Trinity College

Location: Hartford, Connecticut
Type: Private
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Speech Code Rating

Trinity 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
  • Incident Response Team: Definitions of Hate, Bias, Discrimination and Harrassment [sic]

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: September 16, 2019

    Bias incidents … can include taunting, verbal harassment, bullying, intimidation, or the posting or circulating of demeaning jokes or documents.. Read More
  • Student Handbook: Residential Guidelines- Room and Furniture Condition

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: September 16, 2019

    Pictures and other materials that may be considered to be objectionable are subject to removal in areas that may be visible outside a room/suite/apartment in a residential building (e.g., directly in windows, exteriors of doors, etc.). Read More
  • Student Handbook: Computing, Communications, and Video Systems Regulations

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: September 16, 2019

    Sending lewd or intimidating messages via the network is harassment. Read More
  • Trinity College Policy on Sexual Misconduct

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 16, 2019

    Sexual harassment, whether opposite or same sex, includes but is not limited to: unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favors, and other behavior of a sexual nature, based on a person’s sex, whether it occurs on or off campus, when: … Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably in... Read More
  • Student Handbook: College Regulations- Social Code

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 16, 2019

    Conduct that is unbecoming of a Trinity College student. This includes, but is not limited to, disturbance of the peace; disorderly or indecent conduct; physical or verbal abuse or assault; threats; intimidation; coercion; any conduct that threatens, instills fear, or infringes upon the rights, dignity, and integ... Read More
  • Student Handbook: Policy Statement on Discrimination, General Harassment and Abuse, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 16, 2019

    Discriminatory harassment includes conduct specifically directed at an individual or a small group of individuals and expresses hatred or contempt on the basis of stereotyped group characteristics or because of a person’s identification with a particular group. Discriminatory harassment also includes any action or s... Read More
  • Student Handbook: Poster and Banner Regulations

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: September 16, 2019

    Individuals and organizations are expected to use good judgment and civility when posting information. … All recognized student organizations must submit posters, banners and all other marketing materials (including apparel designs see the Apparel Guidelines on the SAIL web- site) to the SAIL office for approv... Read More
  • Student Handbook: The Trinity College Student Integrity Contract

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: September 16, 2019

    According to the mission statement of Trinity College, excellence in liberal arts education relies on critical thinking, freeing the mind from parochialism and prejudice, and encouraging students to lead examined lives. Free inquiry and free expression are essential for the attainment of these goals. Read More
  • Student Handbook: General Harassment/Abuse

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 16, 2019

    Harassment includes, but is not limited to, physical or non-physical behavior, such as assault, abuse, stalking, hazing, invasion of privacy, and intimidation. The following definitions provide examples of behavior that will not be tolerated: Assault is nonconsensual physical contact that places someone in fear or ... Read More
  • Student Handbook: Poster and Banner Regulations

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: September 16, 2019

    Students and student organizations should be free to examine and discuss all questions of interest to them and to express opinions publicly and privately. Read More
  • Trinity College: Student Government Association’s Denial of Recognition to Churchill Club

    April 30, 2019

    A group of Trinity College students sought recognition for the Churchill Club, a student organization affiliated with the Hartford-based Churchill Institute, which is “dedicated to the preservation, dissemination and extension of the Western moral and philosophical Tradition.” After Trinity’s Student Government Association (SGA) delayed voting on the club’s recognition for weeks following student protest, FIRE… Read more

  • Trinity College: Professor Faces Threats, Investigation for Facebook Posts

    July 7, 2017

    In June 2017, Trinity College Professor Johnny Eric Williams shared — on his personal Facebook page — an anonymous author’s controversial essay, entitled “Let Them Fucking Die.”

  • Trinity College: New Social Code Erodes Freedom of Association

    August 20, 2004

    In October 2012, Trinity College’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved the recommendations of a report prepared by the college’s specially created Charter Committee for Building Social Community at Trinity College. The report includes a new Social Code that imposes dramatic new regulations on “social organizations,” primarily fraternities and sororities. Among its numerous requirements, the code… Read more

  • Trinity College administration recognizes ‘Churchill Club,’ even as student government votes to deny recognition

    May 1, 2019

    On Monday, the Trinity College Student Government Association announced that it had voted — after weeks of delays, meetings, and public forums — to deny recognition to the Churchill Club. The club is a student organization affiliated with the Hartford-based Churchill Institute, which is “dedicated to the preservation, dissemination and extension of the Western moral… Read more

  • Trinity College ceases unwarranted investigation of professor’s Facebook posts

    July 14, 2017

    Academic freedom has won at Trinity College today, as the college’s president wrote in a public statement that Trinity would cease its unwarranted investigation into the personal Facebook posts of professor Johnny Eric Williams. As my colleague Adam Steinbaugh reported last week, Williams had been under investigation for the content of his Facebook posts, where… Read more

