University of Illinois at Chicago

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 7th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

University of Illinois at Chicago 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.

This school does not have any cases at this time.

Red Light Policies

  • Acceptable Use Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies

    Use of electronic mail and other network communications facilities to harass, offend, or annoy other users of the network is forbidden. All users need to be aware that obscene, defamatory, or any other material which violates University policy on non-discrimination will not be tolerated at UIC. The University reserves the right to take whatever action it sees as appropriate to prevent, correct, or discipline behavior that violates this policy.

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  • Resident Student Handbook: Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    To succeed personally and academically, an individual must be able to live free from unnecessary emotional stress caused by others. Hazing, physical or emotional harassment, or behavior which other persons find intimidating, abusive, or offensive to residents or staff, will not be tolerated in a residence hall community and will result in disciplinary action.

    Residents may not post notices or signs in public areas, in windows facing a public area or on doors which may be offensive to either other members of the community or to members of the public. It will be the responsibility of the residence life staff to uphold community standards and insist that residents not deliberately risk offending others by such postings.

    Examples of conduct that may constitute or support a finding of harassment in violation of this policy include, but are not limited to, the following types of behavior: …


    • Display of offensive material or objects
    • Suggestive or insulting gestures, sounds or whistles
    • Innuendo or other suggestive, offensive or derogatory comments or jokes about sex, gender-specific traits, race or ethnicity
    • Extortion, overt threats, or intimidation
    • Obscene or threatening messages sent online (including social networks) or via email, text, or telephone

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Yellow Light Policies
  • Office for Access and Equity: Sexual Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    In education, sexual harassment is defined as any unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors made to a student by an executive member, administrative staff, or faculty member; or any conduct of a sexual nature that substantially interferes with the student’s educational performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

    A hostile environment may be created through unwelcome, severe or pervasive acts: … Suggestive comments; Off color jokes; … Sexually suggestive posts on social media; Facebook pictures with sexual overtones.

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  • Student Disciplinary Policy: Violation of the Rights of Any Person 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Including, but not limited to actions which are considered hazing, unlawful harassment, stalking, or coercion; actions that may cause mental or bodily harm to another person(s) or oneself; conduct that threatens or endangers the safety of others or constitutes physical or psychological abuse or intimidation; or any other inappropriate or disruptive behavior that evidences poor adjustment to the university community.

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  • Office for Access and Equity: Sexual Harassment Poster 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Following are examples of sexual harassment in higher education: 1) a professor who continually makes jokes of a sexual nature in the classroom ….

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  • Resident Student Handbook: Posting/Publicity Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies

    All publicity must be approved by the Residence Life Area Coordinator or his/her designee.

    No offensive or sexually suggestive language, pictures, graphics or drawings may appear.

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  • Resident Student Handbook: Standards of Behavior 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility

    Behavior unbecoming of a UIC student includes, but is not limited to, uncivilized language such as excessive swearing (particularly when directed toward another person or office); conduct which is disorderly, lewd, or indecent; breach of peace; or otherwise reflects poorly upon the UIC community, is prohibited.

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  • Student Handbook: Policy on Campus Demonstrations 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies

    Individuals and groups planning a demonstration should reserve a location with the Office of Meetings and Conferences and arrange a meeting with the Dean of Students to discuss the event and the anticipated activities so that the University can take measures to prepare for the demonstration and assure public safety, including Campus Police coverage if necessary..

    There are four (4) locations on campus that may be reserved for demonstrations: the Lecture Center Plaza, University Hall Plaza, Harrison Field, and Arthington Plaza in front of UIC Student Center West. Space should be reserved at least 48 hours in advance of the event. It is requested that an earlier reservation be made if it is anticipated that the University will need to make preparations in advance of the demonstration.

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  • Resident Student Handbook: Community Environment, Mutual Respect and Individual Differences 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility

    We encourage acceptance and appreciation of people regardless of race, gender, ethnic background, disability, socio-economic status, sexual orientation or religious affiliation. Members of our residential community will be held accountable to this standard.

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Green Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Policy on Campus Demonstrations 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    The University of Illinois at Chicago, in its role as an academic institution, is committed to an environment in which a variety of ideas can be reasonably proposed and critically examined. The existence of the free exchange of ideas and the expression of dissent within the University community are indications of intellectual vitality and social awareness.

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  • Professors’ Rights to Free Speech at Risk Nationwide

    November 25, 2014

    By Susan Kruth and Will Creeley at The Huffington Post The University of Illinois’ controversial decision to rescind its offer of employment to Professor Steven Salaita in reaction to his Twitter commentary about Israel continues to generate headlines. Last Monday, Salaita filed suit against the university, alleging that it violated a state open records law by failing to provide his attorneys with documents relating to the decision not to hire him. Further litigation is all but guaranteed, prolonging attention to an embarrassing misstep for the university that has generated condemnation from both left and right in recent months. For free […]

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  • 5 Free Speech Threats to Watch Out for on Campus This Election Season

    September 11, 2012

    In its 13 years defending free speech on colleges campuses nationwide, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), where I have worked since 2008, has won nearly 250 public victories on behalf of students and faculty. FIRE has been responsible for well over 100 reforms of unconstitutional and illiberal campus speech policies, with the total number of affected students reaching into the millions.  Needless to say, in all that time FIRE has seen certain types of violations committed over and over. Now, with the linens and seersucker put away and the new school year officially in business, I thought I would […]

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  • National Attention Continues for FIRE’s Work at Illinois

    October 8, 2008

    We blogged last week about the Chicago Tribune‘s coverage of FIRE’s letter in defense of political expression at the three University of Illinois (UI) campuses, where a memo circulated by UI’s ethics office banned a wide variety of political expression on campuses—down to the bumper stickers on the cars of UI faculty and staff. Instead of waiting until our usual end-of-the-week media round-up, we wanted to provide a brief update on the continued media exposure to FIRE stemming from UI as the situation has developed. Over the weekend the Associated Press, picking up on the Tribune‘s lead, covered a rally […]

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  • University of Illinois Bans Wide Variety of Political Activity by Faculty

    September 25, 2008

    The blogosphere and other media are lighting up in response to a memo circulated to faculty and staff of the University of Illinois by its University Ethics Office. The policy bans a wide variety of political activity on university property, including such research as “surveying or conducting an opinion poll related to anticipating an election outcome” and such activity as “wearing a pin or t-shirt in support of the Democratic Party or Republican Party.” Amazingly, even political bumper stickers run afoul of the policy. Talk about overbroad. While the university has a legitimate interest, as a state actor, in making […]

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  • Academic Hypocrite of the Millennium

    May 11, 2005

    Stanley Fish, dean emeritus of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, recently discussed Ward Churchill (and other matters) in the Chronicle of Higher Education (dated May 13, 2005). He observed, correctly, “Political persuasion is just not what is supposed to go on in the college classroom, even though it may be going on—and going on legitimately—at the noontime rally or in dormitory bull sessions.” He further noted, correctly, but not going far enough, “It is not the job of a senior administrator either to approve or disapprove of what a faculty member […]

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