University of Notre Dame

Location: Notre Dame, Indiana
Type: Private
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Speech Code Rating

University of Notre Dame 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

Due Process Rating

Sexual Misconduct

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F

Non-Sexual Misconduct

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D

  • Responsible Use of Information Technologies at Notre Dame

    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: December 20, 2018

    Never use University resources to post, view, print, store, or send obscene, pornographic, sexually explicit, or offensive material, except for officially approved, legitimate academic or University purposes. Read More
  • DuLac: Student Activities Policies- Demonstrations

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: December 20, 2018

    All demonstrations must be registered in writing with the Vice President for Campus Safety and Event Management … Read More
  • DuLac: Standards of Conduct- Discriminatory Harassment Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: December 20, 2018

    Discriminatory harassment includes offensive, unwelcome conduct or language that is based on an individual’s race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, or genetic information, and that would create an intimidating, hostile, offensive, or demeaning env... Read More
  • DuLac: Standards of Conduct

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: December 20, 2018

    The following actions and behaviors are clearly inconsistent with the University’s expectations for membership in this community. * Abusive or harassing behavior, including unwelcome communication. * Actions which seemingly affect only the individual(s) involved but which may have a negative or disruptive impact on ... Read More
  • DuLac: Important Information Regarding Sexual Assault, Sexual Misconduct, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, and Conduct that Creates a Hostile Environment

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: December 20, 2018

    Conduct that creates a hostile environment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or a student’s st... Read More
  • DuLac: Student Activities Policies- Advertising, Posters and Announcement of Activities

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: December 20, 2018

    All signs and posters placed on any University bulletin boards must not exceed 17″ x 23″ and must reflect good taste. All signs and posters must clearly indicate the sponsoring group. Read More
  • DuLac: University of Notre Dame Mission Statement

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: December 20, 2018

    As a Catholic university one of its distinctive goals is to provide a forum where through free inquiry and open discussion the various lines of Catholic thought may intersect with all the forms of knowledge found in the arts, sciences, professions, and every other area of human scholarship and creativity. … [T... Read More
  • DuLac: Student Activities Policies- Open Speaker Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: December 20, 2018

    Notre Dame students and recognized student groups are free to examine and to discuss all questions of interest to them and to express opinions publicly and privately. Read More

Policies are rated on their inclusion of 10 due process safeguards. Each policy may receive 2 points for fully including that safeguard, 1 point for partial inclusion, and 0 points for no meaningful inclusion. Most, but not all, institutions have separate policies for sexual misconduct and all other misconduct. See FIRE’s Spotlight on Due Process report for more information.

Grades

Sexual Misconduct

F
2/20
  • Presumption of innocence
  • Adequate and timely notice
  • Adequate time to prepare
  • Conflicts of interest prohibited
  • Right to challenge fact-finders
  • Access to all evidence
  • Right to face accuser and witness
  • Active participation of counsel
  • Meaningful right to appeal
  • Expulsion must be unanimous

Non-Sexual Misconduct

D
5/20
  • Presumption of innocence
  • Adequate and timely notice
  • Adequate time to prepare
  • Conflicts of interest prohibited
  • Right to challenge fact-finders
  • Access to all evidence
  • Right to face accuser and witness
  • Active participation of counsel
  • Meaningful right to appeal
  • Expulsion must be unanimous
  • Notre Dame students demand porn filters for campus internet, citing ‘red light’ policy

    October 26, 2018

    Earlier this week, a student group at the University of Notre Dame released a petition with over a thousand student, faculty, and staff signatures asking for the university to implement a web filter to block pornography from university WiFi. The president of the group Students for Child-Oriented Policy released the petition on Tuesday, along with… Read more

  • At Notre Dame commencement, Vice President Pence addresses freedom of expression while students exercise it

    May 22, 2017

    On Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence delivered the commencement address at the University of Notre Dame. While the vice president spoke about college students’ freedom of expression, some graduating students exercised that right, quietly walking out as the speech began. Pence’s address included an extended discussion of the state of freedom of expression on America’s… Read more

  • Due process legal update: a victory for due process in Indiana

    May 18, 2017

    Late last month, Patricia Hamill of the law firm Conrad O’Brien filed a lawsuit against the University of Notre Dame on behalf of a pseudonymous “John Doe” plaintiff, alleging that Notre Dame unfairly expelled him just a few weeks before he was slated to take his last two finals and graduate. After filing his suit,… Read more

  • Speech Code Countdown: ‘U.S. News’ Top 25 College Rankings, Numbers 19-11

    October 6, 2016

    FIRE’s U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges” Countdown continues today. We’re giving you a school-by-school analysis of just how well America’s “Best Colleges” do when it comes to protecting free speech on campus. Unfortunately, in today’s crop of top campuses, troubling speech codes abound. As part of FIRE’s fresh look at U.S. News’ top-ranked… Read more

