Middlebury College

Location: Middlebury, Vermont
Type: Private
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Speech Code Rating

Middlebury College has been given the speech code rating Red. A red light university has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech. Read more
  • Middlebury College Handbook: Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 7, 2018

    Other examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, the following: … regularly telling sexual jokes or using sexually vulgar or explicit language in the presence of a person if it is known or reasonably should be known that the person does not welcome such behavior; derogatory or provoking re... Read More
  • Middlebury College Handbook: Respectful Behavior

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: September 7, 2018

    Middlebury expects all members of the Middlebury community to respect the dignity, freedom, and rights of other persons. Violence in word or deed against another; incitement or provocation to violence; negligent or reckless use of physical force; conduct that may reasonably be expected to exploit or coerce; preventi... Read More
  • Middlebury College Handbook: Demonstrations & Protests Policy

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: September 7, 2018

    Anyone who wishes to stage a demonstration or protest at any event on Middlebury property should contact and arrange a meeting with Public Safety to discuss policy, demonstration-specific regulations, and safety issues. Read More
  • Middlebury College Handbook: Community Bias Response Team Policy

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: September 7, 2018

    The Community Bias Response Team (CBRT) is charged with assessing and communicating an appropriate and comprehensive institutional response to bias incidents and acts of intolerance involving students. The CBRT will involve other members of the community in its response when appropriate. The CBRT’s goal is to take a... Read More
  • Middlebury College Handbook: Policies Governing Student Conduct, Residential Life, and Student Organizations- Introductory Matters

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: September 7, 2018

    Middlebury’s Student Life policies are meant neither to proscribe nor to inhibit discussions, in or out of the classroom, of complex, controversial, or sensitive matters, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, color, ethnicity, religion, marital status, place of birth, ancestry, nati... Read More
  • Middlebury College Handbook: General Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: September 7, 2018

    Behavior that violates common standards of decency, fails to comply with community laws or statutes, or demonstrates contempt for the generally accepted values of the intellectual community is prohibited. Read More
  • Middlebury College Handbook: Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 7, 2018

    Harassment is defined as verbal, written, visual, or physical conduct based on or motivated by an individual’s actual or perceived sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, creed, color, place of birth, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, national origin, age, disability, marital status, or othe... Read More
  • Middlebury College Handbook: Responsible Use of Computing and Network Facilities

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: September 7, 2018

    Abusive or threatening messages to others can be prosecuted as harassment. … All users of our computing and networking facilities bear the responsibility to avoid libel, obscenity, undocumented allegations, attacks on personal integrity, and harassment. Read More
  • Middlebury College Handbook: Student Organizations and Activities- Freedom of Inquiry and Expression

    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes
    Last updated: September 7, 2018

    Student organizations bear full responsibility for arranging and financing any Department of Public Safety services that may be necessary in connection with controversial speakers. The DOS has the right to receive full and accurate information regarding Department of Public Safety measures at any time they so reques... Read More
  • Middlebury College Handbook: Freedom of Expression

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: September 7, 2018

    Middlebury is a community of learners and as such recognizes and affirms that free intellectual inquiry, debate, and constructive dialogue are vital to Middlebury’s academic mission and must be protected even when the views expressed are unpopular or controversial.  Moreover, as the College Faculty Handbook and the ... Read More
  • Middlebury College Handbook: Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: September 7, 2018

    Middlebury is a community of learners and as such recognizes and affirms that free intellectual inquiry, debate, and constructive dialogue are vital to Middlebury’s academic mission and must be protected even when the views expressed are unpopular or controversial. Read More
  • Middlebury College Handbook: Demonstrations and Protests

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: September 7, 2018

    Students, student organizations, faculty, and staff at Middlebury College are free to examine and discuss all questions of interest to them and to express opinions publicly and privately. Read More
At present, FIRE has not been involved in any cases at this school.
  • Following violent protest, Middlebury begins issuing sanctions

    May 5, 2017

    Middlebury College has begun issuing disciplinary sanctions against students identified as participants in the violent March protest that prevented academic and writer Charles Murray from speaking on campus and left the talk’s moderator, professor Allison Stanger, with a concussion, according to The Middlebury Campus. Reporters Will DiGravio and Alex Newhouse write: As of April 17,… Read more

  • Murray at Middlebury: the cost of disrupting ‘provocative’ speech

    April 18, 2017

    Cornell University professors of human development Wendy M. Williams and Stephen J. Ceci report in The New York Times’ SundayReview column “Gray Matter” on an intriguing experiment they ran using the text of political scientist Charles Murray’s talk at Middlebury College. Wondering if his views were as “provocative” as the response seemed to indicate, they… Read more

  • More than 100 Middlebury faculty sign ‘Statement of Principles’ on free inquiry

    March 16, 2017

    Commentators have rightly wondered how the state of discourse on campus has deteriorated such that Middlebury College professor Allison Stanger was injured earlier this month during protests sparked by Charles Murray’s invitation to speak. It’s easy to fixate on what went wrong, but we should also note what went right in a potential watershed moment for… Read more

