Saint Louis University

Location: Saint Louis, Missouri
Type: Private
Federal Circuit: 8th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Saint Louis University has been given the speech code rating Warning. FIRE provides a "Warning" rating to prospective students and faculty members when a private university clearly and consistently states that it holds a certain set of values above a commitment to freedom of speech. Read more here.

Not Rated Policies
  • Student Handbook: Community Standards Violations

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 11, 2018

    Any act, including verbal or written communications that intimidates, coerces, threatens, or significantly disrupts the health, safety or well-being of any person.

    Any unwelcome, unsolicited, and offensive conduct that injures, degrades, shows hostility, or disrupts from the formation of an inclusive environment directed toward a person or group of people because of sex, gender, gender identity and expression, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, military status, veteran status, pregnancy, genetic information, or any other protected classification.

    Behavior that fails to uphold the University’s mission, values, objectives and responsibilities; behavior that fails to model good citizenship.

    Sexually explicit, graphic, abusive, degrading, intimidating, or offensive jokes, comments, remarks, gestures, and acts.

    Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature if: … such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s educational performance, i.e. it is sufficiently serious, persistent or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, hostile, offensive, or abusive environment for that individual’s education, living environment, employment, or participation in a University-related activity under both an objective and subjective standard.

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  • Performance, Presentation and Speaker Events Policy

    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes
    Last updated: September 11, 2018

    Saint Louis University understands that the exchange of ideas and the opportunity to critically analyze and express different viewpoints is essential to the University’s mission, which emphasizes the pursuit of truth for the greater glory of God and for the service of humanity. However, speech and expression are not absolute rights at a private institution and must be examined in light of both particular circumstances and the broader values and aspirations of Saint Louis University as a Catholic, Jesuit institution. While restrictions on expression must be reluctant and limited, in some situations they may be deemed appropriate.

    1. This policy provides guidance for Students and recognized Student Organizations who seek to sponsor a performance, presentation or speaker (hereafter, referred to as “program”) at Saint Louis University, such that: (a) the freedom to pursue truth may flourish; (b) the teachings of the Catholic Church will always be respected even when examined; and, (c) the opportunity to exchange ideas will not conflict with the rights or safety of others in the Saint Louis University community, or interfere with the University’s mission, traditions, responsibilities, and objectives as a Catholic, Jesuit institution of higher education.

    Examples of programs that the University would not approve would include those deemed to encourage, celebrate or glorify hatred, violence, abusive behavior, religious intolerance, irresponsible or illicit drug and alcohol use, and the objectification of human beings. Furthermore, the University will not approve any campus program which it determines cannot be held in a safe, orderly way, in adherence to its policies and procedures, and without significant interference to other University events or normal functions.

    While acknowledging there may be approved programs which include critiques of Catholic teaching and/or of Saint Louis University, the University does not knowingly make available its facilities to individuals, organizations or businesses, whose activities will deride, mock or ridicule the Roman Catholic Church or the University’s mission and values.

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  • Student Handbook: Appropriate Use Policy

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: September 11, 2018

    Use in violation of other University policies or use that is inconsistent with the University’s Catholic Jesuit mission and ideals also violates this Policy. Such other University policies include, but are not limited to, those regarding sexual harassment and racial and ethnic harassment, conduct codes of the various schools and colleges, and specific University departmental and work-unit policies and guidelines regarding incidental personal use of IT Systems.

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  • Student Handbook: University Policies and Procedures- Hate Crime and Bias-Related Incident Protocol

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: September 11, 2018

    Members of the Saint Louis University community should seek to understand and appreciate the University’s values and mission, including respect for the dignity of all persons, individual safety, and civil engagement within the community. Those community ideals apply both in person and in contributions through social media tools and forums in order to foster meaningful and global connections. Use of any social media or other technology to engage in uncivil or harmful conduct that is abusive, threatening, harassing, retaliatory or hateful will not be tolerated.

    This Protocol uses the term “Bias-Related Incident” to define a form of harassment that may be a violation of the Community Standards outlined in the Student Handbook and/or the Harassment Policy. Specifically, a Bias-Related Incident is any act that may intimidate, mock, degrade, or threaten a member or group or property based upon real or perceived consideration of sex, gender, gender identity and expression, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, military status, veteran status, pregnancy, genetic information, or any other protected classification.

