University of Cincinnati

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Type: Public
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Speech Code Rating

University of Cincinnati 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
  • Diversity & Inclusion: Just Community Principles

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: February 28, 2019

    In embracing our roles within this learning community, we subscribe to the defining purposes, traditions and diversity of the University of Cincinnati. Through our actions, we will strive to make the University of Cincinnati a more caring and just community. As members of this community, we will Accept Responsibili... Read More
  • Policy No. 11.3: Policy Statement on Sexual Harassment

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: February 28, 2019

    Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when: … Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offen... Read More
  • Student Code of Conduct: Harassment or Discrimination

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: February 28, 2019

    Discriminatory harassment is conduct that has the purpose or foreseeable effect of unreasonably interfering with an identifiable individual’s work or academic performance or of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or learning environment and is based on the targeted individual’s perceived or actual ra... Read More
  • Policy No. 11.02: Discriminatory Harassment

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: February 28, 2019

    The university also recognizes a right of equal access to and participation in its programs and activities. This right may be diminished or even nullified by expressions of racist, sexist, and other offensive expressions that create a hostile environment for any member of the university community. Although the unive... Read More
  • Student Code of Conduct: Student Rights and Responsibilities

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: February 28, 2019

    Students are members of society as well as members of the academic community. As members of society, students have the same responsibilities as other members of society and enjoy the same freedom of speech and peaceful assembly, and the right of petition that other members of society enjoy. … The SCOC will not... Read More
  • Use of Facilities Policy Manual: Designated University of Cincinnati Spaces for Outdoor Speaking Activities Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: February 28, 2019

    [T]his policy protects and regulates the use of designated outdoor university facilities for all forms of free expression including political speech, commercial speech, demonstrations, marches, rallies, gathering signatures on petitions, protests, events, concerts, promotional events, and market outreach. … Th... Read More
  • Office of Equity and Inclusion: Bias Incident Response Team

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: February 28, 2019

    The Bias Incident Response Team assists the university community in addressing actions committed against people, property, and identifiable groups that are motivated by a bias against race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, age, physical ability, dis... Read More
  • University of Cincinnati: Speech Code Litigation

    December 8, 2008

    In 2012, FIRE coordinated a legal challenge to an unconstitutional free speech zone policy at the University of Cincinnati (UC) that limited all “demonstrations, pickets, and rallies” to a “Free Speech Area” comprising just 0.1% of the university’s 137-acre West Campus. The policy further required all activity in the free speech zone to be registered… Read more

  • Federal court allows student-athlete’s free speech claim against the University of Cincinnati to proceed

    July 25, 2018

    Yesterday, a federal district court refused to dismiss a student-athlete’s First Amendment retaliation claim against the University of Cincinnati. The court ruled that former UC volleyballer Shalom Ifeanyi will be allowed to supplement her allegation that she was dismissed from the team in 2017 for criticizing her coach’s attempt to control her social media posts…. Read more

  • Due process legal update

    October 3, 2017

    Late last month, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) rescinded the April 4, 2011, “Dear Colleague” letter, which required schools to adjudicate sexual misconduct claims under the “preponderance of the evidence” standard and ushered in a climate of aggressive Title IX enforcement in which many schools abandoned critical due process protections for… Read more

  • Due Process Legal Update: Complaints and Rulings Keep Coming

    December 7, 2016

    Ordinarily, I wait more than a week between bringing you these due process legal updates. But in the days following my last dispatch, a number of interesting things have happened that I want to bring you up-to-date on. A complaint filed last week against Drake University in Iowa includes an intriguing argument. Like most such… Read more

  • FIRE’s ‘Don’t Cage My Speech!’ Awarded at Anthem Film Festival

    July 15, 2014

    We’re thrilled to report that, for the second time in three years, a FIRE short film has won a prize at FreedomFest’s Anthem Film Festival. FIRE’s film “Don’t Cage My Speech! A Student Schools His College” played to audiences at FreedomFest last week, and Ted Balaker, the film’s director, won the award for Excellence in Filmmaking, Short Documentary on Saturday night. The film’s articulation of the legal challenge—and defeat—of the University of Cincinnati’s unconstitutional “free speech zone” and of free speech’s importance in higher education in eight short minutes is a testament to Ted’s craft.

  • Speech Code of the Month: Colorado Mesa University

    April 7, 2014

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for April 2014: Colorado Mesa University. Colorado Mesa’s policy on “Free Speech” limits students’ expressive activities to just one “concrete patio” on the university’s 86-acre campus. While the university has the right to enact reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions, courts have held time and again that onerous restrictions like this one are not reasonable.

