University of Hawaii at Hilo

Location: Hilo, Hawaii
Type: Public
Tell University of Hawaii at Hilo to revise its speech policies by filling out this form.

Speech Code Rating

University of Hawaii at Hilo 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
  • Student Conduct Code

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: April 25, 2019

    Sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other behavior of a sexual nature that is unwelcome and sufficiently severe or pervasive that it interferes with a person’s academic or professional performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational or employment environment. The behavior ca... Read More
  • Student Conduct Code

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: April 25, 2019

    Any conduct or behavior which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person including but not limited to physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion, and stalking. Read More
  • UH Systemwide Policies and Procedures: EP 2.210- Use and Management of Information Technology Resources

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: April 25, 2019

    Users may not engage in the transmission of unsolicited bulk email (“spamming”), regardless of how important it may seem to the sender. Email is a form of individual communication, not a public forum, and should not be used to express opinions or forward views to those who have not expressed a wish to engage in the ... Read More
  • Student Conduct Code

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: April 25, 2019

    Theft or other abuse of computer and other electronic facilities and resources, including but not limited to: … Use of computing facilities and resources to send obscene or abusive messages. Read More
  • University Housing Policies & Resources: Room Alterations

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: April 25, 2019

    Residents may be required to remove materials that are deemed offensive by the community … Read More
  • Free Expression on the UH Hilo Campus

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: April 25, 2019

    The University of Hawaiʻi is committed to the free and open exchange of ideas and affirms the rights of members of the university community to engage in speech and other expressive activity guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and by Article I, Section 4 of the Constitution of the State of Hawa... Read More
  • UH Systemwide Policies and Procedures: EP 1.204- Interim Policy and Procedure on Sex Discrimination and Gender-Based Violence

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: April 25, 2019

    Sexual Harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: … When such conduct is unwelcome to the person to whom it is directed or to others directly aware of it, and when such conduct is: i.  Severe or pervasive; and ii.  Has th... Read More
  • On campus, even the Constitution isn’t safe on Constitution Day

    September 17, 2018

    Much of FIRE’s advocacy on behalf of college students’ civil rights — including freedom of speech, conscience, press, and more — springs from the guidance of a single source: The United States Constitution. But despite its status as the nation’s preeminent founding legal document, some public campus administrators still don’t fully understand the expressive rights it… Read more

  • Successful Student Plaintiff Shouts Out FIRE with Graduation Garb

    May 13, 2016

    University of Hawaii-Hilo (UH) student Merritt Burch had a busy 2014. In January, she was prevented from handing out copies of the U.S. Constitution on campus. In April, she joined with her fellow student Anthony Vizzone to file a First Amendment lawsuit against UH as part of FIRE’s Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project. And… Read more

  • Ninth Circuit Cites ‘Professional Standards’ in Allowing University to Punish Student Speech

    December 30, 2015

    Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit handed down its decision in Oyama v. University of Hawaii, damaging students’ ability to exercise their First Amendment rights while enrolled in professional certification programs. As FIRE staff members have observed before, universities sometimes punish students (or threaten to punish students) for constitutionally protected expression… Read more

  • Another Student Stopped From Handing Out Constitutions: Q&A With Anthony Vizzone

    June 17, 2015

    Anthony Vizzone just wanted to hand out copies of the Constitution and recruit students for his student organization—the University of Hawaii at Hilo Young Americans for Liberty (YAL). But when he crossed the “imaginary boundaries” of his university’s free speech zone, administrators were there to stop him. [iframe src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/JHK7xJE9pEw”] Anthony wasn’t content to let his… Read more

  • Grassroot Institute of Hawaii to Present Award to Stand Up For Speech Plaintiffs

    January 29, 2015

    People pay attention when you stand up for speech. Tomorrow, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii will recognize Merritt Burch and Anthony Vizzone with the 2015 Unsung Hero Award for their work challenging speech codes at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. As Torch readers know, Merritt and Anthony were among the plaintiffs in the inaugural… Read more

  • FIRE’s Will Creeley: Vague Professional Codes Threaten Student Speech Rights

    January 16, 2015

    In the coming months, federal appellate courts are set to decide two important cases about the extent to which colleges can use vague, broad “professional codes” to punish student speech. FIRE’s Will Creeley has the scoop on both of the cases, and he explained why they’re worth watching in The Huffington Post yesterday. First is… Read more

  • Stand Up For Speech Plaintiffs Celebrated in ‘Honolulu Star-Advertiser’

