University of Florida

Location: Gainesville, Florida
Type: Public
Thank University of Florida for its commitment to free speech.

Speech Code Rating

University of Florida has been given the speech code rating Green. Green light institutions are those colleges and universities whose policies nominally protect free speech. Read more

This school has adopted the chicago statement for free speech. This school has adopted the chicago statement for free speech. This school has adopted the chicago statement for free speech.

Due Process Rating

All Cases

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  • University Regulations: Campus Demonstrations

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: April 15, 2021

    Demonstrations may be held anywhere on the campus, so long as they do not disrupt the normal operation of the University or infringe on the rights of other members of the University community, except that no demonstrations are permitted inside University buildings. Read More
  • The Orange Book: Violations of the Student Conduct Code- Harassment

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: April 15, 2021

    Threats, intimidation, Coercion, or any other conduct that places a Reasonable person in fear of physical harm, through words or actions, or objectively disrupts a person’s daily activities, including education and employment. Harassment does not include conduct protected by the First Amendment. Read More
  • RESPECT: Purpose of the RESPECT Team

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: April 15, 2021

    The purpose of the RESPECT Team is to provide impacted parties of bias incidents opportunities to be heard and supported; understand and respond to situations that affect the University of Florida; educate and inform the community; and create awareness of ignorance and intolerance. The RESPECT Team provides ser... Read More
  • University Regulations: Distribution of Printed Material

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: April 15, 2021

    The Distribution of Printed Material is permitted on campus in Limited Designated Public Forums that the University chooses to open for this purpose. … Manned Distribution of Printed Material is permitted, but Printed Material, whether sold or distributed without charge, may not be left unattended unless place... Read More

Policies are rated on their inclusion of 10 due process safeguards. Each policy may receive 2 points for fully including that safeguard, 1 point for partial inclusion, and 0 points for no meaningful inclusion. Most, but not all, institutions have separate policies for sexual misconduct and all other misconduct. See FIRE’s Spotlight on Due Process report for more information.


All Cases

  • Meaningful presumption of innocence
  • Timely and adequate written notice
  • Time to prepare with evidence
  • Impartial fact-finders
  • Meaningful hearing process
  • Right to present to fact-finder
  • Right to meaningful cross-ex
  • Active participation of advisor
  • Meaningful right to appeal
  • Unanimity or clear and convincing evidence
  • University of Florida: Reaffirmation of Right to Show Documentary

    November 29, 2007

    The University of Florida drew criticism from FIRE after the administration was critical of students promoting an event showing the controversial film “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West.” Several student groups-including UF’s Law School Republicans, College Republicans, Jewish Student Union, and Jewish Law Students Association-had posted fliers to advertise a November 13, 2007, screening… Read more

  • Campus-specific analyses of the climate for free expression reveal stark differences between schools

    May 15, 2020

    One feature of debates over college students’ attitudes toward free expression is disagreement over whether recent examples of illiberalism on campus are a component of a larger generational shift in attitudes towards free expression. A dearth of systematically collected data on the attitudes toward free expression held by previous generations of college students hampers a… Read more

  • Shouting down speakers doesn’t work

    October 24, 2017

    Our nation’s commitment to the principles and ideals of free speech is most often tested in the face of expression that many people reject as repugnant and harmful. So it was when the federal government attempted to stifle communist expression during the Red Scare and the Cold War. So it was in the 1970s, when… Read more

  • Public colleges, the cancellation of white nationalist events, and the First Amendment

    August 16, 2017

    As the nation reels from the tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia, two public colleges this week have canceled or disallowed campus events featuring white nationalist Richard Spencer. Yesterday, Texas A&M University canceled a “White Lives Matter” event, featuring Spencer, planned for Sept. 11. This morning, the University of Florida denied a request from Spencer’s organization, the… Read more

  • Universities Give Students Frightening Halloween Assignment: Pick a Costume

    October 31, 2016

    Is your “exhausted undergrad” costume ready for tonight’s festivities? That might be one of the frighteningly few outfit choices remaining if you attend a university expecting you to avoid “cultural appropriation” this year. And beware: The rules are petrifyingly hard to follow. While institutions are well within their rights to suggest costume considerations to their… Read more

