Location: Tucson, Arizona
Federal Circuit: 9th Circuit
University of Arizona 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.
August 13, 2014
The University of Arizona declined to renew a professor’s contract after she received federal approval for marijuana research.» Read More
June 10, 2009
In April 2009, the University of Arizona College Republicans planned to host an event featuring conservative writer and activist David Horowitz. Shortly before the event, however, the group was informed that it was necessary to host two officers at the event for security, due to Horowitz’s controversial views. The College Republicans agreed to host the officers, and the presentation was given without incident. Soon after, however, the UA Police Department sent the College Republicans a bill for $384.72 to pay for the security. On June 10, 2009, FIRE wrote University of Arizona President Robert N. Shelton to point out that any requirement […]» Read More
February 22, 2006
As a result of worldwide controversy regarding caricatures of the prophet Mohammed, first published in a Danish newspaper, free speech was being openly disregarded on American college campuses. In the weeks following the printing of the cartoon, students, professors, and student publications not only reprinted the controversial cartoons but even created their own satirical cartoons depicting Mohammed. Chilling of speech in relation to the cartoon was found at Century College, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and New York University, amongst others.» Read More
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
Federal Agency definitions applicable to Title IX …
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination. Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature and 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.
If harassing conduct is sufficiently serious (sufficiently severe or pervasive) to deny or limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the school’s program based on sex then a hostile environment based on sex may exist.
Source: Department of Justice and Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights Joint Findings Letter to the University of Montana (May 9, 2013) http://www.justice.gov/opa/documents/um-ltr-findings.pdf
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
Prohibited Conduct …
Endangering, threatening, or causing physical harm to any member of the university community or to oneself causing reasonable apprehension of such harm or engaging in conduct or communications that a reasonable person would interpret as a serious expression of intent to harm. …
Stalking or engaging in repeated or significant behavior toward another individual, whether in person, in writing, or through electronic means, after having been asked to stop, or doing so to such a degree that a reasonable person, subject to such contact, would regard the contact as unwanted.
Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
The University, in general, cannot and does not wish to be the arbiter of content maintained, distributed or displayed by users of the University’s computing and network resources. For example, the University, in general, cannot protect users from receiving e-mail they may find offensive. Using the University’s computer or network resources for illegal activities, however, is strictly prohibited. Unlawful use of University computer and network resources can expose the individual user and the University to damages claims, or potential criminal liability. Unlawful uses may include, but are not limited to: harassment and intimidation of individuals on the basis of race, sex, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability; obscenity; child pornography; threats; theft; attempting unauthorized access to data; attempting to breach security measures on any electronic communications software or system; attempting to intercept electronic communication transmissions without proper authority; and violation of intellectual property or defamation laws. Do not use computer systems to send, post, or display slanderous or defamatory messages, text, graphics, or images.
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
“Threatening behavior” means any statement, communication, conduct or gesture, including those in written form, directed toward any member of the University community that causes a reasonable apprehension of physical harm to a person or property. A student can be guilty of threatening behavior even if the person who is the object of the threat does not observe or receive it, so long as a reasonable person would interpret the maker’s statement, communication, conduct or gesture as a serious expression of intent to physically harm.
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
Harassment is a specific form of discrimination. It is unwelcome behavior, based on a protected classification, that a reasonable person would perceive to be sufficiently severe or pervasive to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for academic pursuits, employment, or participation in University-sponsored activities. Additionally, sexual harassment, whether between individuals of the same or different sex, includes unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a condition of an individual’s education, employment, or participation in a University program or activity, and/or when the submission to or rejection of such conduct is a factor in decisions affecting that individual’s education, employment, or participation in University-sponsored activities.
Harassing conduct may take many forms, including verbal acts and name calling, as well as nonverbal behavior, such as graphic, electronic, and written statements, or conduct that is physically offensive, harmful, or threatening.
Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
The purpose of this policy is to respect the Campus Community’s rights to free speech and expressive activity within public and designated public forums, while preserving public health, safety and welfare, the normal business uses of the campus, and the rights of others to legitimately use and enjoy the campus.
Regulations for Scheduling Outdoor Activity space including the University Mall: … Because of size, safety, logistics, and other considerations, planned demonstrations must be scheduled in advance. A planned demonstration is a public manifestation of protest, condemnation, or approval; taking the form of a mass meeting, procession, picket, or similar activity which is organized and promoted more than a day before the event. Users must schedule such events with the Arizona Student Unions Event Scheduling Office at least 10 working days in advance. This does not apply to spontaneous demonstrations for which there is no prior promotion or organization or where events do not allow at least 10 working days in advance. In such situations, as much prior notice as possible must be provided to the Arizona Student Union Event Scheduling Office and/or the Dean of Students Office. The University will attempt to accommodate such spontaneous demonstrations subject to adequate space and resource availability. Staff will accommodate spontaneous demonstrations in areas which have not been reserved that day by other organizations and where the presence of the demonstration will not be disruptive to other groups which have reserved space in the same area.