  • Support FIRE’s Fight Against Free Speech Zones

    December 24, 2013

    The free speech gazebo. 0.1%. A “little cement area.” 10-day advance registration. As far too many students sadly know, the vocabulary of campus free speech zones provides a ready example of the absurdity of campus censorship. This year, administrators at Modesto Junior College proved just how far that absurdity extends when they prohibited student Robert Van Tuinen from distributing copies… Read more

  • Ron Collins on ‘Dystopian,’ ‘Destructive’ Folly of Campus Free Speech Zones

    November 8, 2013

    Over at Concurring Opinions, noted legal scholar and author Ron Collins has penned a compelling look at the folly of campus free speech zones. Collins writes: Free speech zone – It is shorthand for holding two contradictory opinions while believing in both of them. Incongruous logic, to be sure. And yet, that is the mindset that too many public… Read more

  • U. of Cincinnati Cartoon: Crude? Perhaps. Protected Speech? Absolutely!

    September 24, 2013

    It’s been only a little over a year since a federal court ruled squarely against the University of Cincinnati’s blatantly unconstitutional “free speech zone,” so naturally one would think that administrators there would be boning up on their First Amendment law. Sadly, though, this may not be the case. According to a September 30 column… Read more

  • Don’t Cage My Speech! A Student Schools His College (VIDEO)

    September 12, 2013

    [iframe src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/8FU6ePK9KCk”] When Chris Morbitzer and his University of Cincinnati (UC) chapter of Young Americans for Liberty sought permission to gather signatures across UC’s campus for a time-sensitive, statewide ballot initiative, their request was denied. Morbitzer was told that if he and his group were seen gathering signatures outside of the school’s tiny and restrictive… Read more

  • Misunderstanding ‘Time, Place, and Manner’ Restrictions

    November 6, 2012

    This fall, FIRE is writing a blog series about how schools can reform their problematic speech codes and earn a "green light" rating from us—a distinction currently awarded to just 16 of the more than 400 schools in our Spotlight database, but one we hope to be able to award to many more in the… Read more

  • Learning and Unlearning Liberty at the U. of Cincinnati

    August 28, 2012

    Last week, we brought you news of the final nail in the University of Cincinnati’s (UC’s) "free speech zone" coffin: A federal district court in Ohio issued a permanent injunction against UC’s unconstitutional policy restricting student expressive activity to a tiny area of campus and requiring students to register such activity with the university ten… Read more

  • FIRE VP Shibley Wonders: Does Ohio Have Infinite Money to Burn?

    August 24, 2012

    FIRE’s Robert Shibley has taken to The Daily Caller to report on FIRE’s latest speech code litigation victory at the University of Cincinnati. For more on the case and Cincinnati’s disregard for free speech (and apparently the wise stewardship of taxpayer funds), visit The Daily Caller.

  • Ignoring FIRE is Expensive

    August 23, 2012

    With the "free speech zone" policy at the University of Cincinnati’s inevitable failure in federal court yesterday, FIRE President Greg Lukianoff took to The Huffington Post today to remind universities that when FIRE says a speech code is unconstitutional, they should probably listen—lest they cost taxpayers money. The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, the organization… Read more

  • Federal Court Delivers Final Blow to U. of Cincinnati ‘Free Speech Zone’

    August 22, 2012

    Here’s today’s press release:  CINCINNATI, August 22, 2012—In a major victory for student rights, a federal district court issued a final ruling today prohibiting the University of Cincinnati (UC) from reinstating its tiny "free speech zone." In today’s order, United States District Judge Timothy S. Black issued a permanent injunction against UC’s unconstitutional system of… Read more

  • Will in ‘Huffington Post’: Free Speech 1, Free Speech Zone 0

    June 20, 2012

    Last week, a federal court in Ohio issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting the University of Cincinnati (UC) from enforcing its unconstitutional policy of limiting expressive activity on campus to a free speech zone roughly the size of a postage stamp. I joke, but the free speech zone was tiny, covering only 0.1% of the university campus…. Read more

  • This Month in FIRE History: Speech Code Falls at Citrus College

    June 19, 2012

    Last week, United States District Judge Timothy S. Black held that the University of Cincinnati’s (UC’s) "free speech zone" policy "violates the First Amendment and cannot stand." This victory came after FIRE helped coordinate a federal lawsuit in cooperation with Ohio’s 1851 Center for Constitutional Law on behalf of UC’s chapter of Young Americans for… Read more

  • Three Key Points to UC Court Victory

    June 14, 2012

    Well, the University of Cincinnati can’t say it didn’t see this week’s big court victory for student speech coming. After all, FIRE has been warning UC for years now about the constitutional deficiencies in the free speech zone policy enjoined by a federal district court in Tuesday’s order. Had UC taken FIRE’s advice back in… Read more

  • Federal Court: University of Cincinnati Free Speech Zone Violates First Amendment, ‘Cannot Stand’

    June 12, 2012

    CINCINNATI, June 12, 2012—In a ringing victory for student rights, a federal district court declared today that the University of Cincinnati’s (UC’s) tiny “free speech zone” violates the First Amendment. In his order enjoining enforcement of the challenged free speech zone policy, United States District Judge Timothy S. Black held that UC’s free speech zone… Read more

