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 Exempt. Exempt institutions are private universities that express clearly and consistently that they believe in a set of values above the commitment of free speech. Read more here.

Not Rated Policies
  • Student Handbook: Community Standards Violations

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 13, 2015

    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, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, ability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, military status, veteran status, pregnancy or any other characteristic protected by law.

    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, or gestures.

    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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  • Student Handbook: Student Organization Policies- Performance, Presentation and Speaker (Program) Policy

    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes
    Last updated: September 13, 2015

    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.

    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: University Policies and Procedures- Appropriate Use Policy

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: September 11, 2015

    Use in violation of other University policies or use that is inconsistent with the University’s Jesuit, Catholic 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 13, 2015

    This protocol uses the term “bias-related incidents” to define a form of harassment, a violation of the Community Standards outlined in the Student Handbook and/or the Harassment Policy.  Specifically, bias-related incidents refer to any act or failure to act that is based upon real or perceived consideration of sex, gender, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, military status, veteran’s status, pregnancy, 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.

    For further illustration, a discussion between two people about Nazi Germany in a historical context might not be a bias-related incident; but a person who calls someone of perceived or real German descent a “Nazi” that elicits or attempts to elicit a harmful experience may have committed a bias-related act.

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  • Student Handbook: University Policies and Procedures- Harassment Policy

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 13, 2015

    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.

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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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