Texas State University – San Marcos

Location: San Marcos, Texas
Website: http://www.txstate.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 5th Circuit

Tell Texas State University – San Marcos to revise its speech policies by filling out this form.

Speech Code Rating

Texas State University – San Marcos 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.

  • Texas State University: Independent Student Newspaper Under Fire for Controversial Opinion Column

    December 13, 2017

    On November 28, 2017, independent student newspaper The University Star published an editorial by opinion columnist Rudy Martinez titled “Your DNA is an abomination.” Martinez’s editorial argued that race — including “whiteness” — is a social construct used to oppress non-white populations. Martinez’s editorial sparked controversy and outrage across campus and online. The article was denounced by the university president, the assistant vice president of communications, the director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, and the student government president. On November 30, The University Star fired Martinez. On December 7, a coalition of FIRE, the Student Press Law […]

    » Read More
Yellow Light Policies
  • Texas State University System Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 26, 2017

    Sexual Harassment is any unwelcome verbal, nonverbal, written, electronic or physical behavior of a sexual nature directed at someone, or against a particular group, because of that person’s or group’s sex, or based on gender stereotypes, severe or pervasive, and where it meets either of the following criteria:

    2.182 The behavior has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with another’s work or educational performance by creating an intimidating or hostile environment for employment, education, on-campus living or participation in a Component affiliated activity.

    Examples of this type of sexual harassment can include, but are not limited to:

    2.1821 persistent unwelcome efforts to develop a romantic or sexual relationship;

    2.1822 unwelcome commentary about an individual’s body or sexual activities;

    2.1823 unwanted sexual attention;

    2.1824 repeatedly engaging in sexually-oriented conversations, comments or horseplay, including the use of language or the telling of jokes or anecdotes of a sexual nature in the workplace, office or classroom, even if such conduct is not objected to by those present; or

    2.1825 gratuitous use of sexually-oriented materials not directly related to the subject matter of a class, course or meeting even if not objected to by those present

    » Read More

  • UPPS No. 04.01.07: Appropriate Use of Information Resources

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: September 26, 2017

    The following activities exemplify inappropriate use of the university’s information resources. These and similar activities are strictly prohibited for all users. 

    k.  using university information resources in a manner that violates other university policies, such as racial, ethnic, religious, sexual, or other forms of harassment. See also UPPS No. 04.04.46, Prohibition of Discrimination or Harassment, and The Texas State University System (TSUS) Sexual Misconduct Policy

    l.    Using university information resources for the transmission of spam mail, chain letters, malicious software (e.g., viruses, worms, or spyware), or personal advertisements, solicitations or promotions.

    n.   Using Texas State’s information resources to affect the result of a local, state, or national election or to achieve any other political purpose (consistent with Texas Government Code § 556.004).

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Rules and Policies- Code of Student Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 26, 2017

    Specific examples of conduct which are violations of this Code of Student Conduct include, but are not limited to, committing or attempting to commit the following: … endangering the physical or mental health or safety of any person or intentionally or recklessly causing injury to any person; … harassing or threatening (by any means) to take unlawful action against any person, causing or intending to cause annoyance or alarm ….

    » Read More


Green Light Policies
  • UPDATE: After Florida school shooting, ‘Worst Colleges for Free Speech’ promising high schoolers a right to protest

    March 14, 2018

    Update: FIRE has tallied the number of colleges and universities that have made statements supporting free speech, based on the list compiled by Chris Peterson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology assistant director of undergraduate admissions. Out of the schools in our Spotlight database that made statements on free speech, 61 have a “red light” speech code rating, 93 have a “yellow light” rating, and only 12 have a “green light” rating. Full results can be viewed here. FIRE stands ready to help any university with revising its speech codes. In the wake of the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Florida’s Marjory […]

    » Read More
  • The 10 worst colleges for free speech: 2018

    February 12, 2018

    Every year, FIRE chooses the 10 worst colleges for free speech — and unfortunately, 2017 left us with plenty of options: Campuses were rocked by violent mob censorship, monitored by bias response teams, plagued by free speech zones, and beset by far too many disinvitation attempts. Although the number of colleges with the most restrictive speech codes has continued to decline, 90 percent of schools still maintain codes that either clearly restrict or could too easily be used to restrict free speech. Today, we present our 2018 list of the 10 worst colleges for free speech. As always, our list […]

    » Read More
  • FIRE names America’s 10 worst colleges for free speech: 2018

    February 12, 2018

    PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 12, 2018 — Each year, colleges across the country find dubious ways to silence student and faculty expression. In the last year, administrators became embroiled in litigation for telling a student he couldn’t hand out Spanish-language copies of the U.S. Constitution outside a free speech zone, continued a years-long effort to ban a group from campus due to its political viewpoint, and even investigated a professor for a satirical tweet — eventually driving him to resign. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has identified America’s 10 worst colleges for free speech, published today with detailed descriptions on […]

    » Read More
  • Texas State University, asked to protect student newspaper’s First Amendment rights, offers muted response

    December 22, 2017

    Earlier this month, FIRE joined the National Coalition Against Censorship and the Student Press Law Center in a letter to Texas State University President Denise M. Trauth, calling on TSU to clearly rebuff threats by its student body president to defund the student newspaper, The University Star. The newspaper faced calls for revocation of its funding after it published an editorial arguing that race is a social construct used to oppress non-white populations, that the concept of whiteness should be destroyed, and that those identifying as white “shouldn’t exist.” As my colleague Ari Cohn explained, the piece was widely criticized […]

    » Read More
  • Students, faculty, and administrators launch attack on Texas State University newspaper

    December 13, 2017

    Attacks on student newspapers following the publication of controversial articles are unfortunately commonplace. Over the years, FIRE has seen newspaper advisers fired, issues stolen from racks, formal disciplinary investigations, attempted administrative takeovers, threats to newspaper funding, and even complete defunding of all student media, simply because some on (or off) campus did not like what a particular student paper published. But perhaps slightly less common is a concerted attack from administrators, faculty, and students on a student newspaper all at once. Sadly, that is exactly what is happening at Texas State University, and FIRE has joined with two other free […]

    » Read More
  • Texas Students, FIRE’s Joe Cohn is Coming to a Campus Near You

    October 6, 2014

    Yeehaw! Joe Cohn, FIRE’s Legislative and Policy Director, will be traveling across the Lone Star State for a rootin’ tootin’ Texan campus tour. Students and faculty at or near the University of Houston, University of Texas at San Antonio, University of Texas at Austin, Texas State University at San Marcos, and Texas A&M are invited to attend Joe’s presentation and learn about their rights to freedom of speech and due process on campus. University of Houston When: Monday, October 6, 6:30 p.m. Where: Moody Towers Lobby   University of Texas at San Antonio When: Tuesday, October 7,  6:00 p.m. Where: […]

    » Read More
  • Texas State’s ‘Common Experience’ on First Amendment Should Begin With Revision of Speech Codes

    September 22, 2011

    We recently took note of an interview featuring Texas State University-San Marcos (TSU) President Denise Trauth in TSU’s The University Star, in which President Trauth spoke at length about her experiences as an undergraduate reporter at her college’s campus newspaper, as a high school journalism teacher, and as features editor for The Daily Iowan at the University of Iowa. But what really caught our attention was her answer to the question, “Does the Common Experience theme this year, the First Amendment, have a special significance to you?” Trauth responded: Absolutely. I did years and years doing research in this very […]

    » Read More