Indiana University – Bloomington

Location: Bloomington, Indiana
Type: Public
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Speech Code Rating

Indiana University – Bloomington 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

Campus Climate

Overall Ranking

out of 55 colleges surveyed Read more
  • Policy UA-03: Sexual Misconduct

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: March 18, 2020

    1. Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct or behavior of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment includes sexual violence. Both violent and non-violent sexual harassment is prohibited. Sexual harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal, nonverbal, written, electronic (e.g... Read More
  • Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct: Student Rights- Right to Freedom from Harassment

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: March 18, 2020

    Discriminatory harassment is defined as conduct that targets an individual based upon age, color, religion, disability, race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, or veteran’s status and that adversely affects a term or condition of an individual’s education, ... Read More
  • Division of Student Affairs: Report a Bias Incident

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: May 26, 2021

    What is a bias incident? A bias incident targets a person based on age, color, religion, disability (physical or mental), race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, or veteran status. Bias incidents occur when someone is subject to discrimination, harassment... Read More
  • Residence Hall Rules and Regulations: Activities Resulting in Damage, Distress, or Disturbance

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: May 26, 2021

    Writing offensive and/or inappropriate language or symbols on dry erase boards, sidewalks, or other areas frequented by the public is prohibited. Read More
  • Residential Programs and Services: Statement on Diversity

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: May 26, 2021

    [W]e will not tolerate any form of bigotry, harassment, intimidation, threat, or abuse, whether verbal or written, physical or psychological, direct or implied. Alcohol or substance abuse, ignorance, life experiences, anger, or, “it was just a joke”, will not be accepted as an excuse. We will respond to ... Read More
  • Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct: Purpose of the Code

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: March 18, 2020

    A student who accepts admission to Indiana University agrees to: … behave in a manner that is respectful of the dignity of others, treating others with civility and understanding … Read More
  • Student Incident Reporting: Incident Types

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: May 26, 2021

    Understand what incidents to report Trust your best judgment. If you believe a student’s safety, body, beliefs, or rights have been violated, report it. Read the following definitions to know how to identify incidents. … Harassment A form of discriminatory behavior consisting of physical or verbal conduct ... Read More
  • Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct: Responsibilities

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: March 18, 2020

    Verbal abuse of another person, including the following: a. An express or implied threat to: 1. Interfere with an individual’s personal safety, academic efforts, employment, or participation in university-sponsored activities and that under the circumstances causes the person to have a reasonable apprehension that s... Read More
  • Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct: Student Rights- Right to Freedom of Association, Expression, Advocacy and Publication

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: March 18, 2020

    In accordance with the state and federal Constitution and university policy, the university recognizes the rights of all students to engage in discussion, to express thoughts and opinions, and to assemble, speak, write, publish or invite speakers on any subject without university interference or fear of university d... Read More
  • Division of Student Affairs: Student Organizations- Assembling and raising awareness

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: March 18, 2020

    Expressive activities may be undertaken in most outdoor areas of campus. Dunn Meadow, outside Sample Gates, and all perimeter sidewalks maintained by the City of Bloomington are available for expressive activity. IU Bloomington has designed and reserved the Arboretum and Dunn’s Woods for reflection and quiet respite... Read More

FIRE surveyed roughly 20,000 students at 55 colleges and universities about the climate for free speech at their institutions. In 2020, FIRE released rankings of those schools, based on a number of factors, including openness, tolerance, self-expression, administrative support for free speech, and campus policies, scoring overall speech climate on a scale from -4-100. See the full report on FIRE’s 2020 College Free Speech Rankings for more information.


