Michigan Technological University

Location: Houghton, Michigan
Website: http://www.mtu.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 6th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Michigan Technological 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
  • University Policy No. 2.5006: Use of Reserved University Outside Grounds

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies, Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: September 22, 2016

    Policy Requirements

    Authorization for the reserved use of University designated outside grounds will be obtained through the Student Activities Office for University affiliated persons or groups; or the Department of Public Safety and Police Services for non-affiliated persons or groups. Only University-designated areas may be reserved for use.

    Approval through this reservation process is required for all non-excluded events/space requests that include the following:

    • Vehicles on sidewalks or campus grounds (other than legally parked in designated parking lots)
    • Sandwich boards / signs / banners
    • Musical instruments and/or sound amplification equipment
    • Groups of more than two requesting to distribute promotional material
    • Any food/drink distribution or sales
    • Tables, tents, chairs, or any other setup requiring equipment/furniture

    Persons or groups must receive confirmation of approval from the Student Activities Office or the Department Public Safety and Police Services prior to conducting any activity.

    Any student organization or student violating the provisions of this policy and procedure, or failing to comply with University rules and regulations, is subject to action through the Office of Academic and Community Conduct. The University also reserves the right to take appropriate action for violation University Policy, or local, state, or federal law.

    The Department of Public Safety and Police Services reserves the right to ticket, escort persons off-campus, and/or ban individuals or groups for violating the provisions of this policy and procedure.


    The above reservation policy/procedure does not apply to individuals or small groups that intend to speak on campus grounds:

    • With no amplification, specific equipment or setup needs; and
    • Will not unreasonably block or interfere with the normal flow of pedestrian or other traffic; and
    • Will not create any safety hazard to other persons or damage to property; and
    • Will not unreasonably interfere by noise or activity level with other scheduled or routine activities at the location; and
    • Will not create litter as a direct or indirect result of the distribution of non-commercial promotional material; and
    • Will not involve food/drink distribution or sales.

    Notwithstanding the absence of any need for space reservation and the absence of the need to limit the distribution of printed material to certain areas if all of the above exclusion criteria are satisfied, all other Board of Trustees Policies (including 7.7, 12.2, and 12.3) must be complied with.

    The sponsoring organizations must make full arrangements in advance for required reservation of space using a form provided for this purpose. The form must be completed in full and submitted at least five business days prior to the proposed reservation date.

    » Read More

Green Light Policies
  • Code of Community Conduct: Discriminatory Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 22, 2016

    Engaging in severe, pervasive and objectively offensive conduct that is unwelcome, discriminatory (on the basis of race, religion or cultural identity, disability, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity, or ethnicity/national origin), and directed at an individual or a group of individuals so that it undermines the ability of the targeted individual(s) to access education equally. Discriminatory Harassment includes the creation of a hostile environment as well as attempts to create quid pro quo situations.

    » Read More

  • Code of Community Conduct: Assault, Endangerment and Threats

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 22, 2016

    Intentionally or recklessly endangering, threatening or causing physical harm to any person (including self); or intentionally or recklessly causing reasonable apprehension of such harm; or communicating to any person (including communicating by any communication device, anonymously or otherwise), with intent to cause alarm or threaten another person for no legitimate purpose.

    » Read More

  • Sexual and/or Relationship Misconduct Policy For Students of Michigan Technological University

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 22, 2016

    Sexual Harassment – includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is so severe, pervasive or objectively and subjectively offensive that it substantially interferes with or limits the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program and/or University activities or opportunities.

    » Read More

  • Code of Community Conduct: Bullying and Cyberbullying

    Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies
    Last updated: September 22, 2016

    Bullying and cyberbullying are repeated and/or severe aggressive behaviors that are intended to and do objectively and subjectively intimidate, harm, or control another physically or emotionally so as to substantially interfere with or limit their ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or employment

    » Read More

  • Meet The Taxpayer-Funded Administrator Who Thinks Title IX Supersedes The US Constitution

    December 11, 2015

    By Eric Owens at The Daily Caller An administrator at Michigan Technological University is also laboring under the impression that Title IX takes legal precedence over the United States Constitution. He also believes students violate Title IX when they make raunchy jokes about sexual harassment. The administrator is Les Cook, the president for student affairs at Michigan Tech, a taxpayer-funded public school with an ugly campus in the frozen tundra of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Cook made his odd claim about the supremacy of Title IX earlier this month as he attempted to justify Michigan Tech’s decision to place The Daily […]

    » Read More
  • Administrator Joins OCR in Forgetting the Constitution’s Supremacy

    December 23, 2015

    Earlier this month, Michigan Technological University (MTU) found itself at the center of some unwanted attention after unconstitutionally disciplining a student newspaper based on the content of one of its articles. The Daily Bull, a satirical publication, was placed on probation for two years by the MTU administration and had part of its funding revoked by the student government after publishing a satirical article titled “Sexually Harassed Man Pretty Okay with Situation,” accompanied by a list of “Signs that she wants the D.” FIRE is unfortunately all too familiar with attacks on the First Amendment rights of student publications and […]

    » Read More
  • With FIRE’s Policy Analysis in Hand, Michigan Tech to Revise ‘Red Light’ Sexual Harassment Policies

    November 2, 2011

    Back in December of last year, FIRE sent a national certified mass mailing to the presidents and general counsels at nearly 300 public colleges and universities. In our letter, we warned university leadership that in light of important legal developments during 2010, the case law regarding university speech codes was even clearer than before, and that institutional leaders and officials risked incurring personal liability for monetary damages if they continued to enact and maintain unconstitutional policies in violation of this body of law. In response to our mailing, we have received and continued to receive inquiries from a number of […]

    » Read More