    Examples of Bias-Related Incidents include, but are not limited to: epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping, threats, intimidation, or hostile acts of communication in spoken, written, or electronic media that relate to the classifications protected by our laws and policies.

    Community Standards refers to the University policies and standards of conduct for Students in order to create a climate of Student learning and development that is rooted in the Catholic Jesuit tradition.

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  • Student Handbook: University Policies and Procedures- Harassment Policy

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 11, 2018

    Saint Louis University is a Catholic Jesuit institution with a distinctive educational mission and philosophy emphasizing Christian humanism, human dignity, and the development of the total human being. These core values are manifested in the University’s commitment to foster a workplace and learning environment that is free from any form of prohibited harassment.

    For purposes of this policy, the following definitions apply:

    “Harassment” means any unwelcomed, unsolicited, and offensive conduct that is severe or pervasive and tends to injure, degrade, disgrace, or show hostility toward a person because of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, military status, gender expression/identity, genetic information,  pregnancy, or any other characteristic protected by law. For purposes of applying this policy, “sexual” harassment includes conduct that is of a sexual nature or related to a person’s gender and may include persons of the same sex.

    Harassment is a violation of this policy in any of the following situations: … If the harassing behavior in question interferes with a person’s work or academic performance, has the purpose or effect of interfering with a person’s status or participation in a university course, program, or activity, is used as a basis for educational or employment decisions, or has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, learning, or living environment.

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  • Jefferson Muzzles go to 50 Colleges and Universities

    April 20, 2016

    By Eugene Volokh at The Washington Post The Thomas Jefferson Center (with which I’m involved as a member of the board of trustees) has just released its yearlyJefferson Muzzles, so I thought I’d pass along the center’s explanation of who the “winners” are this year. Note that the Ccnter supports academic freedom and free speech broadly, and not just those aspects that are legally protected by the First Amendment; so you’ll see many private institutions mentioned here, even though the First Amendment as such does not restrict private entities, as well as the public institutions to which the First Amendment applies… Read […]

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  • Campuses ‘Symbolically’ Ban Yik Yak as Battle Over App Rages

    October 21, 2015

    By Nathan Rubbelke at The College Fix  When Saint Louis University banned Yik Yak from its wireless network, its leaders described the move as “symbolic.” That’s because the smartphone application would continue to be available on students’ smartphones via their cellular service. But campus leaders forged ahead nonetheless, banishing the app from their campus wireless network, hoping students would “live above the Yak.” A SLU administrator told The College Fix the app was banned last December “because anonymous posts were found to violate the university’s appropriate use policy,” which forbids sexual, racial or ethnic harassment. And yet every day on campus, Saint Louis […]

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  • You Are Cordially Not Invited to Saint Louis University

    May 27, 2014

    By Bob Kellogg at OneNewsNow A university in Missouri demanded that a conservative student group take its event featuring a conservative political figure off campus. Last fall, the College Republicans at Saint Louis University invited former U.S. Senator Scott Brown to speak. But Azhar Majeed of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education says the university claimed that would threaten the school’s tax-exempt status. Majeed explains that colleges and universities use the flimsy concern over tax-exempt status to suppress political dialogue on campus. Saint Louis claimed that allowing Brown on campus would be seen “as an activity of the university, as an institution, […]

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  • New (and, Fortunately, Failed) Disinvitation Attempts Span Political Spectrum

    February 12, 2015

    Last year, FIRE published a report detailing the growing trend of “disinvitations” of invited speakers on college campuses. This month, students at Texas Tech University and Saint Louis University (SLU) are proving that “disinvitation season” is taking place throughout the year, and that demands for revoked invitations for speakers are not limited to one side of the political spectrum. Tonight, political activist and professor Angela Davis will be speaking on a panel at Texas Tech as part of the school’s African American History Month Lecture Series. However, some members of the campus community, among them the school’s College Republicans group, […]

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  • Saint Louis University Kicks Political Speech Off Campus

    April 9, 2014

    Last fall, Saint Louis University (SLU) demanded a student group take an event featuring former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown off campus. SLU justified its wrongful decision to prevent Brown from appearing on campus out of misguided concerns for its tax-exempt status. With the 2014 midterm elections on the horizon, FIRE calls on SLU to once and for all stop using this excuse to suppress political speech on campus.

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