University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth

Location: North Dartmouth, Massachusetts
Website: http://www.umassd.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 1st Circuit

Tell University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth to revise its speech policies by filling out this form.

Speech Code Rating

University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth has been given the speech code rating Red. A red light university has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech. Read more here.

At present, FIRE has not been involved in any cases at this school.

Red Light Policies

  • Title IX and Sexual Assault/Harassment

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

    Sexual harassment prohibited by Title IX is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, such as sexual assault or acts of sexual violence.

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  • University Policies: ITS-001 Responsible/Acceptable Use of Computing Services

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

    You can expect to lose your computer account, be disconnected from the network, face disciplinary action up to and including termination, possibly be charged with criminal offenses (either by the University or third parties such as the Record Industry) or have civil action taken for computer abuses such as: … Sending offensive, harassing or threatening messages or repeated unsolicited mail

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  • EQUAL OPPORTUNITY & ANTI-HARASSMENT COMPLAINT PROCEDURES and COMPLAINT FORM

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

    “Harassment” means unwelcome conduct, whether verbal or physical, that is based on a characteristic protected by law. Harassment includes, but is not limited to:

    1. display or circulation of written materials or pictures that are degrading to a person or group as previously described; and

    2. verbal abuse or insults about, directed at, or made in the presence of an individual or group as previously described.

    “Sexual harassment” means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: … such conduct has the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance and/or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or academic environment.

    The definition of sexual harassment is broad. In addition to the above examples, other unwelcome sexually oriented conduct, whether intended or not, that has the effect of creating a school or work environment that is hostile, offensive, intimidating or humiliating to either male or female students or employees also may constitute sexual harassment. Such conduct may include, but is not limited to, sexual epithets, jokes, comments, inquiries or gossip regarding one’s sex life or sexual activity; displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures or cartoons; and unwelcome leering, whistling, or brushing against the body or sexual gestures.

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Yellow Light Policies
  • Doc. T16-040: University of Massachusetts Non-Discrimination and Harassment Policy

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

    b. Harassment is conduct by a person or persons against another person or persons based upon their legally protected class that adversely has the effect of:
    (i) unreasonably interfering with a person or person’s employment, educational benefits, academic grades or opportunities, or participation in University programs or activities; or
    (ii) unreasonably interfering with a person or person’s work or academic performance; or
    (iii) creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment.

    c. Sexual Harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature when:
    (i) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, education, or participation in University programs or activities; or
    (ii) submission to or rejection of such conduct by a person or persons is used as a basis for employment or educational decisions affecting such person or persons, or participation in University programs or activities; or
    (iii) such conduct unreasonably interferes with a person or person’s work or academic performance; interferes with or limits a person or person’s ability to participate in or benefit from a work or academic program or activity; or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment.

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  • Bias & Hate

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: August 24, 2018

    • Bias Incident: Acts against people or property that do not appear to constitute a crime or actionable discrimination, but which may intimidate, mock, degrade, or threaten a member or group because of actual or perceived age, ancestry or ethnicity, color, creed, disability, gender, gender identity or expression, height, immigration or citizenship status, marital status, ex-offender status, national origin, veteran status, race, religion, religious practice, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, weight or any combination of these factors.

    Bias-related incidents, while abhorrent and offensive, may not meet the definition of a hate crime or Code of Student Conduct violation. However, these acts negatively impact our community and require an active response to ensure a safe and inclusive campus environment for all. Even when offenders are unaware that they have shown bias and do not mean to offend, an expression of bias deserves a response and can be an opportunity for education.

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  • Bullying, Harassment and Violence

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

    Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes things like internet trolling or flaming, name-calling, threats, spreading rumors or threatening to release private information/photos, attacking someone physically or verbally, and purposefully excluding someone from a group.

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  • University Policies: FOC-002 Public Forum Use of University Facilities

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

    These rules and regulations apply to all members of the University community, including undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and administrative staff as well as to guests and visitors.

    Public forum spaces are locations that by tradition or policy are available for public assembly and speech. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth recognizes the following public forum spaces: The grassy areas to the south and east, within 75 feet, of the campanile, bounded by the Group I campanile walkway and the Group IV campanile walkway.

    Person wishing to use a public forum space must inform the Department of Public Safety (DPS) at least 48 hours in advance regarding the date, time, number of people involved, and the contact person(s) for the event.

