Middle Tennessee State University

Location: Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Website: http://www.mtsu.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 6th Circuit

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

Speech Code Rating

Middle Tennessee 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
  • 100: Use of Campus Property and Facilities Scheduling

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: April 4, 2018

    Except as set forth below, affiliated entities/individuals may gather and use the outdoor University spaces designated as “standard” on the Event Coordination Forms website, on a space available basis, without submitting an application pursuant to this policy. Even if not required, affiliated entities/individuals who wish to reserve space may do so pursuant to the procedures set forth herein.

    Affiliated entities/individuals are required to submit an application pursuant to this policy for the following uses of outdoor space:

    (1)  Large Events. Any use of outdoor space that will involve twenty-five (25) or more participants, including expected participants and audience;

    » Read More

  • 930: Electronic Mail Acceptable Use

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: April 4, 2018

    The following list, although not all-inclusive, provides some examples of unacceptable uses: … Transmission of incendiary statements which incites violence or describes or promotes the use of weapons or devices associated with terrorist activities;

    » Read More

  • The College System of Tennessee: General Regulations on Student Conduct and Disciplinary Sanctions

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: April 4, 2018

    Misusing and/or abusing campus resources including but not limited to the following: … Use of computing resources and facilities to send abusive or obscene correspondence …

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  • Office of Student Conduct: Statement of Community Standards of Civil Behavior

    Speech Code Category: Policies Restricting Freedom of Conscience, Statement
    Last updated: April 4, 2018

    The choice to associate one’s self with this fellowship of scholars is freely made by each participant but obligates those who do join to observe the following expectations for civilized conduct within the MTSU community: … disdain for bigotry and hatred expressed in any form or medium and directed toward identifiable groups or individuals in the community; tolerance for the convictions and opinions of others, even when not in agreement with one’s own beliefs …

    » Read More


Green Light Policies
  • 103: Free Speech on Campus

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: May 1, 2018

    A.  MTSU affirms that students have a fundamental constitutional right to free speech.

    B.  MTSU is committed to giving students the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, learn, and discuss any issue, subject to limitations set forth in this policy, or in state or federal law.

    C.  MTSU is committed to maintaining a campus as a marketplace of ideas for all students and all faculty in which the free exchange of ideas is not to be suppressed because the ideas put forth are thought by some or even by most members of MTSU’s community to be offensive, unwise, immoral, indecent, disagreeable, conservative, liberal, traditional, radical, or wrong-headed.

    D. Students and faculty are allowed to make judgments about ideas for themselves and to act on those judgments, not by seeking to suppress free speech, but by openly and vigorously contesting the ideas they oppose.

    E.  It is not MTSU’s role to attempt to shield individuals from free speech, including ideas and opinions they find offensive, unwise, immoral, indecent, disagreeable, conservative, liberal, traditional, radical, or wrong-headed.

    F.  Although MTSU greatly values civility and mutual respect, the University will not use concerns about civility and mutual respect as justification for closing off the discussion of ideas, however offensive, unwise, immoral, indecent, disagreeable, conservative, liberal, traditional, radical, or wrong-headed those ideas may be to some students or faculty.

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  • 27: Misconduct, Discrimination, and Harassment Based on Sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity/expression)

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: April 4, 2018

    Sexual Harassment (student-on-student): Pursuant to T.C.A. § 49-7-2406, for purposes of allegations of sexual harassment where both the accused and the accuser are students, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome conduct directed toward a person on the basis of sex that is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively bars the accuser’s access to an educational opportunity or benefit.

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  • 26: Discrimination and Harassment Based on Protected Categories Other Than Sex

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: April 4, 2018

    Harassment (student-on-student): Pursuant to T.C.A. § 49-7-2406, for purposes of allegations of harassment where both the accused and the accuser are students, harassment is defined as unwelcome conduct directed toward a person on the basis of race, color, religion, ethnic or national origin, disability, age (as applicable), status as a protected veteran, genetic information or any other category protected by federal or state civil rights law that is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively bars the accuser’s access to an educational opportunity or benefit.

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At present, FIRE does not maintain information on this school's policies.
  • Unconstitutional Security Fee Defeated at Middle Tennessee State University

    February 3, 2010

    The Alliance Defense Fund has announced a victory for free speech against yet another unconstitutional security fee. Pro-Life Collegians, a student group at Middle Tennessee State University, was required by the university to pay a fee for campus security to place exhibits through “Justice for All,” a pro-life advocacy group. According to ADF, no university policy requires a group to obtain such security and other groups holding comparable events were not charged a security fee. ADF makes the case for the unconstitutionality of such a fee: In the letter submitted to MTSU officials, ADF attorneys argue that such a vague […]

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