Keene State College

Location: Keene, New Hampshire
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 1st Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Keene State 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.

This school does not have any cases at this time.

Red Light Policies

  • Discrimination and Discriminatory Harassment Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Discriminatory Harassment is verbal or physical conduct that demeans or shows hostility, or aversion, toward an individual because of his/her race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, age, disability, or because of retaliation for engaging in protected activity and that:

    • Has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive learning or working environment; or
    • Has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s learning or work performance; or
    • Otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment opportunities or ability to be successful academically. Harassing conduct includes, but is not limited to the following:
    • Epithets, slurs, jokes, negative stereotyping or threatening, intimidating or hostile acts that relate to a person’s race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age or disability.
    • Written or graphic material which demeans or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group because of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age or disability and is posted on walls, bulletin boards, e-mail or elsewhere on the campus.
    • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for decisions affecting an individual’s employment or grades.



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Yellow Light Policies
  • Event Planning 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes

    Any college group may invite any speaker they desire providing they observe the following procedures:

    1. It is urged that opposing sides of any issue would be presented except in the case of organizations expressly constituted to support a particular point of view; i.e., political or religious.
    2. The organization must clearly state in its invitation and attendant publicity that the speaker is a guest of the sponsoring group.

    The organization assumes the responsibility for maintaining order and financial responsibility for any damage which might occur as a result of disorder.

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  • Student Handbook: Use of Facilities- Political, Social, and Commercial Activities 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies

    Students and non-students shall be permitted to engage in free speech activities, solicit for contributions, and distribute literature at designated spaces on the Student Center Lawn and inside the Student Center Atrium on a space available basis provided that:

    Any such activity as defined above is scheduled in advance through the Scheduling Office and in compliance with all of its policies.

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  • Student Handbook: Campus Policies- Disorderly, Disruptive or Indecent Behavior Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility

    The following describes behaviors that are considered by the College to be disorderly, disruptive or indecent whether they occur on or off campus: … The use of profanity, obscenity, public nudity, sexual activity in public places, public urination or defecation, water fights, using the opposite gender bathroom, using tobacco products in prohibited areas, etc.

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  • Student Handbook: Campus Policies- Threatening or Endangering Others Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Verbal threats, intimidation, harassment/bullying, coercion and/or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person is prohibited, be it through face-to-face interactions or the use of social media and/or electronic devices.

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  • Student Handbook: Sexual Misconduct Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Sexual Harassment – sexual harassment may take the form of unwelcome sexual advances, graffiti, jokes, pranks, slurs, insults, threats, vandalism, assignment of unpleasant duties, or even physical assault which serves to interfere with a person’s work or academic life.

    Federal and state laws define harassing behavior as occurring when:

    • Such contact has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating a hostile or offensive working or academic environment;
    • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting that individual; or
    • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic work.

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Green Light Policies
This school does not have any media coverage at this time.
  • Speech Code of the Month: Keene State College

    November 2, 2009

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for November 2009: Keene State College in New Hampshire. Keene State’s “Statement on Sexist Language,” found in the college’s Student Handbook, states that “Keene State College will not tolerate language that is sexist and promotes negative stereotypes and demeans members of our community.” Keene State is a public university, legally bound to uphold the guarantees of the First Amendment, yet this policy blatantly prohibits constitutionally protected speech. Not only does it prohibit protected speech, but it also leaves a great deal of what we would call core protected expression—that is, the kind […]

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