants, along with profanity or rude behavior, would not be tolerated. Tonya Smith, a university spokeswoman, told Inside Higher Ed that the signs were intended to discourage disruptive behavior on campus. “Our faculty in particular had experienced an increase in inappropriate classroom behaviors that were disturbing […]

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  • Ban on Sagging Pants

    August 17, 2015

    By Jake New at Inside Higher Ed Officials at Henderson State University on Friday defended the university’s decision to ban “sagging pants” on campus, amid concerns from students that the ban targeted black students. While the Arkansas university does not ban any articles of clothing or style of dress in its official dress code, Henderson State employees recently posted signs in the student center stating that profanity, excessive loudness, rude behavior and sagging pants would “not be tolerated.” “Posting the signs was a response to increasing concerns expressed over the past year by students, faculty, staff and community members about […]

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