State University Of New York – University at Buffalo

Location: Buffalo, New York
Website: http://www.buffalo.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 2nd Circuit

Tell State University Of New York – University at Buffalo to revise its speech policies by filling out this form.

Speech Code Rating

State University Of New York – University at Buffalo 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
  • Student Life Gateway: Guidelines For Reporting Bias-Related Confrontations and Incidents

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: September 28, 2017

    An act of intolerance is any attempt to injure, harm or harass a person because of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, gender, pregnancy, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status, familial status, veteran status, military status, domestic violence victim status or ex-offender status.

    An act of intolerance differs from other acts of intimidation or criminal behavior because it is motivated by hatred of the characteristics or beliefs of the victim. Acts of intolerance are conscious, deliberate behaviors in contrast to insensitive acts, which may be the result of lack of awareness.

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  • Student Code of Conduct: Proscribed Conduct- Computer Abuse

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: September 28, 2017

    Theft or other abuse of computer time, including but not limited to: … Use of computing facilities and E-mail to send obscene or abusive messages.

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Green Light Policies
  • Policy Library: Discrimination and Harassment Policy

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 28, 2017

    Harassment – conduct that is unwelcome, severe, pervasive, or persistent enough to interfere with an individual’s employment, education, or other access to University programs and activities, and that is targeted toward an individual or group based on a protected factor, including race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, gender, pregnancy, gender identity, sexual orientation, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status, veteran status, military status, domestic violence victim status, and ex-offender status; harassment is a form of discrimination.

    Sexual Harassment – unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when: …  such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive University environment.

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  • Statement of Freedom of Expression: Picketing and Assemblying

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: September 28, 2017

    The University supports individual’s rights to assemble. Public assemblies (protests, picketing, etc.) are allowed. Those members of the University community who feel compelled to express their dissent through picketing and other forms of demonstration must adhere to the following parameters:

    1. Picketing and assembling must be orderly at all times and should in no way jeopardize public order or safety or interfere with the University’s programs. …

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  • Statement of Freedom of Expression

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: September 28, 2017

    The University at Buffalo strives to create an environment in which diverse opinions can be expressed and heard. As a public university, it is a fundamental value of UB that all members of the campus community and their invited guests have a right to peacefully express their views and opinions, regardless of whether others may disagree with those expressions. This includes the right of protesters to oppose the views or opinions of others, but not in such a way as to limit or prevent the speaker’s freedom of expression or interfere with university operations.

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  • Student Code of Conduct: Proscribed Conduct- Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 28, 2017

    18. HARASSMENT

    A. Threatening or intimidating a person creating a rational fear within that person.

    B. Engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts directed at another person which would seriously annoy a rational person.

    C. Creating a condition which endangers or threatens the health, safety or welfare of another person.

    D. Physically restraining or detaining another person, or removing any person from any place where he or she is authorized to remain

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  • Student Code of Conduct: Preamble

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: September 28, 2017

    A university, especially a State University subject to constitutional requirements, must guarantee students the rights which the society and its laws protect. An American university guarantees its students these rights on a campus.

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  • Student Code of Conduct: Proscribed Conduct- Sexual Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 28, 2017

    Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that unreasonably interferes with an individual’s performance and/or access to educational opportunity by creating an intimidating, hostile, or objectively offensive University environment.

    » Read More


  • To fight bias, colleges are employing literal speech police

    February 23, 2017

    By Toni Airaksinen at USA Today When students see something that makes them uncomfortable, hurt or offended, on many campuses they can report that language to the administration — in particular, to something called a bias response team… Read more here.

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  • Conservative And Libertarian Messages Require High ‘Security Fees’ On Campus

    June 10, 2015

    By Matt Lamb at The College Fix ANALYSIS Restrictions on student speech, such as free speech zones, often hit groups across the ideological spectrum in roughly the same way. Conservative and libertarian groups, however, sometimes get an odd choice from campus administrators: You can speak, but it’ll cost you. Messages that could theoretically provoke violence because they stir up such strong emotions seem to be a favorite target of the pay-to-play option on campus. It’s only when watchdog groups such as the Alliance Defending Freedom and Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) intervene that administrators back down, according to […]

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  • Buffalo State U. Student Govt BECLOWNED After Failed Press Censorship Gambit

    April 5, 2015

    By Eric Owens at The Daily Caller The petty tyrants who run the student government at the State University of New York College at Buffalo tried to freeze the student newspaper’s budget over a satirical April Fool’s Day edition. This censorship effort failed quickly, utterly and hilariously. The action began on Wednesday — April Fool’s Day — when student government officeholders at taxpayer-funded SUNY Buffalo State whimsically froze the budget of The Buffalo State Record, the campus newspaper. In the classic, almost trite, tradition at American college campuses, the newspaper had published an April 1 edition. It was called “The […]

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  • Administrators take heed: Don’t let others do your dirty work for you

    June 13, 2017

    Earlier this month, the State University of New York at Buffalo settled a lawsuit that was filed back in June 2013 by UB Students for Life, two student officers of UB Students for Life, the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, and Center for Bio-Ethical Reform employees. As reported by The Buffalo News: The civil suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Buffalo, accused UB of violating the free speech rights of pro-life advocates who organized the genocide rally and display outside the Student Union in April of 2013. The mural display featured images of aborted fetuses and linked abortion to the […]

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  • FIRE Chairman Calls Out Northeast Colleges in Annual ‘Muzzle Awards’

    July 6, 2015

    Each summer for the past eighteen years, FIRE Co-founder and Chairman Harvey Silverglate has announced the winners of his annual “Campus Muzzle Awards”: colleges and universities in the Northeast stifling campus discourse in particularly outrageous ways. Along with myself and fellow research assistant Timothy Moore, this year, Harvey has written about incidents at Brown University, SUNY Buffalo State, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Norwich University, and Harvard Law School. As always, a key theme is students’ and administrators’ desire to shield themselves from uncomfortable speech or ideas. Regarding the incident at Harvard Law School, Harvey writes: The campus “disinvitation” trend forces […]

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  • Belief-Based Student Groups Score a Win at SUNY – Buffalo

    August 15, 2012

    For some time now, Vanderbilt University has been ground zero in the battle to decide whether belief-based student groups on college campuses will be allowed to make membership and leadership decisions that are influenced by their core beliefs. In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, this has been a thorny legal issue, one that has come to a head at Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt has taken a firm stance against student groups’ belief-based decisionmaking, enacting an extreme policy that even forbids religious groups from requiring their leaders to lead Bible studies, prayer, or worship. […]

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  • University at Buffalo Responds to Speech Code of the Month Inquiry

    January 30, 2009

    FIRE supporter and New York state resident Lee Brink recently wrote to University at Buffalo (also known as SUNY-Buffalo) President John Simpson to ask about the university residence halls’ Statement of Civility, which FIRE named our Speech Code of the Month for January 2009. The Statement of Civility provides that: Students are expected to act with civility. To be civil means to be courteous and polite or, simply put, to be mannerly.  Acts of incivility — whether verbal, written, or physical — will not be tolerated by the Residential Life community. In an e-mail to President Simpson, Brink asked: What […]

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  • January 2009: University at Buffalo

    January 6, 2009

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for January 2009: University at Buffalo (also known as SUNY Buffalo). According to the Statement of Civility in the university’s Guide to Residence Hall Living, Students are expected to act with civility. To be civil means to be courteous and polite or, simply put, to be mannerly.  Acts of incivility — whether verbal, written, or physical — will not be tolerated by the Residential Life community. This policy impermissibly restricts students’ right to freely express themselves in the residence halls, which are the closest thing students have to their own homes while […]

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