Kennesaw State University

Location: Kennesaw, Georgia
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 11th Circuit

Tell Kennesaw State University to revise its speech policies by filling out this form.

Speech Code Rating

Kennesaw 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
  • Student Code of Conduct: Bullying and Cyberbullying

    Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies
    Last updated: March 15, 2018

    28) Bullying and Cyberbullying. 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.

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  • Sexual Misconduct Policy

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: March 15, 2018

    Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct, based on sex or on gender stereotypes, that is implicitly or explicitly a term or condition of employment or status in a course, program, or activity; is a basis for employment or educational decisions; or is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to interfere with one’s work or educational performance creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or learning environment, or interfering with or limiting one’s ability to participate in or to benefit from an institutional program or activity

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  • Computer Usage Policy

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: March 15, 2018

    No one shall use the University’s computing resources to harm the person, property, or reputation of another.

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  • Student Code of Conduct: Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: March 15, 2018

    23) Harassment. Any unwelcome conduct based on actual or perceived status including: (sex, gender, gender identity, 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. 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 in or benefit from the University’s educational or employment program or activities.

    This policy attempts to balance the need of the community to create a civil climate while also embracing the 1st Amendment protection that attaches to most harassing speech that is simply offensive.

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Green Light Policies
  • Kennesaw State University Freedom of Expression Policy

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: October 12, 2018

    Kennesaw State University (“KSU”) recognizes and is committed to upholding the First Amendment rights of all individuals, including freedom of speech and peaceable assembly.

    For students, student organizations, and other members of the KSU community, open outdoor areas of campus are venues for expression. The designation of forum areas herein may not be used to prohibit them from engaging in expressive activities consistent with this policy elsewhere on campus, and it does not apply to University-sponsored activities. Rather, the policy only sets forth reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on campus expression; and it establishes as designated public forums certain outdoor areas of KSU’s campus and sets forth requirements for forum reservations in the following limited circumstances: (1) members of the KSU community who plan an event with 30 or more persons and (2) individuals or groups who are not members of the KSU community who wish to speak on KSU’s campus. By placing reasonable limitations on time, place, and manner of speech, KSU does not take into consideration or take a position on the content or viewpoint of the expression, but allows for a diversity of viewpoints to be expressed in an academic setting.

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  • Fit to Print: Campus Journalists Face Down Those who Want to Stop the Presses

    April 13, 2016

    By Matthew Kassel at Observer It has been a tumultuous year or so for student journalists. Around the country, they’ve have had to contend with campus protesters and school officials who frame the concept of a free press in opposition to notions of politically correct speech… Read more here.

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  • Silencing Students: The 8 Most Loathsome Campus Censors of 2015

    December 29, 2015

    By Robby Soave at Every year brings new examples of ruthless college administrators trampling the free expression rights of students and faculty, and 2015 was no different. Here are eight of the most notable campus censors I wrote about this year. Honorable Mention: Eric Posner Eric Posner, a professor of law at the University of Chicago, hasn’t actually censored anyone, so he doesn’t make the list. But he certainly provides a great deal of intellectual ammunition for people working to restrict free expression rights—including and especially university administrators, as well as the police. Whether he is arguing that 18-year-olds […]

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  • Kennesaw State settles two student speech lawsuits in one month

    November 5, 2018

    Kennesaw State University in Georgia settled two lawsuits last month filed on behalf of several students and student organizations, agreeing to revise several unconstitutional speech codes and pay attorney’s fees to Alliance Defending Freedom, counsel in both cases. In late October, Kennesaw State settled Ratio Christi of Kennesaw State University v. Olens, filed after university administrators twice relegated a Christian student group and its pro-life display to an out-of-way “free speech zone” because the group’s display was viewed as “controversial.” In its complaint, the student group alleged that Kennesaw State’s policies imposed onerous reservation requirements for student expressive activity, gave […]

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  • Two universities’ responses to cheerleader protests demonstrate need for principled student-athlete speech policies

    September 18, 2018

    In late August, Southern Illinois University rescinded a restrictive student-athlete speech policy it passed in response to its cheerleaders kneeling during a national anthem before a football game. About a week later, cheerleaders at Kennesaw State University sued their school for prohibiting them from engaging in the same expressive conduct. This lawsuit, and SIU’s waffling over its student-athlete speech policy, are just two examples of universities struggling to forge workable solutions to issues regarding national anthem protests and student-athlete expression. At SIU in 2017, three cheerleaders knelt while the national anthem played at a college football game. SIU Chancellor Carlo […]

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  • REPORT: Artists clash with campus censors

    July 10, 2018

    Art purged for being “one-sided,” among other excuses Censors, often not understanding the message, ban art rather than grapple with its meaning PHILADELPHIA, July 10, 2018 — Art censorship is nothing new. Spanish conquistadors smashed ceramics of ancient Peruvian cultures that portrayed gay and lesbian sex. The Roman Catholic Church of the 15th century was so intent on covering up penises that for decades even Michelangelo’s David wore a garland of leaves around his waist. But a new report from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education shows that art censorship remains alive and well, even on today’s college campuses, […]

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  • Kennesaw State Plans to Restore Censored Art, Still Attempts to Control Message

    March 17, 2014

    Earlier this month, Kennesaw State University (KSU) offered to reinstall an exhibit that was removed just before the grand opening of its new Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art because of concerns that it wasn’t “celebratory” enough for the occasion and might might offend some visitors. The exhibit, created by Georgia State University professor Ruth Stanford, chronicled the history of writer Corra Harris’ homestead and included text by Harris in which she rationalized the lynching of African-Americans. Stanford has agreed to allow KSU to restore the exhibit, but expressed concern that KSU “continues to control the conversation” surrounding the art.

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  • Kennesaw State Releases Self-Contradictory Statement on Art Installation Controversy

    March 7, 2014

    Kennesaw State University has posted a statement to its website attempting once again to explain its decision to remove the exhibit. The statement plainly acknowledges that KSU administrators considered the subject matter of the installation.

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  • Students Create Free Speech Walls to Celebrate First Amendment

    September 27, 2013

    Students at colleges across the country are encouraging their peers to exercise their right to free speech by building “free speech walls” on their campuses—displays where students can write or draw whatever they want.  Free speech walls are a great way for students to share ideas in a public way. For example, student group Dorm Room Diplomacy at Binghamton University in New York set up a wall last week that was filled with everything “from animal drawings to political statements,” according to Pipe Dream, the school’s student newspaper. Pipe Dream reported: Although most of the postings on the wall were […]

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