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  • Housing and Residential Education Handbook: Policies and Community Standards

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: August 24, 2018

    All residents are expected to be responsible members of both the residential and campus community; be respectful of others rights and privacy and the diversity others bring to the richness of the campus; act and speak with civility; honor and follow the rules and policies of UMass Dartmouth community; assist in the safety and security of the residential community and contribute to the overall positive living and neighborhood community environment that will provide a positive living/learning experience for all campus residents

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  • University Policies: STU-024 Student Conduct Policies and Procedures

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: August 24, 2018

    Disorderly conduct: … Individual or group activities that intentionally or recklessly cause serious disturbance or distress to others.

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  • Housing and Residential Education Handbook: Posting Policy

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: August 24, 2018

    The Office of Housing and Residential Life reserve the right to control the content of publicity devices (alcohol, tobacco, and community standards) as well as language on the advertisements. The original flyer or banner must be stamped no less than 48 hours before the event.

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  • University Policies: STU-025 Use of Technology Policy

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

    Campus Electronic Mail Policies will ensure that University email users will NOT:

    Send any unsolicited mail or materials that are of a fraudulent, defamatory, harassing, or threatening nature.
    Post materials that violate existing laws or University codes of conduct, are inconsistent with the University mission, or are commercial advertisements or announcements on any electronic bulletin boards.
    Forward any other form of unnecessary mass mailing (such as chain letters) to University or external email users.

    Authorized users are prohibited from sending, posting or, publicly displaying or printing unsolicited mail or materials that is of a fraudulent, defamatory, harassing, abusive, obscene or threatening nature on any University system.

    » Read More


Green Light Policies
  • University Policies: STU-024 Student Conduct Policies and Procedures

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

    Harassment includes but is not limited to, actions that prevent the person from conducting his or her customary or usual affairs. Also included is conduct less than a physical attack or physical interference that is directed at a person and that unreasonably interferes with that person in the conduct of his or her customary or usual affairs, such as the posting of threatening letters directed to the person; the use of threatening language directed at another; intimidation (incl. witnesses documented in an incident or from a hearing); threatening telephone calls, e-mails, instant messages and text messages; or the vandalism of a person’s room or property.

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  • University Policies: STU-016 Student Rights

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: August 24, 2018

    The University recognizes the need for all members of the University community, administrators, faculty, staff, and students to reaffirm formally their profound commitment to freedom of speech and to clarify the implications of that commitment. In this context, freedom of speech encompasses all forms of communication as well as the freedom to listen, watch, protest, or otherwise participate in such communication. We believe it is our responsibility to espouse an atmosphere of free speech and free inquiry and to advocate for the timely discussion of a wide variety of issues. We believe, further, that vital intellectual discourse is essential to democracy and to ensuring a just society.

    Believing speech to be false, deleterious, or in any other way odious cannot be cause for its suppression except for speech as specified under allowable exemptions below.
    Preventing speech from occurring by disruptive protest also constitutes an attack on freedom of speech.

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  • University Policies: T94-059 – Code of Student Conduct Policy

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

    Sexual harassment is a form of general harassment and is defined as follows: unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and/or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature if the conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the education program, or to create a hostile or abusive educational environment.

    » Read More


At present, FIRE does not maintain information on this school's policies.
  • UMass Dartmouth Free Speech Zone: Unenforced, But Still Unconstitutional

    October 18, 2012

    Students at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth are speaking out against the university’s limitations on where students may protest or engage in public political speech.  As The Standard-Times (New Bedford, Mass.) reports, UMass Dartmouth’s “free speech zone” “encompasses a patch of grass 75 feet southeast of the campanile at the center of campus and bordered on each side by walkways.” According to the article, the policy has not been enforced since its creation in 2005, despite at least one protest occurring outside the zone. Nevertheless, as philosophy professor Phil Cox notes, UMass’s rules and regulations regarding “public forum spaces” interfere […]

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  • UMass’s effort to control protests spurs more criticism

    February 3, 2005

    A move to tighten rules against disruptive demonstrations in campus buildings at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst met with angry resistance from some students and faculty, who planned to deliver a letter to school administrators today questioning the constitutionality of the changes. Specialists on the issue said the controversy at UMass comes in the midst of a larger movement by administrators on college campuses nationwide to limit or contain protests, including a growing number of schools where demonstrations are allowed only in designated free-speech zones on campus. The University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth recently adopted a similar policy, drawing […]

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