University of Akron

Location: Akron, Ohio
Website: www.uakron.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 6th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

University of Akron 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.

Yellow Light Policies
  • Code of Student Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: January 18, 2016

    Sexual misconduct includes but is not limited to: … Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that expressly or implicitly imposes conditions upon, threatens, interferes with, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning environment for an individual’s: (i) Academic pursuits; (ii) University employment; (iii) Participation in activities sponsored by the university or organizations or groups related to the university, or (iv) Opportunities to benefit from other aspects of university life.

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  • Code of Student Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: January 18, 2016

    Engaging in or threatening physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion, and/or other conduct which intentionally or recklessly threatens or endangers the health, welfare or safety of any person.

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  • Sexual Harassment Policy

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: January 18, 2016

    The university of Akron reaffirms its commitment to an academic, work, and study environment free of inappropriate and disrespectful conduct and communication in any form.

    Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination which violates state and federal laws respecting both employees and students. The definitions used in this policy shall be interpreted consistent with such laws.

    (1) It consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical conduct, or other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature when: … (c) Such conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with an individual’s employment, education, educational benefits or opportunities, or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive employment or education environment. Any sexual harassment as defined herein is limited to conduct or communication by someone in authority, but also includes any sexual harassment as defined herein when perpetrated on any student or employee by any other student or employee.

    (2) Sexual harassment is sexual conduct that is “unwelcome.” It may include, but is not limited to: (a) Uninvited verbal harassment or abuse such as sexual name calling, jokes, spreading sexual rumors, leers, or overly personal conversations of a sexual nature; (b) Subtle pressure for sexual activity; (c) Inappropriate patting, pinching or fondling, pulling at clothes, or intentional brushing against a student’s or an employee’s body; (d) Demanding sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt threats concerning an individual’s employment or educational status; (e) Demanding sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt promises of preferential treatment with regard to an individual’s employment or educational status; (f) Any sexually motivated unwelcome touching, cornering, or blocking an individual’s movement; (g) Conditioning a student’s grade or academic progress on submission to sexual activity; (h) Hanging or displaying inappropriate and sexually explicit pictures, posters, or drawings in the workplace; (i) A pattern of conduct intended to discomfort or humiliate, or both, a reasonable person at whom the conduct was directed that includes one or more of the following: unnecessary touching or hugging, remarks of a sexual nature about a person’s clothing or body, or remarks about sexual activity or speculations about previous sexual experience.

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  • Code of Student Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: January 18, 2016

    Theft or other abuse of computer facilities and resources, including but not limited to: … Use of computing facilities and resources to send obscene or abusive messages.

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Green Light Policies
  • Student Rights and Responsibilities

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: January 18, 2016

    University students are both citizens and members of the university community. As citizens they enjoy the same rights such as freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and right of petition, and the same obligations as other citizens ….

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  • Office of General Counsel: Reserving Outdoor Space on Campus

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: January 18, 2016

    The University has updated the process for reserving and/or using outdoor space on campus. The updated process permits students and University community members (University faculty, employees, staff, and students) to continue to reserve public spaces on campus to engage in expressive activities. However, the University will no longer require preregistration for University community members unless there is a significant concern for campus safety or a need for significant crowd control, noise amplification, or other characteristics which have a strong likelihood of disrupting the educational activities of the University. University community members do not need to register expressive activities that do not require crowd control or material support, or other activities that may impact the educational activities of the University.

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  • Univ. of Akron Will no Longer Require Students to Pre-register ‘Expressive Speech’

    October 9, 2015

    By Peter Fricke at Campus Reform The University of Akron has agreed to revise the unconstitutional speech policies that sparked controversy when a school official prevented students from passing out constitutions on campus. As originally reported by Campus Reform, first-year law student Anthony Palumbo and several classmates affiliated with an unofficial Young Americans for Liberty chapter at the university had just begun to set up pro-liberty and free-market themed signs with the intent of recruiting new members for their group when they were confronted by an administrator and ordered to disperse. “Hello, I work at the university. Let me just […]

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  • BOOK REVIEW: Unlearning Liberty

    October 18, 2012

    UNLEARNING LIBERTY: CAMPUS CENSORSHIP AND THE END OF AMERICAN DEBATEBy Greg LukianoffEncounter Books, $25.99, 294 pages   “Although I disagree with every word you say, I shall defend to the death your right to say it.” This stirring proclamation by Voltaire could have been said by Thomas Jefferson — or any of his associates — since free speech, a mainstay of 18th-century Enlightenment, fueled the American Revolution and is incorporated in our Constitution. In the first half of the previous century, a common phrase was “It’s a free country; I can say what I want.” That phrase is not so common today, but free speech is […]

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  • Do campus tribunals wield too much power?

    March 13, 2006

    By John Higgins at The Beacon Journal A Summit County jury found Charles Plinton not guilty of selling drugs to a confidential informant in 2004. A few weeks later, a University of Akron disciplinary board found him “responsible” for “selling drugs to a confidential informant.” The difference between those two words — guilty and responsible — may not sound meaningful to the average person. But it’s a distinction that begins to explain the secretive world of college justice in which campus committees may re-try the facts of serious crimes after criminal courts have already decided them. Critics see the hearings […]

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  • After Controversy, University of Akron Moves Quickly to Remove Speech Restrictions

    October 19, 2015

    As Torch readers who have followed FIRE’s Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project will be aware, restricting the rights of students to engage in such basic activities as distributing flyers and printed materials can land public institutions in a lot of constitutional trouble. (See: Modesto Junior College. See also: University of Hawaii at Hilo, Citrus College, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and Dixie State University.) Fortunately, thanks to its forthright response to one such controversy, the University of Akron (UA) has avoided joining their ranks. The case at UA began on August 30, when law student Anthony Palumbo, accompanied by […]

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  • Tribunal Tribulations

    March 13, 2006

    Today, John Higgins of the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal takes a long and critical look at campus courts in two articles, one about the practices of campus courts in general and one about a University of Akron student who, although acquitted of drug trafficking in court, was convicted of it by a campus court and subsequently killed himself. The articles should send chills up the spine of any person who believes that justice is safe on America’s campuses.   In both articles, Higgins presents the story of University of Akron student Charles Plinton, who was charged but acquitted of selling […]

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