Rankings / out of 55 colleges surveyed

Overall Ranking 18
Ranked by Liberals 32
Ranked by Conservatives 21
Ideological Diversity 4

Overall / out of a top score of 100

Overall Score 54.0
Openness 63.5
Tolerance 52.8
Administrative Support 67.8
Self-Expression 39.6
Speech Code YELLOW
  • Indiana University Bloomington: SexFest Event Canceled After Video Causes Controversy

    February 13, 2020

    In February 2020, student organization Sexual Health Awareness Group at Indiana University, Bloomington put on its annual SexFest, an event aimed at “providing information about and promoting safe sexual practice.” After a video taken at a SexFest demonstration on BDSM sparked controversy online, it was alleged that university administrators unilaterally canceled the last day of… Read more

  • Indiana University cuts short student-planned SexFest after paddling controversy

    February 13, 2020

    Administrators used their safe word — “safety” — and ended the 3-day event early When contemplating their First Amendment rights, most people don’t immediately think of their right to engage in consensual spanking demonstrations. But that’s exactly the expression at issue in a free speech blunder at Indiana University Bloomington last week. Relying on the… Read more

  • Leadership roundup: How college leaders are answering questions about free speech

    April 25, 2017

    Controversy around free speech on college campuses seems to only be escalating: Charles Murray’s disastrous visit to Middlebury College, the violent response to Milo Yiannopoulos’ visit to the University of California, Berkeley, the shutting down of Heather Mac Donald’s Claremont McKenna College event, and just last week, Berkeley’s attempt to shut down Ann Coulter’s visit… Read more

  • More Campus Leaders Address Free Speech Following Election

    November 21, 2016

    For the past few months, we’ve been covering the statements campus leaders make about free speech at their colleges or universities. In the weeks following this month’s presidential election, campus leaders have addressed their students’ reactions to the results in various ways—some “good,” and others “bad” for freedom of expression. The Good Central Washington University… Read more

  • Due Process Legal Update: More Students’ Lawsuits Move Forward

    April 11, 2016

    Since OCR issued its April 4, 2011, “Dear Colleague” letter, more than 90 students have brought lawsuits alleging they were denied a fair hearing in campus sexual assault proceedings. When I wrote my first update on how these lawsuits were faring, I characterized them as an “uphill battle” for plaintiffs. While the atmosphere for these… Read more

  • Victory: Indiana U. Dismisses Conduct Charges Based on Student’s Single Email

    March 19, 2014

    FIRE has successfully defended the First Amendment rights of Indiana University – Bloomington student Andrew Hsu, who was charged with “Personal Misconduct” on the basis of a single email sent to a faculty member. After FIRE intervened on Hsu’s behalf, making clear the university’s unconstitutional application of its misconduct policy to Hsu’s protected expression, the university dismissed all charges against Hsu and permanently closed his case. FIRE commends IU for taking prompt corrective action.

  • Student at IU Attempts to Censor Fellow Students by Vandalizing Pro-Life Display

    October 1, 2013

    FIRE often exposes how colleges censor students—but last week, it was a student at Indiana University who decided to engage in some vigilante censorship by vandalizing a pro-life display. According to a student account, new student organization Students for Life at IU intended to have a peaceful demonstration on campus as part of an organized protest dubbed the “Planned… Read more

  • Faced With Hateful Protest and Calls for Censorship, Indiana U. Admins Reaffirm Free Speech Rights

    September 6, 2013

    There is little that will make a full-time free speech advocate prouder of his university than when the school comes out strongly in defense of free expression. Last week, in response to a protest by the campus’ registered chapter of the Traditionalist Youth Network (TYN), administrators at my alma mater, Indiana University (IU), did just… Read more

  • No Charges Filed Against Indiana University Student Arrested for Sarcastic Tweet

    April 18, 2013

    At the behest of Indiana University-Bloomington (IUB) Provost Lauren Robel, the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office in Bloomington, Indiana, announced on Tuesday that it will not file felony intimidation charges against IUB student Alex Carlisle.  Carlisle turned himself in to police last week after a tweet he posted was interpreted as a death threat against Robel…. Read more

  • FIRE Speakers on Campuses for Constitution Day

    September 17, 2012

    What better way is there to celebrate Constitution Day than to go see a FIRE speaker? None, I say!  Today, Associate Director of Legal and Public Advocacy Azhar Majeed will be at Indiana University-Bloomington to talk with Young Americans for Liberty (YAL). The YAL chapter is holding a free speech wall event, and Azhar will… Read more

