Location: Conway, Arkansas
Federal Circuit: 8th Circuit
University of Central Arkansas 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
Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
Communications on sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Xanga, and LiveJournal are public and open communication. Communications on such sites will not be policed by housing officials, but can be turned in to housing officials when they are seen as derogatory or harassing in nature.
Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
E-mail messages must be appropriate in type, tone, and content. Employee and student use of e-mail and the Internet must be able to withstand public scrutiny without embarrassment to the university or the State of Arkansas.
Inappropriate uses of computing resources at the university include, but are not limited to, the following: …
Creating, transmitting, executing, or storing malicious, threatening, harassing, obscene, or abusive messages, images, programs, or materials.
Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
The area adjacent to the southwest corner of Ferguson Chapel, not to exceed fifty (50) feet in any direction, is hereby designated as a limited public forum. On a first-come, first-served basis individuals or organizations may utilize this designated forum for free speech purposes without registration, 24 hours a day, seven (7) days a week. However, no amplification equipment may be used and no structure(s) may be erected. All other areas of the campus must be scheduled for such use and approved by the university.
Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
Any student, non-student or student group found to have committed any of the following is subject to university disciplinary action: … Disorderly conduct including, but not limited to, violent, noisy, or drunken behavior, and the use of abusive or obscene language on university controlled property or while representing the University, or attending a university function. … Showing disrespect to university officials while carrying out their assigned duties.
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
Harassing or alarming another person. This includes, but is not limited to, racial and sexual harassment, attempting or threatening to strike, kick or otherwise subject another person to physical contact; making an offensive coarse utterance, gesture, or display; addressing abusive language to any person; following a person in or about a public place or places; making threatening or obscene remarks directed at another individual on Facebook, MySpace or other internet site; or engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts that alarm another person.
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: … such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s right to achieve an educational objective or to work in an environment free of intimidation, hostility or threats stemming from acts or language of a sexual nature.
Examples of sexual harassment may include, but are not limited to, the following:
• non-sexual slurs about one’s gender;
• contrived work or study assignments and assigning more onerous or unpleasant tasks
predominately to employees or students of one gender;
• repeated unwanted touching, patting or pinching;
• repeated inappropriate social invitations or requests for sexual favors;
• repeated unwanted discussions of sexual matters;
• use of sexual jokes, stories, analogies or images which are not related to the subject of the class or work situation;
• touching, fondling or deliberate brushing against another person;
• ogling, leering or prolonged stares at another’s body;
• display or use of sexual graffiti or sexually-explicit pictures or objects; and
• sexually suggestive jokes, comments, e-mails, or other written or oral communications.
Other forms of harassment based upon race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or age may have the same impact as sexual harassment. In the absence of other policies addressing these specific issues, the university encourages the use of the steps and procedures in this policy in reporting other types of harassment and will generally conduct investigations of those complaints in the same manner.
Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression, StatementThe university believes that the right of expression is as
necessary as the right of inquiry and both must be preserved as essential to
the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge and truth.
July 6, 2013
by Russell Westerholm at University Herald Prompted by an academic watchdog group, the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) rewrote part of speech policy, CampusReform.org reported. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) called “unconstitutional” the section in UCA’s student handbook that stated disciplinary action could be taken on a student for “annoying” another person. “Students have no way to know what might be punishable since the policy conditions the permissibility of speech entirely upon the subjective reaction of the listener,” FIRE wrote in a blog post announcing the issue. “What might seem like a lively debate to one person could […]» Read More
July 13, 2003
By Tracie Dungan at Arkansas Democrat Gazette The outside ministers would come to campus, stand in front of the student center and do more than just preach. Jack Gillean recalls the visitors making appearances at the University of Central Arkansas at Conway for years until the campus created a designated free speech area last November. “Usually it was during finals week,” said Gillean, UCA’s vice president for administration. During their visits, the ministers “would stand in front of the university and proselytize,” he said. Sometimes, students who happened by would find themselves on the receiving end of insults. The preachers […]» Read More
July 19, 2013
by Bob Kellogg OneNewsNow The University of Central Arkansas did a quick about face on its speech code after an academic watchdog group pointed out it was unconstitutional. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, contacted the University of Central Arkansas about its policy which stated students could be punished for “annoying” speech. “Whenever policy prohibits annoying another person and actually uses the word ‘annoying,’ that is unbelievably subjective,” explains Azhar Majeed, director of Legal and Public Advocacy at FIRE. Such policies put “protected speech at risk of punishment,” he adds. He says the UCA policy even tried […]» Read More
July 9, 2013
In a victory for free speech on campus, the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) has promised to eliminate a speech code that FIRE identified as our “Speech Code of the Month” for July 2013. The promise comes just days after FIRE Director of Speech Code Research Samantha Harris challenged the policy on FIRE’s website, writing that the code is overly broad and violates the First Amendment, which UCA—as a public university—must uphold. FIRE defines a “speech code” as any university regulation or policy that prohibits expression that would be protected by the First Amendment in society at large. Each month, FIRE features […]» Read More
July 5, 2013
by Oliver Darcy Campus Reform The University of Central Arkansas (UCA) reversed part of its speech code on Wednesday after an academic watchdog group said a portion of it was unconstitutional earlier that day. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) took issue with the part of UCA’s list of “offenses subject to disciplinary action” which said students could face punishment for “annoying” another person on campus. In a blog post, FIRE contended such speech is constitutionally protected by the First Amendment. Katie Henry, interim general counsel at UCA, agreed and said the school will remove the language. “[T]he […]» Read More
July 3, 2013
FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for July 2013: the University of Central Arkansas (UCA). If you are applying to UCA, you had better make sure to brush up on your social skills, because UCA’s list of “Offenses Subject to Disciplinary Action” (PDF) includes “annoying” another person. This policy is overly broad because nearly all “annoying” speech is fully protected by the First Amendment. Indeed, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, the U.S. Supreme Court explicitly said as much in Terminiello v. Chicago, 337 U.S. 1, 4 (1949), when it held that “freedom of speech, […]» Read More