  • Student Government Commends U. of Florida for Earning ‘Green Light’ Rating

    May 7, 2015

    Last August, the University of Florida (UF) revised its policies to eliminate all undue restrictions on student free speech rights, becoming the 19th institution to earn FIRE’s highest Spotlight rating—a “green light.” (Last month, George Mason University became the 20th.) It’s encouraging to see the number of green light schools grow, and just as encouraging… Read more

  • ‘Las Vegas Review-Journal’ Tells UNLV to Commit to Free Speech

    September 4, 2014

    Yesterday, the Las Vegas Review-Journal published an editorial lamenting that students are returning to college campuses where free speech too often falls victim to speech codes. As the editorial notes, opposition to the First Amendment is all too common on campus. Using FIRE’s recent case at the University of Oregon as an example, where a… Read more

  • Azhar Majeed’s Simple Message to College Administrators: End Censorship, or Else

    September 3, 2014

    My colleague Azhar Majeed, Director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Education Program, published an op-ed in The Huffington Post yesterday with an important back-to-school message for college administrators: Eliminate speech codes, or get ready to head to court.

  • Modesto Junior College’s Lawyer: Colleges, Dump Your Speech Codes

    August 22, 2014

    Every advocate dreams of winning over an opponent, but it rarely happens. It’s just possible, though, that FIRE might have done so. David Urban of the law firm Liebert Cassidy Whitmore has written a thorough and insightful post on his firm’s blog advising colleges and universities to review their speech-related policies to insulate themselves from the threat of litigation—like FIRE’s new Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project.

  • University of Florida Earns FIRE’s Highest Rating for Free Speech

    August 13, 2014

    GAINESVILLE, Fla., August 13, 2014—The University of Florida (UF) has eliminated all of its speech codes, earning the highest, “green light” rating from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). After working with FIRE to ensure its policies comply with the First Amendment, UF has joined a select group of colleges and universities nationwide to earn FIRE’s most favorable rating for free speech on campus.

  • Student Spotlight: Kelly Barber, a Leader for Liberty and Student Rights at U. of Florida

    April 22, 2014

    Kelly Barber stands out as a leader at the University of Florida (UF) and has been actively involved with FIRE, most recently attending FIRE’s Leaders in Student Rights Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. Kelly, now a member of Students For Liberty’s North American Executive Board, says she experienced the undeniable benefits of free and open debate when she began attending College Libertarian meetings, where she was “blown away by the environment of integrity, critical thinking, and tolerance they created” that allowed students “to exchange ideas on a level much higher than anything I ever experienced in classes.”

  • Why Free Press Shouldn’t Have a Price

    July 30, 2012

    Shelli Gimelstein is a FIRE summer intern. Next to squirrels and Apple products, student newspapers are perhaps the most ubiquitous items on a college campus. You can see them peeking out of backpacks during the morning rush to class, sticking out amid a sea of coffee cups in the study lounge, or lying flat on… Read more

  • U of Florida Seems to Have Control Issues When it Comes to Student Newspapers

    July 19, 2012

    This is an odd one. A controversy is brewing at the University of Florida over the administration’s demand that century-old student newspaper The Independent Florida Alligator remove 19 of its signature orange newspaper racks from campus. Why is this happening? I have no idea, and the Alligator doesn’t seem to either. Here’s a segment of… Read more

  • Compelling ‘Civility’

    June 1, 2012

    Earlier this week, an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) discussed the growing popularity on college campuses of programs aimed at promoting civility. While one might reasonably ask whether there is a connection between exorbitant tuition rates, administrative bloat, and programs such as the "transformational, saturation approach" civility projects discussed in the… Read more

  • University of Florida Revises 2011 Speech Code of the Year; Many Problems Remain

    January 12, 2012

    Just one day after FIRE announced that the University of Florida (UF) maintained the only remaining Speech Code of the Year for 2011, UF deleted the offending language from its policy. UF earned co-Speech Code of the Year "honors" for its Student Rights and Responsibilities policy, which warned students that  "Organizations or individuals that adversely… Read more

  • Victory for Free Speech: California’s Chico State Scraps Unconstitutional ‘Speech Code of the Year’

    January 4, 2012

    Today’s press release announces a welcome victory: After FIRE named California State University-Chico’s definition of sexual harassment one of two “Speech Codes of the Year” for 2011, the university has scrapped the language in question. As of mid-December 2011, Chico State maintained an informational page on sexual harassment stating that faculty members committed sexual harassment… Read more

