Salem State University

Location: Salem, Massachusetts
Website: http://www.salemstate.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 1st Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Salem 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.
FIRE Speech Code Memorandum for Salem State University

Yellow Light Policies
  • PUBLIC SPEAKING, DISTRIBUTION OF LITERATURE, COMMERCIAL SOLICITATION AND DEMONSTRATIONS IN PUBLIC AREAS

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: July 31, 2017

    Visitors to the campus, students, staff, or faculty wishing to use a public area to publicly address the University community at other than a University-sponsored event must first contact the Campus Center to insure that the time, place and manner of the address does not interfere with normal University functioning.

    1. Within no less than 48 hours prior to the time requested to make a public address, persons wishing to use a public area space should inform Campus Center of the date, time, number of people involved, and the contact person for the event.

    2. On a case-by-case basis, the University may waive the 48-hour notice requirement for spontaneous public addresses that are directly occasioned by news, events or affairs coming into public knowledge less than 48 hours prior to such address. Such spontaneous public addresses may be allowed upon the Alumni Plaza without the speaker or organizer first having to obtain a permit.

    3. As a general rule, no individual or group will be permitted to engage in public address on campus more than two times per month and/or four visits per semester.

    » Read More

  • Student Life and Enrollment Management: Stop Sexual Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: July 31, 2017

    Behaviors that, either alone or in combination, may constitute sexual harassment and/or the creation of a hostile work environment include, but are not limited to, the following:: …

    • sexual slurs, sexual innuendos, and other comments about an individual or group’s clothing, body, weight, body shape, size or figure; …
    • suggestive or insulting sounds such as whistling, wolf-calls, or kissing sounds;
    • sexually provocative compliments about a person’s clothes or the way their clothes fit;
    • comments or questions about the sensuality, sexuality, gender identity or sexual orientation of a person, or his or her spouse or significant other;
    • pseudo-medical advice such as “you might be feeling bad because you didn’t get enough”

    » Read More

  • Posting Policy

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: July 31, 2017

    All materials posted on the campus must be reviewed, approved and stamped by the Student Involvement & Activities Programs Office before they may be posted. Each original flyer must be stamped.

    All materials submitted for review must be judged by the University to be factually accurate and provide full disclosure of any related terms, conditions, warrants and intentions. Any information that is deemed by the University to be incomplete, inaccurate, misleading and/or could be hazardous or disruptive to members of the learning community will not be approved for posting or distribution.

    » Read More

  • Guide to Living on Campus: Residence Life Policies- Community Behavior

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: July 31, 2017

    Students may be asked to remove offensive images, materials or language from doors, windows and other public areas.

    » Read More

  • Acceptable Use Policy

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: July 31, 2017

    Unacceptable uses of University computing and electronic communication resources include, but are not limited to, the following examples: … Use University computer facilities in a manner that would constitute harassment, invasion of privacy, threat, defamation, intimidation, obscenity, unwarranted annoyance or embarrassment, or discrimination based on race, sex, national origin, disability, age, religion, or sexual orientation.

    » Read More

  • Guide to Living on Campus: Mission and Goals- Statement of Diversity

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: July 31, 2017

    As a department, we will not tolerate inappropriate behavior, particularly as it might relate to an individual’s identity. When one individual or a group of individuals acts to destroy the essence of our diverse community, or shows a lack of respect to an individual, we will respond appropriately. We will not tolerate behavior that is not in line with the belief that each individual is a valued member of our community, and should be treated with dignity and respect.

    » Read More

  • Student Conduct Code: Conduct Regulations

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: July 31, 2017

    1. Disorderly Conduct – Actions which jeopardizes the safety or well-being of other members of the University community or persons coming onto University property, or off campus wherever it occurs. This includes but is not limited to:

    a. Harassment of other members
    b. Statements intended to defame character
    c. Physical abuse or any act of violence
    d. Verbal abuse
    e. Written abuse of another person
    f. Conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person including one’s self
    g. Inappropriately touching another person
    h. Forcible detention of anyone on University property

    » Read More

  • Ellison Campus Center: Religious Life Council

    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes
    Last updated: July 31, 2017

    WHAT CONSTITUTES BEHAVIOR WHICH IS INJURIOUS TO THE HEALTH, SAFETY, AND PUBLIC WELFARE OF THE CAMPUS COMMUNITY?

    1. All forms of harassment and proselytizing.

    » Read More


Green Light Policies
  • Student Conduct Code: Preamble

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: July 31, 2017

    SSU students are recognized as being both citizens in the larger community and members of an academic community. In their roles as global citizens, students are free to exercise their fundamental constitutional rights. Rights and responsibilities under local, state and national law are neither abridged nor extended by status as a student at Salem State.

    » Read More


At present, FIRE does not maintain information on this school's policies.
  • FIRE Notes Uptick in Student-Driven Calls for Art Censorship as Salem State Shutters Exhibit [UPDATED]

    December 1, 2016

    Update (December 1, 2016): Salem State University reopened its “State of the Union” art exhibit, Inside Higher Ed reports. However, at least one of the exhibit’s most controversial paintings depicting Ku Klux Klan members is now displayed fully enclosed by black drapes. Students & controversial art: #SalemState reopens exhibit, MICA involves students in displaying piece on the KKK https://t.co/YWnrPFmKjH pic.twitter.com/AtMIVPGg1Y — Inside Higher Ed (@insidehighered) December 1, 2016 We’ll keep you posted on this developing story. Massachusetts’ Salem State University has agreed to temporarily close an art exhibit intended to draw attention to the evils of discrimination after students said they were offended […]

    » Read More
  • Speech Code of the Month: Salem State University

    October 4, 2013

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for October 2013: Salem State University. The Guide to Living on Campus for Massachusetts’ Salem State includes a Policy Against Racism (PDF) that applies to all students living in the university’s residence halls, spaces where students often speak the most freely. That policy “prohibits racism, anti-Semitism and ethnic or cultural intolerance.” It also prohibits all actions or omissions—including all acts of verbal harassment or abuse—that deny or have the effect of denying anyone his or her rights to equality, dignity and security on the basis of his or her race, color, ethnicity, […]

    » Read More