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

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: September 8, 2015

    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

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 8, 2015

    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.


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  • Resident Student Handbook: Disorderly Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: September 8, 2015

    The following conduct is expressly prohibited: … Using offensive, vulgar, and/or insensitive language such as excessive swearing (particularly when directed toward another person or office), partaking in conduct which is disorderly, lewd, or indecent and/or creating a breach of peace or engaging in activity that would otherwise reflect poorly upon the Campus Housing and UIC community

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

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 8, 2015

    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:

    • Sexual advances
    • Fondling
    • Shoulder massages
    • Pinching
    • Grabbing
    • Lewd hand gestures
    • Leering
    • Suggestive comments
    • Off-color jokes
    • Comments on physical attributes
    • Discussions of sexual exploits
    • Lewd voicemail messages
    • Displays of sexually suggestive pictures, photos, cartoons, screen savers
    • Lewd e-mails or texts
    • 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

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 8, 2015

    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

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 8, 2015

    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: University and Personal Property

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: September 8, 2015

    The following conduct is expressly prohibited: …

    l. Posting materials outside of the following Publicity Guide Lines.

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

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  • Student Handbook: Policy on Campus Demonstrations

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: September 8, 2015

    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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Green Light Policies
  • Policy on Campus Demonstrations

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: September 8, 2015

    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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  • Jim Dey: Is New Emphasis on Student ‘Safe’ Spaces Putting Them at Risk?

    November 29, 2015

    By Jim Dey at The News-Gazette  Back in February, Northwestern University Professor Laura Kipnis, disturbed about the campus environment concerning sexual harassment, emotional “triggers” and issues involving consent, wrote an article for The Chronicle of Higher Education. Headlined “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe,” Kipnis’ piece challenged campus orthodoxy on these sensitive subjects. Some critics challenged her assertions, but two students did more than that. They filed a complaint alleging discrimination and retaliation with the university against Kipnis under federal law’s Title IX guidelines. The complaint was laughable on its face. But Kipnis endured months of administrative runaround trying to find out, […]

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  • National Sorority, Fraternity Groups Withdraw Support from Safe Campus Act

    November 17, 2015

    By Walbert Castillo at USA Today The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) withdrew its support Friday from the Safe Campus Act after a growing number of national sororities broke rank by distancing themselves from two controversial campus sexual assault bills: the Safe Campus and Fair Campus acts. “Our member organizations and NPC leadership have listened to the groundswell of concern among our members and are refocusing our legislative agenda. To that end, NPC is withdrawing its support of the Safe Campus Act,” NPC said in an official statement. Both the NPC and the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) — national umbrella organizations for sororities and fraternities, respectively — originally backed the […]

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  • Missouri Controversy Highlights Academia’s Free Speech struggle

    November 15, 2015

    By Aamer Madhani and Roger Yu at USA Today As college administrators across the country move to crack down on hate speech on campus, First Amendment advocates say that universities are becoming increasingly squeamish about exposing students to ideas that they may find offensive or collide with their world view In a nationwide poll published by the William F. Buckley, Jr. Program at Yale University last month, 50% of students said they often felt intimidated to offer views that differ from their classmates’ or professors’. Sixty-three percent of students said that they thought political correctness was a problem on campus, while […]

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  • To Combat Sexual Assault, Colleges Say Yes to Affirmative Consent

    October 29, 2015

    By Bonnie Miller Rubin at Chicago Tribune    For Blake Bullock, talking about sex is nothing new. As a peer educator at the University of Illinois, he leads discussions on everything from birth control to sexually transmitted diseases. But recently, the conversations have taken a decidedly different turn. “We’re spending a lot of time on the nuances of consent because that’s where many students get tripped up,” said Bullock, a graduate student in social work in Champaign. “They do worry that it’s going to ruin the mood.” As sexual assault cases on campuses have moved from private matter to public […]

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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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