Mississippi State University

Location: Mississippi State, Mississippi
Website: http://www.msstate.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 5th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Mississippi State University has been given the speech code rating Green. Green light institutions are those colleges and universities whose policies nominally protect free speech. Read more here.

At present, FIRE has not been involved in any cases at this school.
Green Light Policies
  • Policy 3.03: Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 24, 2016

    [I]n circumstances in which allegations of sexual misconduct (including sexual harassment) are made against a student, the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy (OP 91.118) applies and shall take precedent over this policy.

    As used in this Policy, the following terms have the following meanings:

    Harassment: Conduct (physical, verbal, graphic, written, or electronic) that is (1) unwelcome; (2) discriminatory on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, sex, pregnancy, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, status as a U.S. veteran, or any other status protected by state or federal law; (3) directed at an individual or group in one of the protected classes outlined in this policy; and (4) so severe or pervasive, and objectively offensive that it unreasonably interferes with the victim’s ability to participate in or to realize the intended benefits of an institutional activity, opportunity, or resource, unreasonably interferes with the victim’s work or living environment, or deprives the victim of some other protected right.

     

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  • STUDENT AFFAIRS OP 91.118: Sexual Misconduct

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 24, 2016

    Sexual Harassment: means unwelcome harassment of a sexual nature that is sufficiently severe or pervasive and objectively offensive that it unreasonably interferes with a complainant’s academic performance or equal opportunity to participate in or benefit from the University’s resources and opportunities, unreasonably interferes with the complainant’s work or living environment, or deprives the complainant of some other protected right.

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  • Housing and Residence Life Policies and Procedures Handbook: Posting Policies

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: August 24, 2016

    Content Disclaimer: The advertisement, posters, flyers, notices, signs or banners should adhere to all university policies and state and federal laws. Promoting the use of alcohol and/or illegal substances is also prohibited. It may not include any reference to or support of violations to the code of student conduct, residence hall policies, federal, state or local law. The Department of Housing and Residence Life reserves the right to reject or remove any posting.

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  • STUDENT AFFAIRS OP 91.109: Dissent, Disruption, and Academic Freedom

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: August 24, 2016

    Mississippi State University recognizes that in the community of scholars there are certain indisputable rights to freedom of inquiry, freedom of thought, and freedom of expression. The university encourages the search for truth and knowledge and does not abridge searchers’ rights to reveal their findings, by both spoken and written word, even if in so doing they might find themselves at variance with their peers as well as the lay community. To dissent, to disagree with generally accepted truth and knowledge is acceptable. The university also stands for the right of all faculty, staff, and students to pursue their legitimate activities without interference, intimidation, coercion, or disruption. The university affirms all rights and freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States.

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  • Code of Student Conduct: Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 24, 2016

    Conduct (physical, verbal, graphic, written, or electronic) that is (1) unwelcome; (2) discriminatory on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, or veteran status; (3) directed at an individual; and (4) so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that a reasonable person with the same characteristics of the victim would be adversely affected to a degree that interferes with his or her ability to participate in or to realize the intended benefits of an institutional activity, opportunity, or resource.

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  • Use of Information Technology Resources

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: August 24, 2016

    Examples of inappropriate and unacceptable use of IT resources include, but are not limited to: … Using IT resources to harass or threaten others … Use of IT resources for non-University business or for-profit purposes of the user or for political purposes.

    » Read More

  • STUDENT AFFAIRS OP 91.304: Free Speech and Assembly Policy

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: August 24, 2016

    Mississippi State University will protect the rights of freedom of speech, expression, petition, and peaceful assembly as set forth in the U. S. Constitution.

    Mississippi State University provides forums for the expression of ideas and opinions, such as the following:
    1. Traditional public forums include the university’s public streets, sidewalks, parks, and similar common areas such as the Drill Field. These areas are generally available for expressive activity, planned or spontaneous, for the individual or small group at any time without the need for reservation or prior approval.

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  • The Campus Sex Scandals

    June 8, 2016

    By Staff at The Blade Sexual harassment is the issue of the moment on college university campuses in recent days, with the dismal situation at Baylor University, a Baptist institution in Waco, Texas, understandably drawing the most attention. Read more here.

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  • MSU/Ole Miss Rank Well on Free Speech

    March 11, 2015

    By Mel Carlock at WTVA News PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (WTVA) — Mississippi State and Ole Miss rank high on a new report about free expression on college campuses. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) says the schools are among 10 to receive a “Green Light” ranking because campus policies that do not threaten free expression. FIRE looked at policies regarding protest, sexual harrasment, academic freedom, housing policies, student conduct and rules regarding information technology in creating the rankings. The group says 55 percent of the 437 colleges surveyed received a “Red Light” ranking. Those include Alcorn State, Delta State, the University […]

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  • Free-speech policies questioned

    August 16, 2010

    Students at Mississippi universities may have to watch what they say more than those in other states because of policies that free-speech advocates say are oppressive. At Ole Miss, someone could theoretically get in trouble for sending an e-mail about how much they “hate” rival Mississippi State. Jackson State students could be punished for unsolicited flirting. Speaking freely outside so-called “free-speech zones” on most of the campuses could get students in trouble, even though a federal court has deemed that unconstitutional. Adam Kissel, of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, said the nonprofit group hears from hundreds of college […]

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  • Prof sails against liberal tide

