University of Central Arkansas

Location: Conway, Arkansas
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 8th Circuit

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Speech Code Rating

University of Central Arkansas 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.

At present, FIRE has not been involved in any cases at this school.
Yellow Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Housing Facilities & Policies- Community Standards

    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes
    Last updated: November 29, 2018

    Choosing to join the community obligates each resident to make positive contributions to the community and abide by a code of behavior. Actions that negatively impact the residence hall/apartment community are subject to disciplinary action.

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  • Board Policy 406: Free Speech

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: November 29, 2018

    The area adjacent to the southwest corner of Ferguson Chapel, not to exceed 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 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.

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  • Student Handbook: Offenses Subject to Disciplinary Action

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: November 29, 2018

    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.

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  • Student Handbook: Offenses Subject to Disciplinary Action

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: November 29, 2018

    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, obscene, or harassing remarks directed at another individual in person or on social media; or engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts that alarm another person.

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  • Board Policy 511: Sexual Misconduct Policy

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: November 29, 2018

    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.

    NOTE: 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.

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Green Light Policies
  • Board Policy 412: Computer Use

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: November 29, 2018

    Inappropriate Uses
    Faculty, staff, and students must use good judgment in the use of all computing resources, including but not limited to Internet access and e-mail use. Computing and telecommunications may be used only for legal purposes and may not be used for any purpose that is illegal, unethical, dishonest, or likely to subject the university to liability.
    Inappropriate uses of computing resources at the university include, but are not limited to, the following:
    ● No one shall use the University’s computing resources to transmit fraudulent, defamatory, or obscene messages, or any material prohibited by law;
    ● No one shall use the University’s computing and network resources to: (a) harass or threaten another person, including but not limited to, by conveying obscene language or images or threats of bodily harm; (b) repeatedly contact another person to harass, whether or not any actual message is communicated, and the recipient has expressed a desire for the contact to cease; (C) repeatedly contact another person regarding a matter for which one does not have a legal right to communicate (such as debt collection), once the recipient has provided reasonable notice that he or she desires such contact to cease; (d) disrupt or damage the academic, research, administrative, or related pursuits of another person, or (e) invade the privacy, academic or otherwise, of another person or threaten such an invasion.

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  • Board Policy 406: Free Speech

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: November 29, 2018

    The 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.

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  • Fight for Free Speech at UCA

    November 27, 2015

    By Natalie Frye at Young Americans for Liberty Today at UCA we set up a Free Speech Wall on campus to spread awareness on campus rights and individual rights. According to FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, UCA has been given a red speech code rating. A red light university has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech. For UCA, that policy is our Free Speech Zone. In our handbook it states that “the free expression of views and opinions either by individuals or groups must not violate any rights of others […]

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  • University of Central Arkansas ‘Annoying’ Speech Policy Axed

    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, 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 […]

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  • Free speech has its limits at universities

    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 […]

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  • OK to be ‘annoyed’ in Arkansas: University backtracks on free speech restrictions

    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 […]

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  • University of Central Arkansas Reviews ‘Speech Code of the Month,’ Promises to Revise Policy

    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 […]

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  • University reverses speech code following report from watchdog group calling it unconstitutional

    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 […]

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  • Speech Code of the Month: University of Central Arkansas

    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, […]

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