Swarthmore College

Location: Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
Type: Private
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Speech Code Rating

Swarthmore College 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
  • Student Handbook: Student Code of Conduct- Bullying and Intimidation

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies
    Last updated: January 31, 2018

    Bullying includes any intentional electronic, written, verbal, or physical act or a series of acts of physical, social, or emotional domination that cause physical or emotional harm to another student or group of students. Bullying conduct may not only cause a negative effect on individuals targeted, but also others... Read More
  • Student Handbook: Student Code of Conduct- Banners, Chalkings, and Posters

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: January 31, 2018

    Harassing, demeaning, uncivil expression, or threats of violence, whether anonymous or signed, will be washed away or removed without notice. Read More
  • Bias Incident, Harassment and Hate Crime Response

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: March 7, 2019

    Bias incidents are acts of conduct, speech, or expression that target individuals and groups based on their actual or perceived race/color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, gender, gender identity/expression, age, disability, or sexual orientation. Bias-related incidents, while abhorrent and intolerable, do not... Read More
  • Sexual Assault and Harassment Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: March 7, 2019

    Sexual harassment is any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature or based on sex or gender when at least one of the following conditions are present: … Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance, i.e. it is sufficiently serious, pervasive, ... Read More
  • Student Handbook: Student Code of Conduct- Harassment Based on a Protected Class

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: January 31, 2018

    Harassment based on a protected class is defined as unreasonable, unwelcome conduct that is based on an individual’s sex, race, color, age, religion, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, marital status, medical condition, veteran status, disability, or any other Co... Read More
  • Student Handbook: Academic Freedom and Responsibility

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: March 7, 2019

    Membership in the academic community imposes on students, faculty members, administrators, and trustees an obligation to respect the dignity of others, to acknowledge their right to express differing opinions, and to foster and defend intellectual honesty, freedom of inquiry and instruction, and free expression on a... Read More
  • Student Handbook: Computer Systems and Networks Acceptable Use Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: March 7, 2019

    Individuals with access to the Swarthmore College network have the following obligations and responsibilities: To respect other people and the College’s intellectual environment. Use of the network may not violate College policies, federal, state, or local law, including the laws of defamation, forgery, and harassm... Read More
At present, FIRE has not been involved in any cases at this school.
  • Compelled Speech and the Veneer of Conformity at Swarthmore College

    July 29, 2016

    Do we as a society still leave room for harmless errors of judgement, for learning opportunities, and for conversation? Do we leave room to question orthodoxy in all its forms? Increasingly, recent events on college campuses indicate that the answer to these questions is a definitive “no.” One of the more disturbing manifestations of this… Read more

  • Swarthmore Policy Allows ‘Deviations’ From Own Procedures, Despite Past Problems

    July 6, 2016

    When I arrived at Swarthmore College in the fall of 2014, I was inundated with commentary about an ongoing federal Title IX investigation into the college, and I was shocked by allegations that Swarthmore systematically ignored cases of sexual assault. It was clear to me that Swarthmore had an inherent conflict of interest in adjudicating… Read more

  • Swarthmore Admits Treating Student Accused of Sexual Assault Unfairly, Settles Lawsuit

    November 21, 2014

    As colleges and universities face ever-growing pressure to show that they take the issue of sexual assault seriously, a number of accused students have found themselves steamrolled by unfair and frequently incompetently-run, ends-driven disciplinary proceedings that disregard the procedural protections owed to anyone facing such serious allegations. Over the past year, those students have increasingly… Read more

  • FIRE’s Samantha Harris Speaking at Swarthmore College Next Tuesday

    December 5, 2013

    Students and FIRE supporters in the Philadelphia area are invited to hear Samantha Harris, FIRE’s Director of Policy Research, speak at Swarthmore College this coming Tuesday, December 10. Swarthmore has a “red light” rating in FIRE’s Spotlight Database, and was recently discussed on The Torch after the Swarthmore Independent reported that Swarthmore solicits volunteers to serve on panels for hearings involving allegations of sexual… Read more

  • Swarthmore Students Asked to Volunteer to Be on Sexual Misconduct Hearing Panel

    October 10, 2013

    Torch readers will already be familiar with some of the procedural safeguards generally missing from sexual misconduct cases tried by campus judiciaries, as well as recent allegations that some college officials are withholding evidence and presuming the guilt of accused students. But on Tuesday, the Swarthmore College student newspaper Swarthmore Independent shed light on another worrying aspect of collegiate procedures in hearings… Read more

  • The State of Free Speech on Campus: Swarthmore College

    January 25, 2013

    This winter, FIRE is presenting a blog series on the state of free speech at America’s top 10 liberal arts colleges, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. So far, we have covered speech codes at Williams College and at Amherst College. Today, we will discuss speech codes at U.S. News‘ third-ranked liberal arts… Read more

  • Emmett Hogan on 2006: The More Things Change…?

    January 5, 2007

    Emmett Hogan is a student at University of Michigan Law School and a luminary early FIRE employee. As we looked back on 2006 in campus rights and abuses I wanted to check in with him for his thoughts on the past year in FIRE history. This was his thoughtful response: One of FIRE’s most gripping… Read more