Howard University

Location: Washington, District Of Columbia
Type: Private
Federal Circuit: 1st Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Howard 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.

This school does not have any cases at this time.

Red Light Policies

  • Student Code of Conduct: Prohibited Behaviors

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 22, 2015

    14. Harassment Harassment is engaging in verbal, electronic, visual, written or physical behavior directed at an individual or group that, in the view of a reasonable person, is likely to provoke or otherwise result in a negative or injurious response, mental or emotional distress, or related reaction or consequence. This behavior may include, but is not limited to:

    A. Making an expressed or implied threat of an action that will affect another person’s academic pursuits, University employment, or participation in academic or extracurricular activities sponsored by either the University or organizations or groups related to the University.

    B. Engaging in unwelcomed and unwarranted obstruction or interference with respect to a person’s participation in educational, athletic or on-campus activity, personal pursuits, or employment, which includes but is not limited to behaviors or communications which detract from or interfere with: an instructor’s ability to provide instruction in the classroom, laboratory, clinical practicum or clerkship; any activity directly related to teaching, instruction or academic advisement and counseling; or provision or use of any and all academic support services provided throughout the University Community.

    C. Creating an intimidating, demeaning or hostile situation or environment or inflicting personal, social, academic, psychological or emotional harm, or undue stress.

    » Read More

Yellow Light Policies
  • Title IX (Student) Policy on Prohibited Sexual Harassment and Gender-Based Discrimination

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 22, 2015

    Sexual harassment: unwelcomed sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

    (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a basis for any decision affecting the terms or conditions of participation in any such program or activity or status in an academic course; or

    2) such conduct has the purpose or affect of unreasonably interfering with a student’s educational right, privilege, advantage, or opportunity; or

    (3) such conduct is so pervasive or severe that it creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for learning and has no reasonable relationship to the subject matter of the relevant course of instruction.

    Examples of Sexual Harassment — The following examples are illustrative of conduct that, if proven, may be considered by the University to establish sexual harassment in an academic setting:

    a. unsolicited, unwelcomed flirtations, advances, and/or propositions of a sexual nature;

    b. insults, jokes, or anecdotes that belittle or demean an individual or a group’s sexuality or gender;

    c. unwelcomed sexually-oriented gestures, verbal expressions, or comments of a sexual nature about an individual’s body, clothing, or sexual experience;

    d. inappropriate displays of sexually suggestive objects or pictures ….

    » Read More

  • Student Code of Conduct: Prohibited Behaviors

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 22, 2015


    A. Engaging in verbal or physical behavior directed at an individual or group based on national origin, race, creed, gender, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation that, according to a person of reasonable sensibilities, is likely to create an intimidating or demeaning environment that impedes the access of other students, faculty and staff to the educational benefits available to them as a member of the University community. The Code includes bias-related or hate crimes as defined in the DC Code.

    B. Wearing articles of clothing with derogatory, racist, discriminatory, patently offensive, profane, sexually explicit, or graphic messages either in words or pictures, which demonstrate bias or discrimination against any individual or group within the University community.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Guidelines for Posting and Distribution of Posters/Flyers/Materials at Howard University

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: September 22, 2015

    Before displaying any advertisement, including signs, posters or placards on the bulletin boards or other display spaces at Howard University, the University employee, organization, department or recognized student organization must obtain authorization from the scheduling office. The name(s) of the sponsoring organization(s)/entity must appear on all advertisements. Requests for permission to distribute handbills, flyers or publications must be made directly to the Scheduling Office for authorization for posting and/or distribution of the materials.

    The University prohibits the posting of advertisements, announcements that it considers lewd, indecent, or vulgar, or that reflect the commission or attempted commission of any crime. Failure to conform to this requirement may result in withdrawal of approval to use the University facility.

    » Read More

Green Light Policies
  • Acceptable Use Policy for Computer and Network Systems

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: September 22, 2015

    Unlawful Messages
    Use of electronic communication facilities (such as e-mail, instant messaging, talk, chat rooms, threaded discussions or systems with similar functions) to send fraudulent, harassing, obscene, threatening, or other messages that are a violation of applicable federal, state or other law or University policy is prohibited.

    » Read More

  • Student Code of Conduct: Student Rights, Freedoms, and Responsibilities

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: September 22, 2015

    As members of the University Community, all students are guaranteed freedom of expression, inquiry and assembly, the right to form a student government, organize groups, to join associations in support of any cause or common interest, and to peacefully protest, provided that, such activity is conducted in a legal manner, is in accord with University regulations, and does not abridge the rights of others.

    » 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
This school does not have any commentary at this time.