Stony Brook University

Location: Stony Brook, New York
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 2nd Circuit

Tell Stony Brook University to revise its speech policies by filling out this form.

Speech Code Rating

Stony Brook 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.
Yellow Light Policies
  • P106: Sexual Misconduct and Reporting Policy

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 24, 2018

    Sexual Harassment is: unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and verbal, physical or communicative (verbal, non-verbal and electronic) conduct of an abusive sexual nature which interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or academic environment.

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  • The Code of Student Responsibility: Sexual Misconduct Policy

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 24, 2018

    Sexual harassment encompasses unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favors or requests for sexual favors in exchange for some benefit, and/or verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment is a form of sexual discrimination. Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment occurs when: … A behavior is sufficiently severe and pervasive to interfere with any individual’s work or educational performance, or create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment.

    Such prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome sexual communication, touching, and non-consensual sexual contact, including but not limited to sexual touching, intercourse, and violence. Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

    a. Comments
    b. Derogatory statements or other verbal abuse
    c. Exploitation
    d. Graphic or sexually suggestive comments about an individual’s attire or body
    e. Graphic or sexually suggestive gestures
    f. Exposing one’s genitals
    g. Inquiries or discussions about sexual activities
    h. Profanities
    i. Sexually suggestive letters or other written materials
    j. Slurs
    k. Teasing
    l. Touching

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  • P109: Appropriate Use of Information Technology

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: August 24, 2018

    This Policy applies to all Users of IT Systems, including but not limited to University students, faculty, and staff.

    The following categories of use are inappropriate and prohibited:

    Harassing or threatening use. This category includes, for example, display of offensive, sexual material in the workplace and repeated unwelcome contacts with another person.

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  • The Code of Student Responsibility: Offenses Against Persons

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 24, 2018

    No student shall threaten, assault, haze, intimidate, bully or otherwise physically, psychologically, verbally, or in writing by electronic means or otherwise, abuse any other person. This includes, but is not limited to, incidents of bias-related acts of assault or abuse, or any incidents of verbal, written, physical, psychological harassment or abuse. No student shall post or distribute disparaging or compromising images of another, altered or otherwise or post denigrating text on, but not limited to, the following modes: internet websites or newspapers, without the express consent/authorization of the other individual. No student shall retaliate against another member of the community for bringing forth a complaint or serving as a witness.

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Green Light Policies
  • P107R: Public Assembly

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: August 24, 2018

    Free speech and peaceful assembly are rights of citizens and are fundamental to the University as a center for open inquiry in the search for knowledge and insight. The University is strongly committed to the protection of these rights for all members of the campus community. However, these rights bring with them a concurrent obligation to maintain a campus atmosphere conducive to scholarly pursuits and respect for the rights of all individuals. Individuals engaged in assemblies, demonstrations, and similar expressions of First Amendment rights (herein referred to generically as “assemblies”) may not infringe on the rights of others or disrupt essential operations of the University.

    Assemblies requiring no Services may take place without any prior notification by the sponsors and/or organizers.

    » Read More

  • Tolerance and Totalitarianism

    May 21, 2015

    By Michael Shermer, Co-authored by Frank Turek at The Huffington Post A disturbing trend is sweeping across American colleges and universities under the guise of protecting students from allegedly offensive speech — defined differently by different interest groups — with demands for everything from “trigger warnings” to banning speakers from campus. Trigger warnings are supposed to be issued to students before readings, classroom lectures, or public talks on such topics as sex, addiction, bullying, suicide, sizeism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, slut shaming, victim-blaming, and who-knows-what-else, thereby infantilizing students instead of preparing them for the real world where they most assuredly will […]

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  • Gay Alliance Bashes University For Hosting Debate With Conservative Christian Author

    May 11, 2015

    By Kaitlyn Schallhorn at Campus Reform State University of New York-Stony Brook held a debate in late April between atheist science writer Dr. Michael Shermer and Dr. Frank Turek, a Christian apologist. The university’s Graduate Queer Alliance has condemned the debate for allowing what it says was Dr. Turek’s “hate speech.” The GQA says that the objection “is not an issue of free speech” because Turek’s views have been exchanged countless times before in public forums and “it has been concluded that they are indeed wrong and harmful.” Stony Brook University’s Graduate Queer Alliance (GQA) is demanding the school apologize […]

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  • Sexual harassment commonplace on college campuses, study says

    February 9, 2006

    The Stony Brook University sophomore doesn’t remember the content of the e-mail she said was a form of sexual harassment. But it upset her enough that she considered reporting the ex-boyfriend who sent it to college authorities. But Tori, who did not want her full name used, decided not to file a complaint. “I figured it was way too much trouble for something not that big of a deal.” She said she solved the problem by blocking e-mail from her ex and telling him to “cut it out.”   Based on a national survey of 2,036 college students aged 18-24 […]

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  • Campus Hourglass

    March 17, 2004

    By Candace de Russy and KC Johnson at National Review Who will guard the guardians? This common saying applies to American higher education, where professors and administrators are normally exempt from the scrutiny given to other public institutions. A tradition of academic freedom, flowing from the belief that the faculty’s training in their academic disciplines equips them to decide what to teach, has protected the autonomy of American colleges and universities and helped make them the envy of the world. But the principle of academic freedom can be subject to abuse, particularly in personnel and curricular matters, where personal and ideological agendas can […]

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  • Stony Brook University Latest Combatant in War on Humor

    October 8, 2012

    While most of us see college athletics as a form of entertainment, many universities seem to take them a little too seriously. Stony Brook University (also known as SUNY-Stony Brook) in New York appears to be among that group. It seems the Seawolves’ athletic department didn’t think it was very funny when a campus publication, The Stony Brook Press, decided to tweet about the homecoming football game against Colgate in a humorous and/or satirical way. Tweets from September 12’s game included: “The batters have teed off!”, “Homerun! 15-Love, Stony Brook!”, and “One man passed the rubber object to another man […]

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  • Stony Brook Follows South Florida’s Playbook, Denies Funding to YAF

    March 21, 2011

    For the past few weeks, FIRE has been in contact with the Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) at Stony Brook University in New York, after the group was denied recognition by Stony Brook’s Undergraduate Student Government (USG). The USG declared the group too similar to Stony Brook’s College Republicans. This puts us in territory remarkably similar to where FIRE was last fall, when a new YAF chapter at the University of South Florida was denied recognition after an administrator deemed the group too similar to the group Young Americans for Liberty. YAF at Stony Brook had, in fact, encountered this […]

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  • ‘The New York Times’ Looks at Middle East Controversies on Campus

    February 26, 2007

    Karen Arenson has an article in The New York Times this morning about the film “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West,” which she calls “the latest flashpoint in the bitter campus debate over the Middle East.”   The film shows anti-Western clips from Arab television programming and documentary footage of suicide bombers, at times comparing militant Islam to the Nazi movement. Many campus groups—mostly Hillels and other Jewish student organizations—have organized showings of “Obsession” at their universities. As Arenson reports, both the film’s message and the pro-Israeli nature of the viewings have sparked debate among students about Middle Eastern […]

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