University of Central Missouri

Location: Warrensburg, Missouri
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 8th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

University of Central Missouri 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.

At present, FIRE has not been involved in any cases at this school.

Red Light Policies

  • UCM’s Guide to Good Decision-Making: Digital Citizenship

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: September 21, 2015

    Responsible digital citizens do not give out too much personal information online, misrepresent or negatively represent themselves through social media, or use digital resources for hateful rhetoric that is insensitive to the beliefs, cultures or differences of others. …

    UCM is committed to supporting students when they are faced with assaults or attacks that might limit their ability to participate in the digital community or reach their academic potential. Digital citizens should understand that attacking someone psychologically, through misuse of social media or other forms of cyber-bullying, is just as inappropriate and unacceptable as a physical attack. Students who believe they are being cyber-bullied should seek assistance from hall staff or the Office of Student Experience and Engagement.

    » Read More

  • UCM’s Guide to Good Decision-Making: Assault, Intimidation & Bullying

    Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies
    Last updated: September 21, 2015

    [A]ny form of intimidation, harassment or bullying (including online harassment through socia media) cannot go unchallenged. Using any form of technology to intentionally create stress or impede the academic or social experiences of another student is not acceptable.

    Bullying has been the subject of considerable public discussion and is often misunderstood. There is a difference between experiencing mean behavior and experiencing bullying. While both are inappropriate in a civil campus community, bullying occurs when a person is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself.

    Bullying is unwantedaggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.  In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:

    • An Imbalance of Power: Students who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
    • Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once

    Aggressive behavior may be intentional or unintentional, direct or indirect. It can take many forms, including verbal, social and physical

    • Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean or derogatory things or threatening to cause harm. Verbal bullying may include name calling, mocking, insults, threats, and sexist, racist, homophobic, or transphobic comments.
    • Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying may be subtle and may involve such behaviors as gossiping, spreading rumors, excluding others from a group, humiliating others with public gestures or graffiti, and shunning or ignoring. Social aggression may also occur through the use of technology (e.g., spreading rumors, images, or hurtful comments through the use of e‐mail, cell phones, text messaging, Internet websites, social networking, or other technology).
    • Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions and may include hitting, pushing, slapping, and tripping.

    The university takes bullying very seriously and does not condone any behavior that compromises the educational opportunities of others.

    » Read More

  • UCM’s Guide to Good Decision-Making: The Right to Non-Discrimination, Equal Access, and Fair Treatment

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: September 21, 2015

    The Central Community is a JUST community and students are expected to participate in ways that are ethical,honest, equitable, trustworthy, civil, and respectful.

    As members of this diverse learning community, students have the responsibility to treat others equitably, to refrain from hateful discourse, to be civil, and to resolve disputes constructively.

    Students who engage in rhetoric or actions that demean individuals or groups are not well suited to the academic environment. Such behavior is antithetical to learning and may actually compromise the educational opportunities of others. Consequently, for the greater good of the learning community, individuals who engage in hateful rhetoric or discriminatory behaviors may be held accountable in a manner consistent with their rights as citizens under state and federal law.

    » Read More

Yellow Light Policies
  • Campus Posting Procedure

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: September 21, 2015

    The intent of this policy is to provide the University of Central Missouri students, faculty and staff with maximum opportunity and space to advertise approved events, products, services, etc. at designated locations throughout the campus on bulletin boards or similar devices.

    Offensive, obscene, inflammatory advertising, etc. will not be permitted or tolerated.

    » Read More

  • Discrimination and Harassment: Procedures for Reporting and Investigation Complaints

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 21, 2015

    Harassment: Unwelcome verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct based on age, race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, handicap/disability or genetic information that has the purpose or effect of creating a hostile campus environment. Harassment may include, but is not limited to:

    • offensive jokes;
    • slurs;
    • epithets;
    • name calling;
    • physical assaults or threats;
    • offensive touching;
    • intimidation;
    • ridicule;
    • mockery;
    • insults or put-downs;
    • offensive objects or pictures;
    • graffiti; or
    • subjecting a person or persons of a protected class to repeated criticism or verbal abuse but not doing so to similarly situated non-class members.

    » Read More

  • Public Speech Activities Policy

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: September 21, 2015

    For the purposes of this policy “public speech activities” may include demonstrations (individual or collective), picketing, distribution of leaflets/publications, sit-ins, marches, mass gatherings and all other similar gatherings.

    Members of the university community, visitors and/or guests planning to hold or sponsor a public speech activity should provide the Office of Public Safety with notification of the desired time, location, expected attendance of the activity, the type of activity planned and at least 24 hours advance notice of the activity.