September 10, 2014
By Ray Stern at Phoenix New Times Sue Sisley, M.D., is nearly blind. She can’t see out of her left eye and has minimal vision in her right, resulting from amblyopia, a condition she’s had since birth. Her remaining eyesight “doesn’t seem to be deteriorating further,” she says. But in recent months, Sisley’s been trying to train Penny, a rescue dog from the Humane Society, for her potentially to use someday. It’s not really working out. Cute but undisciplined, Penny — wearing a blue vest — greets a visitor excitedly at the Arizona Telemedicine Program’s Phoenix office. On this Tuesday afternoon, 45-year-old Sisley […]» Read More
April 17, 2015
Exactly one year ago today, Virginia’s highest court issued an important ruling balancing government transparency with academic freedom for public university faculty. And last month, an Arizona state court did the same. On April 17, 2014, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that the University of Virginia did not violate the state’s Freedom of Information Act by withholding certain emails and research by former UVA professor Michael Mann in response to a request filed by the American Tradition Institute and a state delegate. In finding for UVA, the Virginia Supreme Court cited affidavits filed by scholars testifying to the negative impact […]» Read More
August 25, 2014
After the University of Arizona (UA) terminated its contract with researcher Suzanne Sisley, 17 Senators and Representatives from the Arizona State Legislature wrote to UA’s president and board of trustees in defense of Sisley, urging the university to reinstate a planned medicinal marijuana study under her direction.» Read More
August 12, 2014
The future of University of Arizona (UA) Professor Suzanne Sisley’s research on the potential benefits of marijuana for treating post-traumatic stress disorder in military veterans remains uncertain after a letter from FIRE and continuing media coverage of the case.» Read More
July 3, 2014
University of Arizona (UA) Professor Suzanne A. Sisley has alleged that the university chose not to renew her contract in retaliation for her advocacy and research relating to medical uses for marijuana.» Read More
April 3, 2014
All too often on college campuses, police forget that their job is to protect students, not censor them. Over the weekend, Dean Saxton, a student preacher at the University of Arizona (UA), was arrested twice for disorderly conduct because of his preaching.» Read More
April 30, 2013
The University of Arizona Campus in Tuscon – Flickr user UGArdener This Sunday in the University of Arizona student newspaper the Arizona Daily Wildcat, interim Dean of Students Kendal Washington White wrote to reiterate the importance of protecting expression that falls outside unprotected categories of speech like true threats and incitement—even if that speech is offensive. Many UA students were offended by the impetus for the column, student Dean Saxton displaying a sign on campus that read, “You deserve rape.” In her column, White reminded readers that “[a]pplying First Amendment principles on a university campus has never been easy,” but one must do […]» Read More
November 6, 2012
This fall, FIRE is writing a blog series about how schools can reform their problematic speech codes and earn a “green light” rating from us—a distinction currently awarded to just 16 of the more than 400 schools in our Spotlight database, but one we hope to be able to award to many more in the years to come. In this series, we are discussing common problems with campus speech codes, focusing on examples from schools that are just a few small changes away from earning a green light rating. So far, we have examined how universities restrict speech by mandating […]» Read More
October 30, 2012
This fall, FIRE is writing a blog series about how schools can reform their problematic speech codes and earn a “green light” rating from FIRE—a distinction currently awarded to just 16 of the more than 400 schools in our Spotlight database, but one we hope to be able to award to many more in the years to come. In this series, we are discussing common problems with campus speech codes, focusing on examples from schools that are just a few small changes away from earning a green light rating. So far, we have examined how universities restrict speech by mandating “civility,” […]» Read More
October 14, 2011
University of Arizona (UA) student and Campus Freedom Network member Jonathan Messing penned an excellent op-ed in the UA campus newspaper the Daily Wildcat yesterday, drawing attention to the university’s speech codes. As Jonathan points out, UA currently maintains two yellow-light policies restricting student speech. While these policies undoubtedly chill campus dialogue and discussion, the good news is that UA is not terribly far from a green-light rating: It does not have any egregious red-light policies, and all it needs to do is revise these two yellow-light speech codes in order to become our latest green-light institution. Jonathan points out […]» Read More
University of Arizona Eliminates Unconstitutional Civility Policy, Earns ‘Yellow Light’ Rating from FIRE
September 2, 2011
Congratulations to the University of Arizona (UA) for eliminating its one remaining “red light” speech code, a policy on “Civility,” from its Community Living Guide. As a result of this policy change, UA now has a “yellow light” rating from FIRE. UA’s former policy required students to be “respectful” in all of their relationships and banned “verbally,” “mentally,” or “psychologically” “abus[ing]” another person, despite the fact that speech cannot be constitutionally prohibited simply for lacking respect or being abusive.The former policy also banned “bigotry” in “verbal” and “written” form, but failed both to define the term and to recognize that much speech […]» Read More
March 11, 2011
