North Dakota State University

Location: Fargo, North Dakota
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 8th Circuit

Tell North Dakota State University to revise its speech policies by filling out this form.

Speech Code Rating

North Dakota 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
  • NDSU Policy Manual: Section 601- Code of Student Conduct, Intimidation

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: November 21, 2017

    3.35 Intimidation

    Conduct in any form that involves an expressed or implied threat to interfere or that has the purpose or reasonably foreseeable effect of interfering with an individual’s personal safety, safety of property, academic efforts, employment or participation in university sponsored activities, and causes the person to have a reasonable apprehension that such harm is about to occur, is prohibited.

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  • NDSU Bias Report Form

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: November 21, 2017


    NDSU is committed to fostering a safe, respectful, and inclusive environment for the benefit of our entire campus community. NDSU’s bias reporting system provides NDSU students, staff, and faculty with an avenue to report incidents of bias, bigotry, or hate that occur on our campus or in off-campus settings that impact NDSU. Reports may be submitted anonymously or with the reporter’s name included. Please note that submitting a report anonymously may impact NDSU’s ability to fully respond to your concerns.

    When NDSU receives a bias report, it will determine the appropriate manner to address and resolve the report in accordance with various options available at NDSU. These options include, but are not limited to:

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  • NDSU Policy Manual: Section 603- Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Compliance

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: November 21, 2017

    a) Sexual misconduct is prohibited in all forms, regardless of intent to harm. Sexual assault, sexual exploitation, coercion and sexual harassment are examples of sexual misconduct, and all are prohibited.

    b) Also prohibited under Title IX is any rule violated on the basis of the recipient of the behavior’s sex/gender which is severe enough to cause a discriminatory effect. (Examples of this may include but are not limited to bullying, cyber-bulling, relationship violence and stalking.)

    Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when: … 3. Such conduct has the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.

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  • NDSU Policy Manual: Section 154- Distribution of Literature

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: November 21, 2017

    While the campus must be open to the free exchange of ideas, the University may limit the time, place and manner of protests, rallies, and demonstrations. All members of the community are expected to conduct dialogues with dignity and courtesy.

    Any protest, rally or demonstration must be registered with the Director of the Memorial Union and University Police prior to the event. Whenever possible, at least 24 hours lead time will be given.

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  • NDSU Policy Manual: Section 156- Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Complaint Procedures

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: November 21, 2017

    Harassment – A form of discrimination; unwelcome oral, written, graphic, or physical conduct, based on one or more of the protected classes (see 2.1.1) of an individual (or group), that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive so as to unreasonably interfere with their education, employment, or other participation in educational programs or activities or that creates a working, learning, or educational program or activity environment that a reasonable person would find hostile, intimidating, or abusive. Harassment may include, but is not limited to, threats, physical contact or violence, offensive jokes, insults or put-downs, slurs or name calling, vandalism/graffiti, or offensive objects or pictures. Petty slights, annoyances, and isolated incidents (unless very serious) typically do not rise to the level of harassment.

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  • NDSU Policy Manual: Section 162- Sexual and Gender-based Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, and Title IX Policy

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: November 21, 2017


    Sexual Harassment – Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, whether verbal, written, graphic, physical or otherwise, when:

    2) Such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, limits, or deprives an individual from participating in or benefitting from the University’s education or employment programs and/or activities (hostile environment).

    Examples of inappropriate behavior that may constitute Sexual Harassment or Sexual Misconduct include, but are not limited to:
    1) Sexual teasing, jokes, remarks, or questions;
    2) Sexual looks and gestures;
    3) Sexual innuendoes, humor, or stories;
    4) Communicating in a manner with sexual overtones;
    5) Inappropriate comments about dress or physical appearance;
    6) Inappropriate discussion of private sexual behavior;
    7) Gifts, letters, calls, emails, online posts, or materials of a sexual nature;
    8) Sexually explicit visual material (calendars, posters, cards, software, internet, or other multimedia materials); …
    16) Obscene gestures
    17) Sexual graffiti, pictures, or posters;
    18) Sexually explicit profanity; …
    20) E-mail, texting (“sexting”) and Internet use that violates this policy; …
    22) Other gender-based threats, discrimination, intimidation, hazing, bullying, stalking, or violence. …


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  • NDSU Policy Manual: Section 601- Code of Student Conduct, Other Acts of Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: November 21, 2017

    Any action or any series of actions that interfere with individuals’ academic efforts, employment, personal safety or participation in university-sponsored co-curricular activities is prohibited.

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At present, FIRE does not maintain information on this school's policies.
  • Records reveal North Dakota State University’s responses to reports of ‘bias’

    March 30, 2017

    Christian student groups were often reported to administrators, as were comments by a professor that a student perceived to be anti-Christian. Some university records demonstrated a willingness to defend First Amendment principles, yet others indicate that administrators were willing to intervene and investigate clearly protected political and religious speech. University gave FIRE “the records” we requested, but we had proof that years’ worth of records hadn’t been turned over — until we asked a second time. Following our survey of “bias response teams” — systems created to encourage students to report offensive, yet protected, speech to university administrators — some […]

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  • MySpace Has Administrators in a Frenzy

    June 12, 2006

    FIRE has been reporting the continued crackdown on students’ expression on Internet sites like MySpace and Facebook. While these sites have given students a new forum to express themselves and communicate with friends, they have also opened a new medium for administrative overview of students’ personal opinions and activities.   When the message boards contain advertisements for wild parties or descriptions of alcoholic exploits, then some might view administrative interference as warranted. Finding such incriminating information, however, involves administrators’ trolling students’ profiles for anything that looks illegal, dangerous, or otherwise unsavory. And there’s the rub.   At North Carolina State […]

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