University of California-Merced

Location: Merced, California
Website: http://www.ucmerced.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 9th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

University of California-Merced 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.

Red Light Policies

  • Policy Regarding Workplace Violence, Bias Incidents, Hate Crimes and Disruptive Behaviors

    Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies
    Last updated: March 2, 2016

    [S]tudents, faculty, and staff are to behave in a manner that promotes our Principles of Community and a community free from intolerance, bias, hate, hostility, violence, threats, harassment, intimidation, bullying or any behavior that causes another to feel unsafe.

    UC Merced will respond promptly to violence, threats of violence, harassment, intimidation, hate and bias incidents, or any behavior that causes another to feel unsafe. Complaints involving violence or disruptive behavior will be given the serious attention they warrant and investigated fully in accord with the applicable principles of due process. Individuals who violate this policy may be removed from UC Merced property and are subject to disciplinary and/or personnel action up to and including termination, dismissal and/or criminal prosecution.

    Bullying–Offensive or malicious behavior meant to undermine, intimidate, or demean another.

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Yellow Light Policies
  • University of California Campus Climate

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: March 2, 2016

    If you experience or observe behavior that is inconsistent with our Principles of Community, please report it. You may report in a variety of ways: *Report anonymously or by name, via this Campus Climate page, by selecting the University of California campus where the incident occurred from the list to the right and clicking “Continue”. * Report anonymously to an appropriate campus office, based on the nature of the incident. Please refer to the website for the campus where the incident occurred. * Report anonymously via your campus’ Bias Reporting page, by selecting your campus from the Local Bias Reporting menu above. If your campus does not appear on this list, there is no local reporting form available. Please use this form, instead. * File a report with your Campus Police Department, via the Campus Police menu above.

    Expressions of Bias: A general communication not directed toward a particular individual, which disparages a group of people on the basis of some characteristic …

    Hate Speech: Hate speech is any speech, gesture or conduct, writing, or display that may incite violence or prejudicial action against someone based on actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, gender, gender identity, ethnicity ….

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  • Responding to Bias Incidents or Hate Crimes at UC Merced

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: March 2, 2016

    We are all responsible for maintaining a respectful environment free from all forms of harassment, hostility, and violence. Specifically, all faculty, staff, and students are expected to actively participate in achieving community through the following actions: * Speak out against, denounce, and/or interrupt all forms of hate (harassment, hostility, violence, etc.), which threaten the safety, dignity, and well-being of members of this community. * Report acts of intolerance and hate crimes. * Fully participate in investigations by supplying information to investigating staff or officers. * Take advantage of opportunities for continued education about multiculturalism and diversity issues (courses, workshops, professional development, campus programs, etc). * Educate and take responsibility for this community and the guests we invite into this community to ensure that language and action do not violate the diversity policy, the hate crime/incident protocol, or the rights of any member of this community.

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  • Student Handbook: Speech and Advocacy- Posting Regulations

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: March 2, 2016

    All materials must be approved prior to posting and shall clearly indicate the name of the sponsoring organization(s) or individual(s) and their contact information.

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Green Light Policies
  • Office of Student Conduct: UC Conduct Standards

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: March 2, 2016

    Harassment, defined as conduct that is so severe and/or pervasive, and objectively offensive, and that so substantially impairs a person’s access to University programs or activities that the person is effectively denied equal access to the University’s resources and opportunities.

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  • Student Handbook: Speech and Advocacy

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: March 2, 2016

    On University grounds generally open to the public, all persons may exercise the constitutionally protected rights of free expression, speech, assembly, worship and distribution of literature incidental to the exercise of these freedoms; however, these activities must not interfere with the orderly operation of the campus and must be conducted in accordance with the campus time, place and manner regulations.

    For the purpose of these regulations, “grounds open to the public generally” are defined as the outdoor areas of the campus (lawns, patios, plazas) that are adjacent to campus buildings and parking lots.

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  • University of California Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: March 2, 2016

    Sexual Harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favors, and other unwelcome verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: … such conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it unreasonably denies, adversely limits, or interferes with a person’s participation in or benefit from the education, employment or other programs and services of the University and creates an environment that a reasonable person would find to be intimidating or offensive.

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  • UC Merced Changing Policy Related to Free Speech

    November 4, 2016

    By Thaddeus Miller at Merced Sun-Star Vague language in a UC Merced policy makes it ripe for abuse, according to a free speech watchdog, but campus leaders say they expect to revise the guideline in the near future… Read more here.

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  • Merced College Students Push To Expand “Free Speech Zone” Campuswide

    March 20, 2015

    By Thaddeus Miller at Merced Sun-Star Students at Merced College say they intend to hound the administration until it expands the campus’s “free speech zone,” a topic that has led to litigation at other California community colleges. The campus club Students for Liberty has in recent months intensified its push to change the college’s policies related to the free speech zone, what is generally regarded as the school’s quad. The group says all open spaces on campus should be treated as a free speech zone. Chris Vitelli, the college’s vice president for student services, said the Merced Community College District […]

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  • University of California Schools Flout Student Speech Rights

    November 29, 2011

    While some University of California schools are facing scrutiny due to their handling of students’ exercises of free speech and civil disobedience, others in the system have unfinished business protecting students’ free speech rights in their policies. All eight of the UC universities reviewed by FIRE have “red light” or “yellow light” ratings for restricting campus speech, and four of them have flouted UC President Mark Yudof’s 2009 directive to protect free speech in their policies regarding discriminatory harassment. UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, and UC Santa Cruz all have been rated by FIRE with a red light for […]

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