  • Middlebury faculty speak out

    March 7, 2017

    Yesterday evening, in the wake of last week’s attack on invited speaker Charles Murray and Middlebury professor Allison Stanger, the talk’s moderator, a group of Middlebury College faculty shared an open letter setting forth a set of “core principles that seem to us unassailable in the context of higher education within a free society.” As… Read more

  • The death of liberty on campus? Some reflections on Middlebury

    March 6, 2017

    By now, you have likely read about last week’s debacle at Middlebury College, where violent protests shut down a speech by academic and author Charles Murray and resulted in physical injury to Allison Stanger, a Middlebury professor who was there to moderate the Q&A portion of the event. Both Murray and Stanger have since publicly… Read more

  • Violent Middlebury protesters injure professor, force invited speaker to flee lecture hall

    March 3, 2017

    A successful heckler’s veto and an injury to a professor: that’s what academic and writer Charles Murray was met with when he arrived at Vermont’s Middlebury College yesterday to deliver a public lecture. Inside Higher Ed reports: Murray had been invited by Middlebury’s student group affiliated with the American Enterprise Institute, a think tank at… Read more

  • Middlebury Student Paper Condemns Judicial Scrutiny of College’s Disciplinary Processes

    October 5, 2015

    In a shocking editorial published last week, the staff of The Middlebury Campus railed against the ability of “outside individuals” like lawyers and judges to demand basic fairness from Middlebury College’s disciplinary processes. The editorial followed a Vermont federal court’s decision to halt Middlebury’s expulsion of a student accused of sexual misconduct, pending further legal… Read more

  • Federal Court Halts Middlebury’s Expulsion of Student Accused of Sexual Misconduct

    September 22, 2015

    Last week, a Vermont federal court halted Middlebury College’s expulsion of a student accused of sexual misconduct, pending further legal proceedings. The court issued a preliminary injunction, which may be granted only when a party can show both that they have a likelihood of success on the merits and that they would suffer irreparable harm… Read more

  • The State of Free Speech on Campus: Middlebury College

    February 8, 2013

    Today, FIRE continues our blog series on the state of free speech at America’s top 10 liberal arts colleges, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. Up for discussion today is U.S. News‘ fourth-ranked liberal arts college, Middlebury College. Like third-ranked Swarthmore College, Middlebury receives a “red light” rating, which means that it maintains… Read more

  • Middlebury Update: Students Guilty, But No Punishment for Hoax Press Release

    November 5, 2012

    After a six-hour hearing in front of more than 250 students, faculty, and staff members, Middlebury College will not punish the five students responsible for sending out a hoax press release in advance of a recent visit from the Dalai Lama. However, the students were found guilty of violating two Middlebury policies and will receive… Read more

  • At Middlebury, Embarrassing the Administration Has a Cost

    October 30, 2012

    Middlebury College, a private institution in Vermont, has decided to teach its students a lesson about the cost of dissent and the danger of criticizing the powers that be. Here’s the story in a nutshell: Earlier this month, the Dalai Lama visited Middlebury, and in advance of his visit, local media outlets received a press… Read more

  • ‘MiddBlog’ on Middlebury College’s Double Standard

    February 9, 2011

    MiddBlog, an "alternative news and events blog for Middlebury College students," has picked up on Sam’s arguments about the college’s new videos featuring fictional character "Aunt Des." The character, described by The Chronicle of Higher Education as "a redheaded, acrylic-nailed caricature of a Greek-American New Jerseyite," stars in a new series of videos encouraging Middlebury… Read more

  • Middlebury College Administration Violates Its Own Speech Code

    February 7, 2011

    According to Middlebury College’s Anti-Harassment Policy, prohibited harassment may include the use of "stereotypes," "circulation of written or visual materials," "taunts on manner of speech, and negative reference to customs" on the basis of, among other things, "place of birth, ancestry, ethnicity" and "national origin." What, then, can we make of Middlebury’s new video campaign… Read more

  • May 2009: Middlebury College

    May 4, 2009

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for May 2009: Middlebury College in Vermont. Middlebury’s ironically named policy on Freedom of Inquiry and Expression provides that Student organizations bear full responsibility for arranging and financing any Department of Public Safety provisions that may be necessary in connection with controversial speakers. The policy further states:… Read more

  • Middlebury’s President on the ‘Value of Discomfort’

    June 5, 2007

    At Middlebury College’s commencement last week, President Ronald D. Liebowitz delivered the 2007 Baccalaureate Address to the school’s graduating seniors, as is customary around this time of year in central Vermont. Rather than reciting the all-too-common collage of clichés reprised in so many graduation speeches, however, President Liebowitz used his bully pulpit to focus on… Read more

  • Due Process at Middlebury

    June 3, 2005

    The Village Voice had an interesting article recently about a senior at Middlebury College who was expelled from school for allegedly entering a classmate’s dorm room without permission. The article highlights one of the major problems at many American colleges and universities: the complete lack of due process—one of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the… Read more