  • The Benefits of Listening to Other Views

    April 19, 2012

    Writing for the Indiana Daily Student, Indiana University (IU) student and former FIRE intern Nico Perrino comments on a recent episode in which IU students heckled a campus speaker, Pastor Douglas Wilson, and prevented others from hearing him speak. The students evidently found his views so noxious that they were deemed unfit for airing at… Read more

  • Will IU’s ‘Free Speech Zone’ Fall Next? A Former FIRE Intern Investigates

    March 1, 2012

    In the Indiana Daily Student this week, former FIRE intern and senior Nico Perrino writes about free speech issues at his school, Indiana University-Bloomington (IU). His piece discusses the recent lawsuit filed by students at the University of Cincinnati challenging that campus’s restrictive "Free Speech Zone." As Nico points out, IU has similar restrictions on… Read more

  • IU Students Advocating for Speech Code Reform Profiled in ‘Indiana Daily Student’

    September 16, 2011

    In the Indiana Daily Student this week, reporter Bailey Loosemore chronicles the ongoing efforts of Indiana University – Bloomington (IU) students to reform speech codes on their campus. Nico Perrino, an IU senior and former FIRE intern, started a committee with three other students last fall to challenge restrictive speech codes on IU’s campus. The… Read more

  • Indiana University Eliminates Discriminatory Funding Policy Against Religious Groups

    February 28, 2011

    The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) reports today that Indiana University-Bloomington (IUB) has eliminated a policy that had prevented the Christian student group Impact Movement from receiving student activity fee funds to help pay for its attendance at a national conference. Previously, groups at IUB had been excluded from receiving funds for activities that involve "religious… Read more

  • ‘Indiana Daily Student’ Highlights Problems with Speech Codes at IU

    February 4, 2011

    Connor Caudill at the Indiana Daily Student published a column this week highlighting FIRE’s recent memo explaining problematic speech codes at Indiana University-Bloomington (IU). Caudill was surprised to learn that "[m]any of the policies at IU that govern our free speech rights as students are prohibitive." The article explains two major problems with IU’s policies…. Read more

  • Free Speech (in the Free Speech Zone, after Paperwork) at Indiana University

    December 6, 2010

    The Indiana Daily Student, a student newspaper at Indiana University-Bloomington (IU), has run an interesting series on the history of Dunn Meadow, described as "[a] right-angled triangle, 925 feet long by 407 feet wide, intersected by a natural stream," which since 1962 has been a designated free speech area for the IU campus. Articles published… Read more

  • Indiana University Students Push for ‘Green Light’ FIRE Rating

    August 5, 2010

    After the student newspaper at Indiana University-Bloomington (IU) ran an article recently about IU’s “yellow light” speech code rating, members of the IU student government have expressed their intention to work towards reforming IU’s speech codes and earning a “green light” rating from FIRE. This is wonderful news. Murat Kacan, chief of communications for the Indiana… Read more

  • ‘Indiana Daily Student’ on FIRE’s Big Ten Spotlight Ratings

    July 26, 2010

    The Indiana Daily Student, the student newspaper for Indiana University-Bloomington (IU), published an article this week about the university’s yellow-light rating in Spotlight, FIRE’s speech code database. The article highlights several restrictive speech policies at IU, including the policy establishing a free speech zone. Reporter Nathan Miller quotes Samantha Harris, FIRE’s Director of Speech Code… Read more

  • Johns Hopkins Still Under Fire

    January 12, 2007

    Even though Johns Hopkins University reduced Justin Park’s punishment and he now considers the matter resolved, the university is still taking hits in the press. Today, the Indiana Daily Student published an opinion piece criticizing Hopkins for ignoring the free speech rights of its students. Columnist Edward Delp discussed the Hopkins case and other similar… Read more