Sewanee, The University of the South

Location: Sewanee, Tennessee
Website: http://www.sewanee.edu
Type: Private
Federal Circuit: 6th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Sewanee, The University of the South 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
  • THE UNIVERSITY OF THE SOUTH POLICY on PROHIBITED DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT, SEXUAL MISCONDUCT, and RETALIATION

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 22, 2016

    The University of the South stands firmly for the principle that its students, faculty, and staff members have a right to be free from harassment based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or protected activity under anti-discrimination statutes by any other member of the University community, and the University does not tolerate any form of harassment.

    Conduct prohibited by this policy does not include simple teasing, off-hand comments, or isolated incidents that are not extremely serious. Rather, conduct that rises to the level of harassment must be so offensive as to alter the conditions of employment or the educational environment. If the harassment culminates in a tangible employment or education action or is sufficiently severe or pervasive so that a hostile work or education environment is created, then the conduct is prohibited. … Conduct that may create a hostile environment includes offensive statements and comments, unwelcome touching, and displays of offensive pictures or other materials.

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Green Light Policies
  • Campus Commitment to Diversity

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: September 22, 2016

    As our statement of purpose indicates, Sewanee is “dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom in close community and in full freedom of inquiry, and enlightened by Christian faith in the Anglican tradition, welcoming individuals from all backgrounds, to the end that students be prepared to search for truth, seek justice, preserve liberty under law, and serve God and humanity.” To embody the principles articulated in our statement of purpose, we strive for diversity in ideas and in our community, working to maintain and expand the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion in hiring, programming, and our curriculum. It is our ethical imperative to pursue difficult conversations that are civil, campus-wide, and involve a variety of perspectives. Such conversations characterize our community, a group of people engaged in honest self-criticism and in a process of growth and change. Ultimately, we seek to create and sustain an intercultural community that includes and empowers all our members.

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  • Sexual Misconduct Policy: Definitions

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 22, 2016

    SEXUAL HARASSMENT IS

    * unwelcome, gender-based verbal or physical conduct
    * that is so sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive
    * that it unreasonably interferes with, denies, or limits someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from the college’s educational program and/or activities,
    * and is based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation.

    Examples include (but are not limited to) attempting to coerce an unwilling person into a sexual relationship; repeatedly subjecting a person to egregious, unwelcome sexual attention; punishing a refusal to comply with a sexually based request; conditioning a benefit on submitting to sexual advances; stalking; gender-based bullying; sexual violence; and intimate partner violence. “Stalking” (see below) falls under this category.

     

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  • Out of Balance

    April 14, 2016

    By Jake New at Inside Higher Ed Last week, the California Court of Appeals ruled against the University of Southern California in a lawsuit brought by a student suspended for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman during group sex… Read more here.

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  • In Verdict Against Sewanee, Federal Jury Sends Important Message About Proper Handling of Sexual Assault Cases

    September 6, 2011

    Last week, a federal jury in Tennessee delivered a key verdict in a former student’s suit against Sewanee: the University of the South after the school found him guilty of violating its sexual assault policy. In a decision that should send some rumblings through the world of higher education and make universities think twice about the way they adjudicate allegations of sexual misconduct and rape, the jury awarded $26,500 in compensatory damages to the former student for Sewanee’s negligence in mishandling his disciplinary hearing. The case began with a female student’s 2008 accusation of rape. As The Chronicle of Higher […]

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