Location: Norfolk, Virginia
Federal Circuit: 4th Circuit
Norfolk State University 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 here.
Red Light Policies
Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
Users must never act in an improper, inappropriate, indecent, or injurious manner when using the technological resources of the University. Prohibited activities include, but are not limited to:
1. Using University technological resources for personal gain or to further personal views, religious or political causes, soliciting or marketing of commercial ventures, or performing other non-job related solicitations; …
3. Intentionally downloading and/or transmitting fraudulent, threatening, obscene, intimidating, defamatory, harassing, discriminatory, or otherwise unlawful or inappropriate messages or images …
[T]he University does try to eliminate access to offensive websites….
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
Hostile Environment: any situation in which there is harassing conduct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, and offensive.
Sexual Harassment: unwelcomed conduct of a sexual nature. It includes sexual violence, sexual discrimination, unwelcomed sexual advances, sexual gestures, touching, requests for sexual favors, verbal or nonverbal physical aggression, dirty jokes, spreading rumors of a sexual nature, comments or questions about a person’s body, dress or personal life, offensive language of a sexual nature, intimidation, hostility or stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.
Unwelcomed sexual advances or requests for sexual favors or other verbal and physical contact of a sexual nature are prohibited under this policy. Such acts have the potential for creating an environment that is intimidating, hostile, threatening and offensive, and interferes with an individual’s work or educational performance.
Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
Registered student organizations, faculty, and staff desirous of using campus facilities for meetings and/or activities are required to complete a General Activity Requisition Form (GARF). … The GARF is required be submitted ten (10) working days prior to the activity date to allow processing by the student organization’s advisor and university department officials for approval.
November 7, 2012
FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for November 2012: Norfolk State University in Virginia. Norfolk State, a public university in Virginia, maintains an Acceptable Use of Technological Resources policy (PDF) that unlawfully restricts protected expression in a number of different ways. The policy defines “technological resources” quite broadly to include “information systems; computer hardware and software; network and telecommunications systems and services; and Internet access.” The policy contains an extensive list of “prohibited activities” for users of the university’s technological resources, including using those resources “to further personal views” or “religious or political causes.” It also prohibits downloading […]» Read More