  • ‘Disinvitation Season’ 2016 Begins: Cue the Commencement Controversies

    April 28, 2016

    POLITICO gave a rundown earlier this week of the after students and faculty members protested the selected speakers and honorees. Unsurprisingly, there are many. Among the notable examples are the University of Notre Dame for asking both former Speaker of the House John Boehner and Vice President Joe Biden to speak, the University of Alabama… Read more

  • More Campuses Using Special Victims Units to Investigate Sexual Assaults

    September 23, 2015

    Working to address concerns about both sexual assault and due process on campus, more colleges and universities are asking specially trained police units to investigate sexual assault allegations. Earlier this month, The Arizona Republic reported that Arizona State University (ASU) police formed a special victims unit (SVU) to handle sexual assault allegations at ASU. “The… Read more

  • Ohio Supreme Court, Texas Legislature Stand for Transparency at Private Colleges

    May 27, 2015

    As part of the Student Press Law Center’s invaluable work to help protect and empower student media nationwide, the SPLC aims to keep colleges and universities accountable by ensuring their records are publicly available. Last week, the SPLC reported on two victories: The Ohio Supreme Court and Texas lawmakers both took stands for transparency at… Read more

  • Prosecutor Urges Victims of Sexual Assault to Report Directly to Special Victims Unit; Notre Dame Disagrees

    May 13, 2015

    Ken Cotter, prosecutor for St. Joseph County in Indiana, recently urged victims of campus sexual assault at the University of Notre Dame to report directly to the countywide Special Victims Unit (SVU) rather than to the university police. Cotter stated, “I would feel more comfortable if [Notre Dame police] were part of the Special Victims… Read more

  • After Denial, Group Opposing Same-Sex Marriage Approved at Notre Dame

    September 30, 2014

    NOTRE DAME, Ind., September 30, 2014—Months after being rejected on the grounds that it was considered “redundant,” the University of Notre Dame student group Students for Child-Oriented Policy (SCOP) has finally won official recognition. Notre Dame denied the group recognition earlier this year following student opposition to SCOP due to its stance against same-sex marriage…. Read more

  • FIRE Has Seen Notre Dame’s Redundancy Argument Before

    June 24, 2014

    In May, FIRE wrote to the University of Notre Dame in defense of Students for Child-Oriented Policy (SCOP). SCOP, a student group that generated controversy on campus because of its opposition to same-sex marriage, was denied official recognition by Notre Dame’s student-led Club Coordination Council (CCC) in April. The CCC claimed that SCOP “closely mirrors” the existing student groups Orestes Brownson Council (OBC) and Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), and is therefore redundant.

  • Notre Dame Defends Rejection of ‘Redundant’ Student Group Amid Controversy

    June 19, 2014

    NOTRE DAME, Ind., June 19, 2014—The University of Notre Dame is standing by its decision to reject the prospective student organization Students for Child-Oriented Policy (SCOP), claiming the group would be “redundant” in light of other existing groups on campus. Notre Dame rejected the group following student opposition to SCOP due to its stance against… Read more

  • Notre Dame Offers Weak Excuse for Denying Controversial Student Group Recognition

    May 28, 2014

    The University of Notre Dame is refusing to officially recognize the student group Students for Child-Oriented Policy (SCOP), which advocates for what it calls “child-oriented” policies—most notably, “traditional marriage”—in the state of Indiana. Notre Dame’s mission statement says that the university’s goals include providing a forum for “free inquiry and open discussion,” and that “the University insists upon academic freedom which makes open discussion and inquiry possible.”

    So what interest trumped this broad promise to its students? According to Notre Dame, SCOP too “closely mirrored” other student groups on campus.

  • Notre Dame Students Embrace Opportunity for Dialogue in Coulter Visit

    April 11, 2014

    The University of Notre Dame’s College Republicans student group invited conservative commentator Ann Coulter to speak to students Thursday night, and Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College student newspaper The Observer relayed refreshingly pro-free-speech remarks from students about the event. Even students who strongly disagreed with Coulter’s viewpoints recognized not just the College Republicans’ right to invite her but also the benefits that can come with controversial speakers like Coulter.

  • Universities on the Cusp of a Better Speech Code Rating, Part 3: Notre Dame

    September 5, 2013

    As FIRE wraps up our annual review of university speech codes for our upcoming speech code report, we are running a blog series about colleges and universities that are just one policy away from dropping their poor, “red light,” speech code ratings. If these universities revise their red light policies before our data collection period… Read more

  • Notre Dame Settles with OCR, Adopts Preponderance Standard, Restricts Free Speech

    July 6, 2011

    The University of Notre Dame has settled an investigation by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights into its sexual assault policies and procedures, The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. Predictably, the settlement involved Notre Dame agreeing to use the preponderance of the evidence standard in sexually related cases (FIRE explains its objections to this low standard of evidence here.)… Read more

  • The State of Free Speech on Campus: University of Notre Dame

    February 23, 2009

    Throughout the spring semester, FIRE is drawing special attention to the state of free speech at America’s top 25 national universities (as ranked by U.S. News & World Report). Today we review policies at the University of Notre Dame, which FIRE has given a red-light rating for its restrictions on free expression. As with all… Read more