  • Speech Codes of the Year: 2011

    December 27, 2011

    Each month, FIRE singles out a particularly reprehensible campus speech code for our Speech Code of the Month designation. While all of 2011’s Speech Codes of the Month flagrantly violated students’ and faculty members’ right to free expression, two of them were so egregious that they deserve special mention as 2011’s Speech Codes of the… Read more

  • Speech Code of the Month: University of Florida

    April 1, 2011

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for April 2011: The University of Florida. According to the University of Florida’s (UF’s) Student Rights and Responsibilities policy, “Organizations or individuals that adversely upset the delicate balance of communal living will be subject to disciplinary action by the University.” Come again? If there has ever been… Read more

  • Former Student Wins Public Records Suit Against University of Florida

    January 18, 2011

    The Independent Florida Alligator reports that a Florida state court has ruled in favor of University of Florida (UF) graduate Frank Bracco, who filed suit against the university after it denied him access to video and audio recordings of UF Student Senate meetings. UF had claimed that the recordings were confidential educational records under the… Read more

  • Victory for Religious Liberty at University of Florida, But Freedom of Association Still in Jeopardy

    February 4, 2009

    University of Florida (UF) has revised its student organization policy to recognize the right of religious organizations to limit membership and leadership positions to those who share the group’s religious beliefs. This policy might sound obvious, but it is not. Student affairs officials often get confused about religious freedom and the freedom of association. They… Read more

  • The strange case of ‘Obsession’ at the University of Florida

    January 28, 2008

    You know how colleges and universities write themselves off as bastions of free and controversial thought? Ha. Funny story. A couple of months ago, a number of student groups at the University of Florida-including the College Republicans, the UF Law School Republicans, the Jewish Student Union, Gators for Israel, and the Jewish Law Students Association-planned… Read more

  • Florida Throws In the Towel

    December 14, 2007

    It seems that the administration at the University of Florida (UF) has completely capitulated in its conflict with the First Amendment. Last month, several student groups at UF posted flyers advertising the showing of a movie about Islamic terrorism with the headline, “RADICAL ISLAM WANTS YOU DEAD.” In response, Vice President for Student Affairs Patricia… Read more

  • University of Florida Victory on

    December 12, 2007

    FIRE’s victory at the University of Florida was featured in a news brief on’s Special Report with Brit Hume. Click here for the full text of the article.

  • Victory for Free Speech at the University of Florida

    December 10, 2007

    After FIRE and the Attorney General of Florida intervened, the University of Florida (UF) has lifted its pressure on student groups to apologize for putting up posters advertising the film “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West.” Several student groups—including UF’s Law School Republicans, College Republicans, Jewish Student Union, and Jewish Law Students Association—had put… Read more

  • Victory for Free Speech at the University of Florida

    December 10, 2007

    GAINESVILLE, Fla., December 10, 2007—Student groups at the University of Florida (UF) will be allowed to freely promote the controversial film “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West” following a controversy with the school’s administration. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) intervened after a university official e-mailed the student body demanding an apology… Read more

  • Florida Attorney General Challenges University of Florida on Free Speech

    December 5, 2007

    On Monday, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum wrote the University of Florida (UF) about the “chilling effect on the free speech rights of students” caused by an official letter sent to all students by Dr. Patricia Telles-Irvin, UF’s Vice President for Student Affairs. Telles-Irvin had taken issue with the posters that students had put up… Read more

  • Different Angles on the UF Tasering

    September 18, 2007

    One thing I’ll readily admit is that as more video of the incident surfaces, the situation looks a lot worse for University of Florida student Andrew Meyer, the student tasered by UF police for disrupting a speech by John Kerry and resisting arrest. In this video you see that he was being quite disruptive, and… Read more

  • Florida college student tasered at John Kerry campus forum

    September 18, 2007

    A University of Florida student who was arrested and Tasered during a forum featuring Sen. John Kerry not only touched off a national debate about campus free speech but also a discussion on whether campus police went too far. A judge released Andrew Meyer, 21, a student at the University of Florida, from jail Tuesday… Read more

  • Buckeyes vs. Gators: Clash of the (Unconstitutional) Titans

    January 8, 2007

    Tonight, millions of Americans will watch the Ohio State Buckeyes battle the Florida Gators for college football’s national championship. Beverages and junk food will be consumed, face paint will be applied, and fight songs will be bellowed until voices go hoarse. (Indeed, I imagine that in many parts of Ohio and Florida, all of these… Read more