University of North Georgia

Location: Dahlonega, Georgia
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 11th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

University of North Georgia 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
  • 4.1.7 Sexual Misconduct Policy

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: January 7, 2019

    Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct, based on sex or gender stereotypes, that: … has the purpose or effect of interfering with one’s work or educational performance creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or learning environment, or interfering with or limiting one’s ability to participate in or benefit from an institutional program or activity.

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  • Expressive Activity Policy

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: January 7, 2019

    A. Designated Public Forum: The following areas are designated by the University for Expressive Activity:

    1. Cumming Campus – the grass area in front of the building closest to the lower parking lots
    2. Dahlonega Campus – the west side of the promenade nearest the drill field
    3. Gainesville Campus – the grass area stretching from the Student Center to the Strickland Building
    4. Oconee Campus – the grass area between the quad walkway and the Library wing of the Student Resource Center
    5. Blue Ridge Campus – Due to space restrictions, no area has been designated.

    The University supports and encourages Expressive Activity. Nothing in this policy prohibits individual students, faculty, staff or administrators from engaging in Expressive Activity in the Designated Public Forums, Traditional Public Forums or Limited Public Forums on campus and does not apply to University-sponsored activities or classroom instruction or participation; but rather establishes the content-neutral time, place, and manner restrictions concerning acts of expression and dissent. Nothing in this policy permits the University to regulate the content of Expressive Activity protected by the First Amendment.  The University maintains a position of neutrality as to the content of expression and any materials distributed on campus under this policy.

    A. University Community Members

    1. Campus Locations Available for Expressive Activity University
      Community Members may use Traditional Public Forums, Designated Public Forums and Limited Public Forums for Expressive Activity, subject to the following conditions:

      1. Designated Public Forums – To better facilitate the free exchange of ideas, the University has Designated Public Forums for speeches and demonstrations in high visibility areas at each of its campuses.
        1. Each area is available for this purpose between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
        2. Generally, it is not necessary for University Community Members to request a reservation for use of the Designated Public Forum for the purposes of expression.
        3. Reservations are required when groups of twenty-five (25) or more wish to gather in the Designated Public Forums.
        4. Use of the Designated Public Forums must comply with the time, place and manner restrictions in Section C of this policy.
        5. To ensure the safety of the participants, the University reserves the right to move individuals to other locations on campus, if the size of the group cannot be accommodated by the Designated Public Forum.
      2. Limited Public Forums – Recognized Student Organizations, Faculty and Staff wishing to engage in Expressive Activity in a Limited Public Forum must submit a request for reservation of that location, at least two business days prior to the planned activity. Reservation requests will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis, but in the event that multiple requests conflict, the use of the space will be reserved in a manner consistent with the reservation priorities detailed in the University Facilities Use Policy.
    2. The following categories of activities or speech are not protected by law and are not permitted on campus:  speech that incites imminent lawless action that is integral to the commission of a crime, speech that triggers an automatic violent response (“fighting words”), true threats, obscenity, child pornography, certain types of defamatory speech, and certain types of commercial speech.

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  • Student Code of Conduct Policy: Disorderly Conduct- Bullying

    Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies
    Last updated: January 8, 2019

    Bullying, which includes, but is not limited to engaging in conduct, including any gesture, written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication (which includes emails, text messages, or internet postings on websites or social media), that is severe, pervasive or objectively offensive enough to substantially disrupt or interfere with the orderly operation of the University or the rights of any Student or other Member of the University Community.

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Green Light Policies
  • Student Code of Conduct Policy: Disorderly Conduct- Discriminatory Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: January 7, 2019

    Discriminatory Harassment – Objectively offensive conduct or expression that harasses, demeans, or degrades individuals who are members of a protected class when the conduct or expression is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment.

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  • Student Code of Conduct Policy: Disorderly Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: January 7, 2019

    Physical abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion, or other conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of another person.

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  • Speech Code of the Month: University of North Georgia

    October 17, 2017

    FIRE announces our Speech Code of the Month for October 2017: University of North Georgia. UNG’s Student Code of Conduct defines “discrimination” as “[c]onduct and/or expressions that harass, demean, or degrade any individual or group of individuals who are members of a protected class.” This policy prohibits an extraordinary amount of constitutionally protected speech — speech that the University of North Georgia, a public institution, is required by the First Amendment to protect. While the university may legitimately prohibit unlawfully harassing conduct, it may not prohibit speech simply because an individual or group finds that speech subjectively demeaning or degrading. […]

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