Sonoma State University

Location: Rohnert Park, California
Website: http://www.sonoma.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 9th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Sonoma 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 does not maintain information on this school's policies.
Yellow Light Policies
  • Standards for Student Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: February 26, 2016

    Students are expected to be good citizens and to engage in responsible behaviors that reflect well upon their university, to be civil to one another and to others in the campus community, and contribute positively to student and university life.

    » Read More

  • Standards for Student Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: February 26, 2016

    Misuse of computer facilities or resources, including: … Use of computing facilities and resources to send obscene or intimidating and abusive messages.

    » Read More

  • Executive Order 1097: Systemwide Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Against Students and Systemwide Procedure for Handling Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Complaints by Students

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: February 26, 2016

    Sexual Harassment, a form of Sex Discrimination, is unwelcome verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that includes but is not limited to sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and any other conduct of a sexual nature where: …  The conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that its effect, whether or not intended, could be considered by a reasonable person in the shoes of the Complainant, and is in fact considered by the Complainant, as creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.

    Sexual Harassment also includes acts of verbal, non-verbal or physical aggression, intimidation or hostility based on Gender or sex-stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.

     

    » Read More

  • Campus Housing Policies and Regulations: Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: February 26, 2016

    The campus housing community is composed of students from a variety of cultures, backgrounds and lifestyles. It is essential that residents are free from behavioral and verbal abuse based on age, race, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation, Vietnam-era veteran’s status, or disabling condition.

    • Behaviors or verbal remarks, including any type of non-verbal communication, that result in harassment, exploitation or intimidation of members of the residential community or University, including University staff.

    » Read More

  • Statement on Civility and Tolerance

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: February 26, 2016

    We expect that all members of the SSU community will:

    • Communicate with each other in a civil manner
    • Recognize and be accountable for how their actions and language impact the community
    • Treat community members with consideration, dignity, and respect
    • Create a community in which actions of bigotry, oppression, bullying, and hatred will not be tolerated
    • Confront behavior or report to University staff any incidents of intolerance, hatred, injustice, or incivility

    » Read More

  • Sonoma State University Bias Response Team

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: February 26, 2016

    What is Bias?

    An act of bigotry, harassment, intimidation, coercion, or damage to property by known or unknown perpetrators that occurs on SSU’s campus or within an area that impacts the SSU community and that one could reasonably conclude is directed at a member or group of the SSU community because of that individual’s or group’s actual or perceived age, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any combination of these or related factors.

    Some possible outcomes of the bias incident report:

    • A mediated conversation between you and the person with whom you had the conflict
    • Referral to a campus resource to address a specific issue, such as Disability Services for Students, the HUB, or to a campus resource such as  Counseling and Psychological Services to address a more general issue
    • A private talk with the person with whom you had the conflict and appropriate University personnel
    • A general campus education campaign about the issue

    » Read More


Green Light Policies
  • Electronic Communications Responsible Use Rules

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: February 26, 2016

    Users shall not use electronic communications resources for unlawful activities or activities that violate University policy, including fraudulent, libelous, slanderous, harassing, threatening communications.

    » Read More


  • Campus Christians: not always at ease

    January 25, 2005

    When Chris Gruener moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to begin graduate school, he looked forward to experiencing the region’s renowned tolerance of all people and lifestyles. Mr. Gruener was raised in a devout Christian family near Seattle and attended a Baptist high school and a Christian college, where he studied business. His passion, however, was literature, and so he was excited to begin a master’s program in English at Sonoma State University. But during his first semester, a classroom incident put a damper on Gruener’s ardor. While lecturing on James Joyce’s rejection of the church, a professor drew […]

    » Read More
  • Sonoma State University Incident Serves as Reminder of Freedom to Display Faith (Or Lack Thereof)

    July 3, 2013

    Aaron Coven is a FIRE summer intern. While some may find it hard to believe, religious discrimination still occurs on our nation’s college and university campuses. Just last week, Audrey Jarvis, a 19-year-old Sonoma State University student, was first instructed by a university employee to remove, and later told to hide, a two-inch cross from her neck so as not to offend other students. Within only a short matter of time, however, the university apologized, and has acted to rectify the situation. Jarvis, who was working at a freshman orientation event when the incident occurred, stated in an interview: “I believe […]

    » Read More