University of California, Santa Cruz

Location: Santa Cruz, California
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 9th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

University of California, Santa Cruz 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

  • Title IX/Sexual Harassment Office: No Harassment/No Discrimination Brochure 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: March 18, 2015

    Examples of sexual harassment and discrimination include:
    * Unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors.
    * Unwelcome physical, verbal, or nonverbal behavior of a sexual nature or based on sex.
    * Terms of endearment.
    * Pressure for a date or “personal” relationship.
    * Unwanted touching of any kind.
    * Angry, intimidating and/or threatening behavior based on the person’s sex.
    * Sexual jokes, comments, or innuendoes.
    * Sex based cartoons or visuals that ridicule or denigrate a person.
    * Employment decisions that are based solely or partially on a person’s sex.

    » Read More

Yellow Light Policies
  • Policy for Acceptable Use of UCSC Electronic Information Resources 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: March 18, 2015

    The University has determined that the following list, while not exhaustive, characterizes unacceptable behavior which may be subject to loss of access to eIRs, disciplinary action, and additional consequences of civil or criminal prosecution. … transmitting inappropriate mass messages.

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  • Bias Incidents/Hate Crimes Policy & Procedures 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: March 18, 2015

    In keeping with the UCSC Principles of Community, we expect students and their guests to refrain from any acts or behaviors that are directed at other members of the campus community, and that result in unlawful discrimination, harassment or bias for an individual or group, and/or that substantially disrupt University operations or interfere with the rights of others.

    Not every expression of hate or group bias rises to the level of a hate crime as defined in state and federal law. Derogatory words or epithets directed against a member of a protected class — if not accompanied either by action with an intent to threaten harm with the ability to carry it out, or other applicable rules violations — are considered protected speech and not a hate crime.

    Even when the incident is not a crime, however, the campus seeks to prevent and respond to these incidents by educating the campus community and providing a clear, accessible way to report experiences of hate or bias. Any communication or behavior that maligns another individual or group on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship or service in the uniformed services, may be an incident of hate or bias within the scope of this policy. If the communication or behavior substantially disrupts or interferes with University operations or the rights of others, it may be subject to additional review and investigation consistent with the University’s student discipline procedures or employee personnel policies.

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  • University of California Campus Climate 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: March 18, 2015

    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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  • Principles of Community 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: March 18, 2015

    UCSC expects that every campus member will practice these Principles of Community.

    We strive to be:

    • Diverse: We embrace diversity in all its forms and we strive for an inclusive community that fosters an open, enlightened and productive environment.
    • Open: We believe free exchange of ideas requires mutual respect and consideration for our differences.
    • Purposeful: We are a participatory community united by shared commitments to: service to society; preservation and advancement of knowledge; and innovative teaching and learning.
    • Caring: We promote mutual respect, trust and support to foster bonds that strengthen the community.
    • Just: We are committed to due process, respect for individual dignity and equitable access to resources, recognition and rewards.
    • Disciplined: We seek to advance common goals through reasonable and realistic practices, procedures and expectations.
    • Celebrative: We celebrate the heritage, achievements and diversity of the community and the uniqueness and contributions of our members.

    We accept the responsibility to pursue these principles in an atmosphere of personal and intellectual freedom, security, respect, civility and mutual support.

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  • Title IX/Sexual Harassment Office: UCSC Policy 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: March 18, 2015

    SEXUAL HARASSMENT is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment is conduct that explicitly or implicitly affects a person’s employment or education or interferes with a person’s work or educational performance or creates an environment such that a reasonable person would find the conduct intimidating, hostile, or offensive.

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Green Light Policies
  • Student Policies and Regulations Handbook: Policy on Speech and Advocacy 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: March 18, 2015

    The university is committed to assuring that all persons may exercise the constitutionally protected rights of free expression, speech, assembly, and worship.

    [T]he campus does not limit public expression to designated areas….

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  • Student Policies and Regulations Handbook: Code of Student Conduct- Harassment 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: March 18, 2015

    Harassment is 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 on the basis of his or her race, color, national or ethnic origin, alienage, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, veterans status, physical or mental disability, or perceived membership in any of these classifications.

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  • Social Justice Warriors are Waging an Increasingly Nasty Culture War and It’s Making America Mad

    November 27, 2015

    By Nick Whigham at Australia THERE’S something in the water and it’s turning America mad. Social Justice Warriors (SJWs), groups of mostly young, mostly university students, are waging a bitter war with the cultural establishment of the nation and it’s turning increasingly nasty. Those who proudly adopt the title express a mix of sensitivity to social issues coupled with an aggressive and almost militant outrage at any perceived injustice. But their incendiary tactics have sparked a huge backlash from professors, journalists and commentators around the country as a culture war that has been bubbling under the surface for some […]

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  • Free speech in higher education

    December 26, 2012

    Nothing is more clichéd in higher education than the selective invocation of freedom of speech. When students or professors challenge campus orthodoxies, administrators find a way to silence them. But when speakers take positions that are comfortable to the campus Left, administrators turn on a dime, suddenly posing as First Amendment purists.Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and a liberal, observes that “you are far more likely to get in trouble on campus for opposing, for example, affirmative action, gay marriage and abortion rights than you are for supporting them.”Since support for Israel is […]

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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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  • ‘California Watch’: No Free Speech at California Colleges

    January 7, 2011

    Free speech is not safe at California colleges—not by a long shot. That’s what investigative reporter Erica Perez found in FIRE’s 2011 speech code report, as she wrote yesterday for California Watch: A new report from a national free speech advocacy organization found most of the four-year universities it surveyed had speech codes that substantially limit students’ freedom of speech, including dozens of colleges in California. […] Of the 33 California universities the organization rated, 64 percent got a red light, including San Diego State University, UC Santa Cruz and Claremont McKenna College. About 36 percent got a yellow light, including UC Berkeley, Occidental College and San Jose State University. […]

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  • Five University of California Campuses Missed the Memo on New Discriminatory Harassment Policy

    March 19, 2010

    As the great UC San Diego free speech crisis unfolded, I noticed that UCSD had missed the memo from President Mark C. Yudof regarding the new Universitywide discriminatory harassment policy as of October 2009. (FIRE has a good idea about exactly why the policy was changed at that time, but that is a story not yet ready to be told.) This policy replaced all the old sexual harassment policies for students across the University of California system. It appears that, like UCSD, four other campuses also missed the memo. The new policy is nowhere to be found online at UC […]

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