  • Watch FIRE on ‘Stossel’ This Week

    April 19, 2012

    FIRE President Greg Lukianoff appears on ‘Stossel’ this week to discuss free speech on campus. The show also features students from FIRE’s cases at Auburn University, which selectively ordered a student’s Ron Paul banner to be taken down despite leaving many others on display, and the University of Cincinnati, which threatened to arrest students if… Read more

  • ‘12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech’ List in the News

    March 30, 2012

    Tuesday, The Huffington Post released FIRE’s list of the 12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech in 2012. In addition to the social media storm the story generated, the list caught the attention of a number of media outlets:  University of Cincinnati’s appearance at the top of the list garnered the attention of Cincinnati City Beat…. Read more

  • University of Cincinnati Needs to Learn to Read

    March 29, 2012

    Citybeat.com, a Cincinnati news and opinion website, features a story on FIRE’s list of the 12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech, the University of Cincinnati’s placement on that list, and the ongoing federal civil rights lawsuit filed last month against UC for its free speech policies and practices.  Unfortunately, when it comes to their problems… Read more

  • The top 12 worst colleges for free speech

    March 28, 2012

    Who doesn’t love a good awards show? The gowns, the acceptance speeches, the brutal infringements of civil liberties … the excitement just never ends. Once again, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE, where I work), has sorted through the hundreds of colleges and universities across the nation that severely restrict the First Amendment rights of… Read more

  • FIRE’s 12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech in 2012

    March 27, 2012

    Here’s today’s press release:  PHILADELPHIA, March 27, 2012—The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) released its 2012 list of the 12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech in The Huffington Post today. Harvard is new to the list this year, joining Yale, Syracuse, and the University of Cincinnati at the top of the list. "These colleges and universities… Read more

  • ‘News Record’ on Free Speech Zone Lawsuit at University of Cincinnati

    March 8, 2012

    The News Record at the University of Cincinnati (UC) reports on the latest in the federal civil rights lawsuit involving the university’s "free speech zone." UC’s chapter of Young Americans for Liberty (UC YAL) filed suit after the group was told that UC would call the campus cops if they were seen "walk[ing] around campus"… Read more

  • With Federal Lawsuit Filed, University of Cincinnati Allows Student Group Temporary Reprieve From Free Speech Zone — But Continues to Defend Illiberal Policy

    March 7, 2012

    Apparently, it takes nothing short of a federal civil rights lawsuit before the University of Cincinnati will allow a student group to gather signatures outside the confines of its restrictive "free speech zone."  That’s the depressing lesson learned by UC’s chapter of Young Americans for Liberty (UC YAL), whose members may now collect signatures in… Read more

  • Will IU’s ‘Free Speech Zone’ Fall Next? A Former FIRE Intern Investigates

    March 1, 2012

    In the Indiana Daily Student this week, former FIRE intern and senior Nico Perrino writes about free speech issues at his school, Indiana University-Bloomington (IU). His piece discusses the recent lawsuit filed by students at the University of Cincinnati challenging that campus’s restrictive "Free Speech Zone." As Nico points out, IU has similar restrictions on… Read more

  • Robert in ‘Daily Caller’: U of Cincinnati Has It Coming with Student Lawsuit Challenging Restrictive Policy

    February 24, 2012

    Today in The Daily Caller, FIRE Senior Vice President Robert Shibley examines the student lawsuit that FIRE has helped to coordinate at the University of Cincinnati, challenging the university’s extremely restrictive "free speech zone" policy. While FIRE has over the years encountered its share of unconstitutional free speech zones on college campuses, the University of… Read more

  • University of Cincinnati Sued Over Free Speech Zone

    February 23, 2012

    CINCINNATI, February 23, 2012—A student group filed suit yesterday against the University of Cincinnati in federal district court, alleging that the university’s tiny “free speech zone” violates the First Amendment. The University of Cincinnati chapter of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) and its president, student Christopher Morbitzer, sought permission to gather signatures and talk to… Read more

  • University of Cincinnati Sued Over Free Speech Zone

    February 23, 2012

    Here is today’s press release: CINCINNATI, February 23, 2012—A student group filed suit yesterday against the University of Cincinnati in federal district court, alleging that the university’s tiny "free speech zone" violates the First Amendment. The University of Cincinnati chapter of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) and its president, student Christopher Morbitzer, sought permission to… Read more

  • Speech Code of the Month: University of Cincinnati

    December 5, 2007

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for December 2007: the University of Cincinnati. The University of Cincinnati maintains a “Free Speech Area” policy (see page 10 of manual) limiting free speech to one area of campus and requiring that activities even in that area be formally scheduled through the Campus Scheduling Office. These… Read more