University of Maine

Location: Orono, Maine
Website: http://www.umaine.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 1st Circuit

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Speech Code Rating

University of Maine 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 here.

At present, FIRE has not been involved in any cases at this school.
Yellow Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Relationship Violence, Stalking and Retaliation

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: April 18, 2018

    Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, including sexual assault. Sexual harassment, including sexual assault, can involve persons of the same or opposite sex. Consistent with the law, this policy prohibits two types of sexual harassment: …

    Hostile Environment: Sexual harassment that creates a hostile environment is based on sex and exists when the harassment:

    i. Is severe, pervasive, or persistent, and objectively offensive such that it denies or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s programs, services, opportunities, or activities; or
    ii. Unreasonably interferes with an individual’s academic or work performance.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Policies & Regulations- Free Speech and Assembly Policy

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: April 18, 2018

    Individuals and groups wishing to use outdoor areas and facilities shall notify the Director of Public Safety at least three days in advance of the nature, the time, and the place of the proposed activity.

    » Read More

  • UMaine Bias Response Team

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: April 18, 2018

    The University considers acts of hate and bias unacceptable and antithetical to its commitment to an inclusive and respectful community.

    Through the UMaine Bias Response Team and its reporting system, we review bias-related incidents. Reporting an incident will lead to an outreach to those directly impacted and may also lead to an investigation.

    » Read More

  • Guide to Campus Living: Solicitation/Posting/Gambling Policies

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: April 18, 2018

    The Office of Residence Life must approve all posters and fliers prior to posting in the halls. … Notices of items for sale (personal property), lost and found, rides needed etc may be posted in the halls by hall residents if they are approved by the Community Coordinator, and deemed appropriate for community display.

    » Read More

  • Student Conduct Code

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: April 18, 2018

    Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when: … such conduct interferes with an individual’s academic or work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment, educational, or living environment.

    […]

    Harassment or Intimidation: Unwelcome behavior that creates a hostile or intimidating working, educational, or living environment or behavior that unreasonably interferes with an individual’s academic or job performance and opportunities.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Policies & Regulations- Electronic Communication Policy

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: April 18, 2018

    Given the diverse cultural backgrounds of users, the University cannot protect individuals against exposure to materials that they may consider offensive. Nevertheless, the University reserves the right to take restrictive actions in response to complaints that posted material creates a hostile environment for individuals or classes of individuals. The University also has the responsibility to take restrictive action when a user violates University policy or federal, state or local laws.

    » Read More


Green Light Policies
  • University of Maine System Policy Manual: Section 212 – Free Speech, Academic Freedom, and Civility

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: May 1, 2018

    The Board of Trustees is committed to protecting the rights all University community members share to free speech, which includes free expression and assembly, as enshrined in the U.S. and Maine State Constitutions. There shall be no restriction at any System institutions on these fundamental rights, although the University may prohibit speech that violates the law, defames specific individuals, genuinely threatens or harasses others, or violates privacy or confidentiality requirements or interests. The University may also reasonably regulate the time, place, and manner of the exercise of these rights to preserve order for the System’s universities to function as institutions of higher learning.

    Free speech requires tolerance for diversity of opinion and respect for an individual’s right to express his or her beliefs, however unpopular they may be, without social or legal prohibition or fear of sanction. Tolerating and respecting another’s views, however, does not mean those views are immune from critical scrutiny. Indeed, it is the university’s responsibility to foster an environment where all are free to critically evaluate the ideas presented to them, and to accept critical evaluation of their own ideas.

    Finally, although the University System greatly values civility and expects community members to share in the responsibility for maintaining a climate of mutual respect, demands for civility and mutual respect will not be used to justify restricting the discussion or expression of ideas or speech that may be disagreeable or even offensive to some members of the University community.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Policies & Regulations- Free Speech and Assembly Policy

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: April 18, 2018

    There shall be no restrictions placed on the fundamental rights to free speech and assembly except those necessary to protect the rights of others and to preserve the order necessary for the University to function as an institution of higher learning.

    » Read More


  • Proposed University of Maine System policy unduly restricts faculty political activity

    January 17, 2018

    The University of Maine System Board of Trustees will consider a policy revision at a meeting later this month that would restrict how university employees engage in political activity. The policy, called “Institutional Authority on Political Matters,” unnecessarily restricts faculty political expression and needs some revisions before being adopted. For example, the policy would prevent faculty from using “UMS or university . . . computers, copiers, email, UMS- or university-issued cell phones and other communications equipment . . .” when engaging in political activity. While it may be legitimate to prohibit employees from using university resources like copy paper and […]

    » Read More