Kent State University

Location: Kent, Ohio
Website: http://www.kent.edu/
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 6th Circuit

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Speech Code Rating

Kent 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
  • Hallways Handbook: 2.3 Resident Bill of Rights and Responsibilities

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: September 13, 2017

    To be a mature adult is to accept responsibility for one’s welfare and the welfare of others. It is the responsibility of all students to be familiar with the policies and regulations of Kent State University and their impact within the residence halls. Students are expected to read this handbook. Ignorance of university and residence hall policy will not be accepted as an excuse.

    Questions about these policies should be directed to a residence hall staff member. Students may be held accountable for actions that are either intentional or negligent, for something they have done or have failed to do. In order to be a responsible community member you must understand the impact of your actions and not just the intent of the actions.

    Each resident is guaranteed the following Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. Enjoyment of life in a residence hall will depend, to a large extent, on the thoughtful consideration that residents demonstrate for one another.

    . . .

    9. The right to be free from fear of intimidation and physical and emotional harm.

    » Read More

  • Hallways Handbook: 3.6 Harassment and Assault

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 13, 2017

    Gender/Sexual Harassment:  Sexual harassment is a form of unlawful gender discrimination and is defined as unfavorable or unwelcome treatment, made without consent and based on a person’s gender or sex, that is severe or pervasive and has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s employment or academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working, academic or university environment.  Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to:

    a) Verbal and/or physical behavior including, but not limited to: sexually explicit jokes, insults, and taunts; obscene gestures; offensive pictorial, written, and electronic communications; and unwelcome touching.

    » Read More

  • 5-16.2 ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY REGARDING COMPLAINTS OF UNLAWFUL GENDER DISCRIMINATION, GENDER/SEXUAL HARASSMENT, SEXUAL MISCONDUCT, STALKING, AND INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 13, 2017

    (C)(2) Gender/sexual harassment.  Sexual harassment is a form of unlawful gender discrimination and is defined as unfavorable or unwelcome treatment, made without consent and based on a person’s gender or sex, that is severe or pervasive and has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s employment or academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working, academic or university environment.  Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to:

    (a)     Verbal and/or physical behavior including, but not limited to: sexually explicit jokes, insults, and taunts; obscene gestures; offensive pictorial, written, and electronic communications; and unwelcome touching.

    » Read More

  • 5-16 UNIVERSITY POLICY REGARDING UNLAWFUL DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 12, 2017

    Unlawful harassment. Includes intimidation, ridicule or insults that are sufficiently severe, pervasive or persistent as to interfere with or limit the ability of an individual to participate in or benefit from the services, activities or privileges provided by the University; creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working and/or learning environment; or otherwise adversely affects an individual’s work or learning opportunities, and is based on an individual’s race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, genetic information, age, military status, identity as a disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era, recently separated veteran, or other protected veteran. … Unlawful verbal or physical conduct may include, but is not limited to, comments focused on physical features, taunts, epithets/slurs, defacing property and/or items that demonstrate hostility to a person’s protected class.

    » Read More

  • Hallways Handbook: 3.68 Bias Incident

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: September 13, 2017

    Residence Services defines a bias incident as a non-criminal activity committed against a person or property that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender and/or sexual orientation, identity as a veteran with a disability or other protected veteran.

    The Department of Residence Services at Kent State University seeks to be an inclusive community that welcomes and respects all people. Every member of our community is expected to commit to maintaining a safe, respectful, inclusive and welcoming community. Bias acts are a degradation to the core values of the department and destroy the sense of community we all share.

    As such, Residence Services expects every member of the community to respond promptly to bias incidents. If an incident occurs, Residence Services staff members will follow a prescribed Bias Incident Response Protocol immediately. The protocol includes filing a police report, addressing the community needs and holding individuals accountable.

    » Read More


Green Light Policies
  • 4.03.1 Administrative policy regarding demonstrations, marches and speakers

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: September 12, 2017

    Non-registration. The university permits demonstrations, marches and non-university affiliated speakers without prior registration provided that no sound amplification equipment is utilized and members of the university community not participating in the demonstration may proceed with their normal activities.

     

    » Read More

  • Code of Student Conduct: Prohibited Conduct- Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 12, 2017

    Harassment. a. Threatening or intimidating a person creating a rational fear within that person. b. Engaging in unwanted conduct or repeatedly committing acts directed at another person that would disrupt the educational process. c. Creating a condition that endangers or threatens the health, safety or welfare of another person. d. Physically restraining or detaining another person, or removing any person from any place where the individual is authorized to remain.

    » Read More


  • Universities are Missing the Point by Emphasizing ‘Diversity,’ American U. Official Says

    April 4, 2016

    By Greg Piper at The College Fix WASHINGTON – College administrators are squarely to blame for the rise of student activism that tries to suppress the free expression of ideas, one such administrator said at a Saturday conference on campus free speech sponsored by the Newseum Institute and Knight Foundation… Read more here.

    » Read More
  • Coaches blow whistle on athlete indiscretions on networking sites

    July 16, 2006

    Before DeMarcus Dobbs plays a game at Georgia, we know this much: He has 271 friends. He was at Whitney’s for a party over Memorial Day weekend. (But he doesn’t drink or smoke.) He broke Jake the Snake’s nose. (But it was Justin’s fault.) He has a girl named Anna who will always love him despite the paint handprint he put on her shirt. And he’d better bring his money next time he sees Bobby “cuz it’s on.” Welcome to the online social networking/self-profiling world of MySpace.com, Facebook.com and dozens of similar Internet sites.   That emerging world has started […]

    » Read More
  • Do campus tribunals wield too much power?

    March 13, 2006

    By John Higgins at The Beacon Journal A Summit County jury found Charles Plinton not guilty of selling drugs to a confidential informant in 2004. A few weeks later, a University of Akron disciplinary board found him “responsible” for “selling drugs to a confidential informant.” The difference between those two words — guilty and responsible — may not sound meaningful to the average person. But it’s a distinction that begins to explain the secretive world of college justice in which campus committees may re-try the facts of serious crimes after criminal courts have already decided them. Critics see the hearings […]

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  • Kent State Dean Criticizes Campus Speech Policies: ‘Your First Amendment Rights End Where Somebody Else’s Sensitivity Begins’

    December 8, 2009

    In the enactment, enforcement, and defense of unconstitutional and illiberal campus policies, the dirty work often falls to the various deans of academic and student affairs. Depressingly, FIRE all too often sees administrators who hold disciplinary influence over their students acting on the mistaken idea that students have the right not to be offended or have their views challenged. Too often, administrators simply condone the false sense of entitlement this idea breeds, protecting feelings instead of protecting serious argument and incisive parody. Mark Weber, Dean of Library and Media Services at Kent State University in Ohio, is a notable exception. […]

    » Read More
  • Student-Athletes May Face Increased Online Community Restrictions

    July 19, 2006

    Athletic directors and coaches are the latest group to express concern with online communities like Facebook.com and MySpace.com. At the end of June, Laing Kennedy, the Athletic Director at Kent State University, announced that student athletes must remove their Facebook profiles by August 1. A recent article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which discusses this trend, explains that “Kennedy, who received harsh criticism, quickly backed off his ban and said last week he now restricts and monitors athletes’ use of the site.”   The monitoring and restriction of student-athletes’ profiles is more complicated than the same actions involving non-athletes. ADs and […]

    » Read More