  • Trinity College professor’s ‘let them fucking die’ posts are protected speech; continued investigation unwarranted

    July 7, 2017

    On June 16, Trinity College professor Johnny Eric Williams shared, via his personal Facebook page, an anonymous writer’s controversial essay urging oppressed minorities to “do nothing” to help if they encountered people “who practice bigotry” in danger. The piece cited the actions of Crystal Griner, a “queer black woman” and member of the U.S. Capitol… Read more

  • Disturbing trend continues: Trinity College professor faces threats

    June 23, 2017

    The repeated outbreaks of violence in response to campus speech made the past semester one of the most depressing I’ve worked in my decade of defending campus rights here at FIRE. Unfortunately, that ugly trend is now matched by another deeply disturbing phenomenon: professors fielding violent threats for exercising their right to free speech. The… Read more

  • Trinity College President Calls to Eliminate Co-Ed Mandate

    September 4, 2015

    In a win for freedom of association today, Trinity College president Joanne Berger-Sweeney announced she has asked the college’s board to endorse eliminating the “coed mandate” that would have forced fraternities and sororities at the Connecticut college to admit students of both genders. FIRE wrote to Trinity in 2013 after its board of trustees approved… Read more

  • Amherst Bans Fraternities, Sororities, and Similar Organizations On and Off Campus

    May 9, 2014

    Amherst College’s Board of Trustees sent out an email Tuesday announcing that it was reaffirming its 1984 ban on the college’s recognition of fraternities and sororities—and that it would be taking things a step further this summer in a move that will take a significant bite out of Amherst students’ ability to freely associate.

  • Trinity Policy Change Renders Promise of Freedom of Association Meaningless

    September 17, 2013

    In October 2012, Trinity College’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved a measure enforcing strict new regulations on “social organizations,” effectively spelling the end of fraternities and sororities at Trinity. Trinity’s new policies prohibit selective membership in all social organizations and mandate that all existing social organizations achieve rough gender parity in both membership and leadership…. Read more

  • 16th Annual ‘Campus Muzzle’ Awards Feature Yale, Tufts, Harvard

    June 27, 2013

    The “Muzzles” live! The 16th annual “Campus Muzzle” Awards, previously featured in the now-sadly-defunct Boston Phoenix, have found a new home this year on WGBH News online, as well as in the Portland Phoenix. FIRE co-founder and Chairman Harvey Silverglate awards the Campus Muzzles each year to the worst universities in New England for First… Read more

  • William Voegeli on the Purpose of College and the Fight for Free Speech

    June 25, 2013

    William Voegeli, senior editor of the Claremont Review of Books, wrote for Real Clear Politics yesterday to discuss the shift in why students go to college and how their focus hinders progress with respect to open and frank discussion on campus. He laments that for many young people, college is a means to an end;… Read more

  • Fraternities, Sororities Object as Trinity Tramples Freedom of Association; President, Board Chairman Step Down

    May 7, 2013

    Here’s today’s press release: HARTFORD, Conn., May 7, 2013—In a surprise announcement via email yesterday, Trinity College President James Jones announced his intention to step down from his post in June 2014, one year before the end of his contract. Jones reported in the same email that Board of Trustees Chair Paul E. Raether will… Read more

  • Fraternities, Sororities Object as Trinity Tramples Freedom of Association; President, Board Chairman Step Down

    May 7, 2013

    HARTFORD, Conn., May 7, 2013—In a surprise announcement via email yesterday, Trinity College President James Jones announced his intention to step down from his post in June 2014, one year before the end of his contract. Jones reported in the same email that Board of Trustees Chair Paul E. Raether will also leave the Trustees’… Read more

  • Trinity College President, Trustee Chair Announce Plans to Step Aside as Debate Rages Over New Social Code

    May 6, 2013

    This morning, Trinity College President James Jones sent an email to the Trinity campus community announcing his intention to step down from his post on June 30, 2014, one year earlier than his contract was scheduled to end. Jones will resign from his tenured faculty position at that time as well. In his email, Jones… Read more

  • FIRE President Greg Lukianoff Speaking at Trinity College

    May 2, 2013

    FIRE President Greg Lukianoff will be on the campus of Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., on Monday, May 6, to discuss his book, Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate, and the ongoing threat to freedom of association, particularly to Greek organizations, posed by recent policy changes at the college. Trinity’s new… Read more

  • Trinity College Jettisons Freedom of Association for Greek Organizations

    May 1, 2013

    The tension that often exists between universities and their fraternity and sorority systems is far from new. At Trinity College in Connecticut, however, that tension has taken on whole new proportions this year, as the college—with the blessing of its Board of Trustees—is taking a metaphorical sledgehammer to such organizations, severely threatening freedom of association… Read more