    April 17, 2005

    WILMINGTON — The door to the office of Mike Adams, associate professor of criminal justice at UNC-Wilmington, seems more like a window into his soul. The bumper stickers, fliers, advertisements, printouts and photographs attached to the door provide a vivid sociopolitical view of the office’s occupant. Can’t feed ’em, Don’t breed ’em. Every fourth baby dies from Choice. Straight white male — The final minority. So you’re a feminist. Isn’t that cute. The door is so cluttered that its earlier decorations have been all but covered — most notably the sign declaring Adams’ office to be the campus “Men’s Resource […]

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  • Tensions Rise, But Mississippi State Administrators Stand by Free Speech

    October 23, 2015

    Administrators at Mississippi State University (MSU) offered the rest of the country a lesson in upholding free speech last week when an off-campus group with an anti-gay message clashed with gay rights supporters on campus. The Reflector, MSU’s student paper, reported yesterday that tensions between Consuming Fire Fellowship, a Mississippi-based Christian group, and student members of MSU’s LGBTQ+ Union grew over the course of Consuming Fire’s three-day demonstration, which began last Tuesday on MSU’s Drill Field. LGBTQ+ Union president Bailey McDaniel said members of her group were upset, and some discussed filing formal harassment charges against Consuming Fire members who […]

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  • Why Mississippi State’s Harassment Policy Earns a ‘Green Light’

    December 27, 2013

    In a new series here on The Torch, FIRE will be examining some of the best “green light” university policies out there. These policies illustrate how colleges and universities can uphold the First Amendment on campus while still preventing unlawful and actionable conduct. Today, we take a look at how Mississippi State University’s harassment policy protects students’ free speech rights and simultaneously addresses true harassment. As one of the more recent schools to earn an overall green light rating from FIRE, it is no surprise that Mississippi State appears in this series. Indeed, its policy on “Harassment,” found in the Code of Student Conduct, is a model of clarity […]

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  • ‘The College Fix’ Covers New “Green Light” Schools

    September 28, 2012

    This year FIRE was proud to add two new schools to our list of institutions that have “green light” policies for free speech: Mississippi State and the University of Mississippi. We also were happy to add both of those schools to our Seven Best Schools for Free Speech list published in The Huffington Post last month. Online student-written news site The College Fix has a good writeup about the list and its new members. Check it out!

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  • Mississippians Celebrate Free Speech on State Campuses

    September 12, 2012

    Mississippi news outlets continue to celebrate the state’s good record for freedom of speech on its flagship campuses, with both Ole Miss and Mississippi State listed among the top seven colleges for free speech on campus by FIRE. The Dispatch is the latest to remark upon the Magnolia State’s high ranking for freedom of speech, with (of course!) an SEC football angle:  As college football enters its third week, the Southeastern Conference continues its stranglehold on the national polls, claiming three of the top seven spots in two separate polls.  But it turns out, the SEC has some other rankings […]

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  • ‘Starkville Daily News’ on Mississippi State’s Green Light

    July 11, 2012

    The Starkville Daily News of Starkville, Mississippi, draws attention to Mississippi State University’s success in becoming the latest “green light” school in FIRE’s Spotlight database. Not only does MSU’s commendable compliance with the First Amendment match the work done by rival Ole Miss earlier this year, we also hope it encourages many other colleges nationwide to follow MSU’s excellent example. Be sure to check out MSU’s press release celebrating the designation as well.

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  • Mississippi State University Earns ‘Green Light’ Rating

    June 19, 2012

    Here’s today’s press release: STARKVILLE, Miss., June 19, 2012—Free speech is the rule at Mississippi State University (MSU), which no longer maintains any policies restricting student speech protected by the First Amendment. MSU now holds the highest, “green light,” rating for free speech from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). While the overwhelming majority of the nation’s colleges maintain policies infringing upon students’ free speech rights, MSU is now a proud exception as one of just 17 schools nationwide to earn a green light rating. MSU administrators worked with FIRE to address the university’s speech codes.  “The entire […]

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  • FIRE Speaker at Miss. State Conference This Week

    May 2, 2012

    This Thursday, FIRE’s Director of Legal and Public Advocacy, Will Creeley, will be one of the featured speakers at a Legal Issues Conference to be held at Mississippi State University. The conference, co-sponsored by Mississippi State University, Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL), and the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management (NCHERM), will discuss the Office for Civil Rights’ new guidelines regarding Title IX and campus responses to sexual harassment and sexual assault. Mississippi State University Legal Issues ConferenceFeaturing Will CreeleyMay 3, 20121 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Due Process and Free Speech2:45 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Facebook vs. the […]

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  • In Mississippi, ‘The Clarion-Ledger’ Reports on Dangers of State Colleges’ Speech Codes

    August 16, 2010

    In today’s edition of The Clarion-Ledger, the Jackson, Mississippi newspaper reports on speech codes maintained at public colleges statewide. Spurred by FIRE’s recent victory at nearby Hinds Community College, reporter Elizabeth Crisp writes: Students at Mississippi universities may have to watch what they say more than those in other states because of policies that free-speech advocates say are oppressive. At Ole Miss, someone could theoretically get in trouble for sending an e-mail about how much they “hate” rival Mississippi State. Jackson State students could be punished for unsolicited flirting. Speaking freely outside so-called “free-speech zones” on most of the campuses […]

    » Read More