    » Read More

  • UCM’s Guide to Good Decision-Making: Housing Policies

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: September 21, 2015

    Student room doors facing the hallway and windows facing the exterior of the building are considered public space and must be clear of any offensive materials at all times. The staff has the right to remove offensive material from this public space; it will then be returned to the resident.

    » Read More

  • Acceptable Use Guidelines

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: September 21, 2015

    It is a violation of University policy to access the university’s electronic information system when the purpose of such access is to convey misinformation, defamatory material, or intimidating, threatening, pornographic, discriminatory, or disruptive messages.

    » Read More

  • Demonstrations and Mass Gathreings

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: September 21, 2015

    In some instances it may be the desire of some students or other individuals to express their views and make their opinions known through the process of orderly demonstration. The primary responsibility of the University is to maintain conditions conducive to the effective conduct of academic affairs and to the preservation of dignity of public events and ceremonies. Campus demonstrations:

    • Must be scheduled a minimum of 48 hours in advance with the Public Safety Office.
    • Must be conducted in an orderly manner with areas used to be left in a state identical to that which it was in previous to usage.
    • Must not interfere in any way with vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
    • Must not interfere with classes, scheduled meetings, ceremonies, activities, or other educational or operational processes of the University.
    • May not be held within University buildings or any outdoor facility when University functions are in process therein.
    • Individuals or groups with a past history of interrupting the academic processes the University will be denied a reservation to hold a demonstration on campus. Demonstrations include but are not limited to such activities as picketing, distribution of leaflets, and the presence of persons for the general purpose of registering sentiment and opinion.

    Participation in mass gatherings that are considered to be disorderly and/or unlawful will subject a student to possible disciplinary action as severe as suspension from the University. Only a few students intentionally get involved in mob misconduct, but many so-called “spectators” get drawn into a disturbance and by their very presence contribute to the dimensions of the problems. It must be understood that the University considers anyone, whether actively involved or spectator, to be a participant subject to full enforcement of the law and University regulations when he/she is in violation of the laws or policies as an individual or as a member of a crowd.

    » Read More

Green Light Policies
  • UCM’s Guide to Good Decision-Making: Student Rights and Responsibilities

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: September 21, 2015

    UCM provides all students with a strong liberal arts and sciences foundation and strives to instill in each of them the importance of freedom of expression and inquiry.

    » Read More

  • Title IX: Sexual Violence/Sexual Misconduct

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 21, 2015

    Sexual harassment
    Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including sexual violence. Sexual harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Stalking, bullying and/or cyber-bullying may also be forms of sexual harassment.

    Possible examples of harassment: …

    • A student repeatedly sends sexually oriented jokes around on an email list they created, even when asked to stop, causing one recipient to avoid the sender on campus and in the residence hall in which they both live.

    » Read More

  • Missouri Colleges Could Be Punished For Stifling Student Speech Under Legislation

    January 15, 2015

    By Matt Lamb at The College Fix Missouri could become the second state in the nation to give college students broad rights to express themselves on campus without the maze of restrictions and permits typically required for demonstrations. The Campus Free Expression Act, introduced by Republican lawmakers in the state house and senate, deems outdoor areas of public universities “traditional public forums” that are protected by the First Amendment – in effect, eliminating “free speech zones.” Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, signed into law the same protections for Virginia students last spring. That bill passed both houses of the […]

    » Read More
  • FIRE Report Finds Very Restrictive Speech Codes at American Universities

    January 21, 2014

    by Alec Torres The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) released its annual report on college-campus speech codes last week finding that while the percentage of colleges that seriously infringe upon students’ free-speech rights has diminished in recent years, many universities still burden students with overbearing and sometimes ridiculous speech regulations. Here’s a look at some of the most egregious speech codes that FIRE found: The University of Connecticut requires that “every member of the University shall refrain from actions that intimidate, humiliate, or demean persons or groups, or that undermine their security or self-esteem.” At Athens State University in Alabama, […]

    » Read More
  • Speech Code of the Month: University of Central Missouri

    November 12, 2014

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for November 2014: the University of Central Missouri. While restrictive speech codes are on the decline nationwide, the University of Central Missouri (UCM) adopted several new, unconstitutional speech codes last year—a move that earned UCM FIRE’s worst, “red light,” rating for severely restricting students’ free speech rights. One of those new policies is found in the “Student Rights and Responsibilities” section of UCM’s Guide to Good Decision-Making (PDF). Pursuant to the “Right to Non-Discrimination, Equal Access, and Fair Treatment” (PDF), students can face unspecified consequences for constitutionally protected speech if someone else […]

    » Read More