Kenyon College

Location: Gambier, Ohio
Type: Private
Federal Circuit: 6th Circuit

Tell Kenyon College to revise its speech policies by filling out this form.

Speech Code Rating

Kenyon College 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
  • Title IX and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Policy: Harassment, Bullying or Cyberbullying

    Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies
    Last updated: January 25, 2018

    Harassment, bullying or cyberbullying are defined as repeated and/or severe aggressive behavior likely to intimidate, threaten, or intentionally hurt, control or diminish another person, physically or mentally that includes, but is not limited to: creating web pages with a negative focus; posting insults or lewd photos on social networking sites; and/or spreading rumors with malicious intent.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Discriminatory Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: January 25, 2018

    Speech or other expression constitutes harassment if it:

    • Is intended to insult or stigmatize an individual or an identifiable group of College-related individuals on the basis of their race, color, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national/ethnic origin, or other characteristic that is intrinsic to a person’s identity, and
    • Is addressed directly to or at (though not necessarily in the presence of) the individual or individuals whom it insults or stigmatizes, and
    • Makes use of words or nonverbal symbols that convey hatred or contempt for human beings on the basis of their race, color, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national/ethnic origin, or other characteristic that is intrinsic to a person’s identity. Harassment may also be constituted by nonverbal acts, which would also be punishable as, for example, vandalism, physical assault, or destruction of property

    Other examples of harassment include:

    • epithets or “jokes” referring to an individual’s group-based attributes;
    • placement of offensive written or visual material in or on another’s living quarters or work area;
    • offensive messages sent through email …

    For verbal utterances to be punishable as harassment they must fall under the precise definition stated above. They must be directed at an individual or an identifiable group of College-related individuals (for example, the Black Student Union), must be uttered with an intent to insult or stigmatize, and must not be protected under any of the exempt categories, which are listed and described below. For example, however lamentable, the telling of racist jokes is not harassment unless directed at a member of the scorned group for the purpose of insulting or stigmatizing that person by his or her group membership. Similarly, group libel (e.g., “all Jews …”), however revolting, is not harassment by this definition if it is not directed at particular individuals or an identifiable group of College-related individuals.

    Speech that conveys reasoned opinion, principled conviction, or speculation is not harassment. For example, the assertions that “all whites are racist” or “affirmative action is wrong” or “Christians are foolish to believe …” are not harassment. Of course, the mere claim of engagement in reasoned opinion is not sufficient to lift the charge of harassment.

    Political commentary and satire are not harassment. For example, satirical comments about the Laramie Project are not harassment. Putting a Confederate flag on one’s own door would also not be harassment, however offensive it might be deemed by many. Again, the mere claim of political commentary or satire cannot excuse what is really harassment.

    » Read More

Green Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Computers, Email, and Social Media

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: January 25, 2018

    Do not use computing resources for any activity which may intimidate, harass or threaten others.

    » Read More

  • Title IX and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Policy

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: January 25, 2018

    Sexual Harassment is any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other unwanted verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when one or more of the following conditions are present: …

    • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance, i.e. it is sufficiently serious, pervasive, or persistent as to create an intimidating, hostile, demeaning, or sexually offensive working, academic, residential, or social environment under both an objective and subjective standard.

    » Read More

  • FIRE Report Finds Very Restrictive Speech Codes at American Universities

    January 21, 2014

    by Alec Torres The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) released its annual report on college-campus speech codes last week finding that while the percentage of colleges that seriously infringe upon students’ free-speech rights has diminished in recent years, many universities still burden students with overbearing and sometimes ridiculous speech regulations. Here’s a look at some of the most egregious speech codes that FIRE found: The University of Connecticut requires that “every member of the University shall refrain from actions that intimidate, humiliate, or demean persons or groups, or that undermine their security or self-esteem.” At Athens State University in Alabama, […]

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  • ‘Wall Street Journal’ Highlights Inadequate Due Process Protections at Auburn University

    December 9, 2013

    Over the weekend, Wall Street Journal editorial board member James Taranto penned a piece about one Auburn University student’s treatment by the campus judiciary following another student’s allegation that he committed sexual assault. Joshua Strange faced two separate systems. In the criminal court system, a grand jury failed even to find probable cause to prosecute him, despite the fact that probable cause is a very low bar to pass. Yet in the campus court system, using the same information available to the grand jury, the school found Strange guilty under the “preponderance of evidence” evidentiary standard. The finding resulted in Strange’s expulsion from Auburn. […]

    » Read More