    December 29, 2014

    Last Friday, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser celebrated Merritt Burch and Anthony Vizzone, the successful student-plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the University of Hawaii at Hilo, part of FIRE’s Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project. As part of a feature on “Heroes Next Door,” the paper takes nominations for “true unsung heroes” from the community, seeking to… Read more

  • Media Spreads the Word About Stand Up For Speech Lawsuit Victories

    December 10, 2014

    Last week, in the space of 24 hours, FIRE’s Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project scored two victories in the fight for First Amendment rights on campus. On December 2, 2014, the University of Hawaii (UH) agreed to a settlement with two students, Merritt Burch and Anthony Vizzone, who had been stopped from passing out… Read more

  • U. of Hawaii Settles Lawsuit Over Handing Out Constitutions

    December 2, 2014

    HONOLULU, December 2, 2014—In a victory for free speech, the University of Hawaii (UH) agreed today to settle a First Amendment lawsuit filed by two students at UH’s Hilo campus. Students Merritt Burch and Anthony Vizzone sued UH after one administrator stopped Burch from passing out copies of the U.S. Constitution and another told both… Read more

  • FIRE, ADF File ‘Amici’ Brief in Eighth Circuit for Student Expelled for Facebook Posts

    November 20, 2014

    Yesterday, FIRE and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed an amici curiae (“friends of the court”) brief (PDF) with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, arguing that a federal district court incorrectly dismissed former Central Lakes College (CLC) student Craig Keefe’s First Amendment lawsuit against the school. Keefe was a nursing student at… Read more

  • University of Hawaii at Manoa Students Want to Follow UH Hilo’s Lead on Free Speech

    October 31, 2014

    Last spring, the University of Hawaii at Hilo (UH Hilo) did the right thing, albeit under pressure from a First Amendment lawsuit (part of FIRE’s Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project) by two students who had been prevented from handing out copies of the Constitution on campus: The university administration implemented an interim speech policy… Read more

  • Constitution Day 2014: What a Difference a Year Makes

    September 18, 2014

    September 17, 2013—last year’s Constitution Day—turned out to be a dark moment in the history of free speech on America’s campuses. That was the day Robert Van Tuinen was stopped from handing out Constitutions on the campus of Modesto Junior College (MJC) in California. He had neglected to sign up to use the school’s tiny… Read more

  • Students Return to Campus Censorship, But Fight Back with FIRE

    September 2, 2014

    PHILADELPHIA, September 2, 2014—As millions of college students arrive on campus this fall—many for the first time—few of them realize that nearly 59 percent of our nation’s colleges maintain policies that clearly and substantially restrict speech protected by the First Amendment. Too many students will realize that the rights they took for granted as Americans… Read more

  • U. of Hawaii at Hilo Suspends Restrictive ‘Free Speech Zone’ While Lawsuit Proceeds

    May 16, 2014

    Facing a federal lawsuit from a student who was ordered to stop handing out copies of the U.S. Constitution on campus, the University of Hawaii at Hilo has announced that it will immediately take interim steps to stop requiring students to limit their spontaneous political expression to a tiny “free speech zone.” FIRE coordinated last month’s lawsuit against the university for this and other First Amendment violations on behalf of students Merritt Burch and Anthony Vizzone.

  • Where There’s Smoke, There’s FIRE: Two More Allegations of Rights Violations at Hawaii-Hilo

    May 2, 2014

    Last week, two students, supported by FIRE, filed a lawsuit against the University of Hawaii at Hilo for violating their rights to free expression. Since the lawsuit was filed, other students have come forward alleging violations of their rights.

  • Students Filing Suit against University of Hawaii at Hilo Make a Media Splash

    April 28, 2014

    News of the lawsuit at University of Hawaii at Hilo has spread far and wide, even appearing in a Reuters article that appeared in dozens of outlets around the country, including ‘The New York Times.’ Be sure to check out these outlets for their coverage of the suit!

  • Lawsuit! Another Student Ordered to Stop Handing Out Constitutions on Campus Files Suit in Hawaii

    April 24, 2014

    A student ordered by administrators to stop handing out copies of the U.S. Constitution at the University of Hawaii at Hilo has filed a lawsuit today in federal court. Merritt Burch is suing the University of Hawaii System for violating her First Amendment rights. She is joined as a plaintiff by fellow student Anthony Vizzone.

  • FIRE and Student Press Law Center File Brief in ‘Oyama v. University of Hawaii’

    December 12, 2013

    On Monday, FIRE and the Student Press Law Center (SPLC) filed a brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit as amici curiae (“friends of the court”), asking the appeals court to reverse the district court’s erroneous and dangerous decision in the case of Oyama v. University of Hawaii. The brief was prepared by noted First Amendment expert Eugene Volokh… Read more