Torch readers will remember that Adam delivered a speech at Vanderbilt University on February 23rd about Vanderbilt’s restrictive policies and free speech violations at other institutions. Trevor Williams of The Vanderbilt Torch (no relation) was the most recent author to write about Adam’s critique of Vanderbilt’s sexual harassment policy, community creed, and other speech-restrictive policies. Out west, the Idaho State Board of Education voted to suspend the Idaho State University (ISU) Faculty Senate on February 17, just one week after the Faculty Senate recorded a vote of no confidence in ISU President Arthur C. Vailas. A recent post in The […]» Read More
Free Speech for Me, But Not for Thee: University of Arizona Student Government’s Thanksgiving Double Standard Exposed
November 24, 2010
The Freshman Class Council of the Associated Students of The University of Arizona (ASUA) sent out invitations to a “Pilgrim and Indian” Thanksgiving dinner recently, asking attendees to “break out those buckle hats and feathers” and come in costume. Why is this news? Because as Anna Swenson of the Student Free Press Association reports, this is precisely the kind of “stereotyping” that the ASUA has criticized and sought to punish in the past. As Swenson writes: Yet in other instances, ASUA has been quite concerned with continuing “ignorant and offensive stereotypes.” When the Daily Wildcat printed a comic many called […]» Read More
April 21, 2010
In today’s press release, FIRE announces that the University of Arizona has reversed course and granted its Students for Life (SFL) group official recognition, which gives the group equal access to university resources. After SFL’s application was initially denied by UA’s student government because the group’s proposed constitution required that members share the group’s beliefs about the sanctity of human life, SFL founder and UA student Jeremiah Lange came to FIRE for help. Interestingly, the situation presented by this case is a close relative to that confronted by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, which […]» Read More
April 21, 2010
TUCSON, Ariz., April 21, 2010—In a victory for freedom of association, the University of Arizona has reversed course and granted its Students for Life (SFL) group official recognition. The decision gives the group equal access to university resources. SFL’s application was initially denied by UA’s student government because the group’s proposed constitution required that members share beliefs about the sanctity of human life. After the student government denied recognition to his group, SFL founder Jeremiah Lange came to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. “FIRE is pleased that the University of Arizona has recognized its obligation to […]» Read More
Victory for Freedom of Expression at University of Arizona; Showing of ‘Not Evil, Just Wrong’ Back on Schedule
October 13, 2009
The University of Arizona has reversed course and permitted the College Republicans to screen the film Not Evil, Just Wrong as originally scheduled, just days after telling the group that its reservation was being cancelled due to a scheduling mistake. The “mix-up” was discovered only 11 days before the event, making it difficult to reschedule. After a joint investigation by FIRE and a UA College Republicans (UACR) leader showed that the scheduling conflict might not have been a mistake, the screening was placed back on the schedule for October 18. According to UACR Director of Communications Katie Pavlich, on September […]» Read More
Victory for Freedom of Speech at University of Arizona: Refund of Security Fee for Controversial Speaker
July 6, 2009
Today’s press release announces yet another FIRE victory on behalf of a student group unfairly burdened with the cost of bringing controversial speakers to campus. Late last week, FIRE learned that the University of Arizona was reversing its decision to charge the College Republicans $384.72 in extra security fees for an event featuring author and conservative activist David Horowitz. As FIRE has reminded America’s universities time and again throughout our ten-year existence, charging speakers or their student hosts for extra security fees solely because they may provoke hostile reactions from audience members affixes a price tag to protected speech and […]» Read More
Victory for Freedom of Speech at University of Arizona: Refund of Security Fee for Controversial Speaker Marks First Victory Posted on New FIRE Website
July 6, 2009
TUCSON, Ariz., July 6, 2009—The University of Arizona has rescinded its unconstitutional security fee for an event featuring author and conservative activist David Horowitz. After the university billed the College Republicans student group $384.72 for security that it did not request, the club came to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. “The University of Arizona should be commended for respecting freedom of speech,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “Arizona joins a growing list of public universities that now understand that controversial speech may not be burdened simply because it might be contentious enough to bring out […]» Read More
November 14, 2008
As those who follow FIRE know, the student press is often a target of college and university administrators who would rather conduct the operations of the university without the glaring light of public exposure shining upon them. Quinnipiac University is probably the foremost recent example of this tendency. Unfortunately, though, censorship of the press on campus is increasingly not the sole province of the powers that be. The University of Arizona’s Daily Wildcat found that out when it mistakenly published a syndicated political cartoon that used most of the letters of a racial slur as part of social commentary about […]» Read More
August 26, 2005
The invaluable K. C. Johnson has an excellent op-ed in today’s Inside Higher Ed. K. C. does a wonderful job of collecting evidence that much of the ideological uniformity in higher education is not so much the result of “self-selection” but instead the product of an academic culture that uses ideology as a stand-in for intelligence or merit. His most interesting paragraphs relate how ideological uniformity is justified by a desire to create a particular academic orthodoxy on issues of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation According to Montclair State’s Grover Furr, “colleges and universities do not need a single […]» Read More