Southern Oregon University

Location: Ashland, Oregon
Website: https://sou.edu/
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 9th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Southern Oregon University has been given the speech code rating Red. A red light university has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech. Read more here.

At present, FIRE has not been involved in any cases at this school.

Red Light Policies

  • Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: October 2, 2018

    The University’s policy against harassment explicitly prohibits any form of harassment, defined as unwelcome conduct on the basis of actual or perceived membership in a protected class, by any member or group of the community. A hostile environment may be created by oral, written, graphic, or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent/pervasive and subjectively and objectively offensive that it interferes with, limits or denies the ability of an individual to participate in or benefit from educational programs or activities or employment access, benefits or opportunities.

    Offensive conduct or harassment that does not rise to the level of discrimination, or that is of a generic nature not on the basis of a protected status, may not result in the imposition of discipline under University policy, but may still be addressed through civil confrontation, remedial actions, education, or effective conflict resolution mechanisms as described in the policy and other applicable University procedures.

    Sexual harassment is:
    Unwelcome, sexual verbal, written, online or physical conduct.
    Anyone experiencing sexual harassment in any University program is encouraged to report it immediately to the University’s Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator.

    Sexual harassment creates a hostile environment, and may be disciplined, when it is:
    Sufficiently severe, persistent/pervasive and subjectively and objectively offensive that it,
    has the effect of unreasonably interfering with, denying, or limiting employment opportunities or the ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s educational, social or residential program …

    » Read More


Yellow Light Policies
  • Code of Student Conduct: Prohibited Conduct- University Statement on Hate and Bias-motivated language

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: October 2, 2018

    The university appreciates the complexity of defining language and actions that are not acceptable in a community which values freedom of expression. All members of the SOU community must be free to hold views that others may find distressing or offensive. However, freedom of expression does not include the right to intentionally and maliciously aggravate, intimidate, ridicule or humiliate another person.

    » Read More

  • Code of Student Conduct: Prohibited Conduct- Violent, Threatening, Coercive or Abusive Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: October 2, 2018

    Examples of prohibited violent and abusive behavior include, but are not limited to, the following: … directing abusive language toward another person …

    » Read More

  • Residence Hall Policies: Community Responsibility

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: October 2, 2018

    Residence hall students will respect the dignity of other members of the University community and visitors to campus and understand that any acts that denigrate an individual’s race, gender, sexual orientation, heritage, culture, religion or disability will not be tolerated.

    Noise that is deemed by residents or staff as excessive or disruptive to maintaining conditions that are conducive to study, sleep, and livability is prohibited at all times in University residence halls. This includes excessive yelling, offensive language, slamming of doors, and other actions deemed as disorderly

    » Read More

  • Bias Response Team

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: October 2, 2018

    Mission:   Promoting an inclusive, bias-aware campus at Southern Oregon University through proactive education and responsive action to bias-related incidents.

    What is Bias?

    A bias incident is an action in which an individual is made aware that her/his status is offensive to another, but does not rise to the level of a crime. Bias incidents involve actions committed against a person or property that are consciously or unconsciously motivated by the bias against race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, gender, gender identity or expression, age, or disability.

    How to report?

    Clicking on the Report Bias Here link will take you to the SOU Cares Report where you have the ability to select the Hate/Bias Report type.  This report will be submitted to the chair of the Bias Response Team who will then assemble the rest of the group to discuss the nature of the incident and reach out to the parties who are impacted.  You can also meet with a member of the Bias Response Team to process the incident.

    » Read More


At present, FIRE does not maintain information on this school's policies.
At present, FIRE does not maintain information on this school's policies.