University of Rhode Island

Location: Kingston, Rhode Island
Type: Public
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Speech Code Rating

University of Rhode Island 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
  • Student Handbook: Community Standards of Behavior- Bias-Based Incidents

    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: September 12, 2018

    A bias-based incident is one which has a negative effect on an individual or group and which is based on or motivated by bias against race, sex, religion, age, color, creed, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or disabled and/or Vietnam era veteran status. The incident is ... Read More
  • Student Handbook: Student Code of Conduct- Sexual Harassment

    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 12, 2018

    Sexual Harassment is any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It can include unwelcome verbal, nonverbal and physical conduct that ranges from sexual gestures or teasing to sexual assault, acts of sexual violence, including domestic and dating violence, sexually motived stalking and coerced activity. Examples inclu... Read More
  • Bias Response Team

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: September 12, 2018

    The University of Rhode Island’s Bias Response Team, based out of the Division of Student Affairs, works to gather information about bias incidents and to support those who have witnessed, or become a target of an act of bias The role of the Bias Response Team is to: Provide a safe space to targets of bias to have ... Read More
  • Student Handbook: Student Code of Conduct- Respect for University Functions, Policies, and Procedures

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: September 12, 2018

    The University community believes in the right, and is committed to the protection of all peaceful, non-disruptive forms of protest including mass demonstrations, pickets, and rallies. The campus must be open to a free exchange of ideas; therefore, all members of the community and guest are expected to conduct dialo... Read More
  • Student Handbook: Statement of Students’ Rights

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: September 12, 2018

    Students have the right to freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom of inquiry and peaceful assembly. Read More
  • Student Handbook: Student Code of Conduct- Harassment

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 12, 2018

    Harassment The repeated or single incident of unwanted contact or communication by any means, including by the use of any form of technology, or behavior or verbal abuse that threatens to injure or endangers the health, safety, or welfare of oneself or another person. Harassment means a knowing and willful course of... Read More
  • University of Rhode Island: student government abandons discriminatory funding policy

    October 12, 2018

    In May 2018, FIRE wrote to the University of Rhode Island’s Student Senate on behalf of a coalition of student organizations — including the College Democrats and Republicans, as well as URI campus chapters of BridgeUSA, the ACLU, and Students for Sensible Drug Policy — that had been denied student activity fee funding by their student government because they were deemed “political.”

  • University of Rhode Island: Professor’s Anti-Gun Tweets Deemed Threatening

    December 18, 2012

    Following the December 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, University of Rhode Island Associate Professor Erik Loomis posted criticism of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and its Chief Executive Officer, Wayne LaPierre, to his Twitter account, including a tweet calling for LaPierre’s “head on a stick.” In response to the public controversy generated by these… Read more

  • University of Rhode Island: Student Senate Attempts to Compel Speech

    March 13, 2007

    At the University of Rhode Island, the College Republicans came under fire for advertising a “scholarship” during “Conservative Coming Out Week,” in order to satirically protest scholarships awarded on the bases of race, gender, or nationality. Even though the College Republicans never awarded the “scholarship” to anyone, the Student Organizations Advisory and Review Committee (SOARC)… Read more

  • VICTORY: Student government abandons discriminatory funding policy at the University of Rhode Island

    October 12, 2018

    KINGSTON, R.I., Oct. 12, 2018 — When the student government at the University of Rhode Island refused to fund certain student organizations, a diverse coalition of groups got together to protect their expressive rights. Campus chapters of the College Republicans, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, ACLU, and BridgeUSA teamed up to take down unconstitutional policies… Read more

  • University of Rhode Island’s contradictory values and policies chill speech

    August 18, 2017

    Before I entered FIRE’s summer internship program, I knew that my university, the University of Rhode Island, was dubiously designated FIRE’s Speech Code of the Month in December 2016 — an award given to campuses with particularly restrictive and/or ridiculous rules about what students can and cannot say on campus. Upon taking a closer look… Read more

  • Speech Code of the Month: University of Rhode Island

    December 21, 2016

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for December 2016: the University of Rhode Island. The University of Rhode Island (URI) prohibits “bias-based incidents.” According to the policy: A bias-based incident is one which has a negative effect on an individual or group and which is based on or motivated by bias against race,… Read more

  • Virginia Tech Supports the Troops and the First Amendment at the Same Time

    September 6, 2013

    My favorite bumper sticker is an American flag with the caption: “Think. It’s patriotic.” That’s essentially what Steven Salaita, a professor of English at Virginia Tech, was trying to say when he posted commentary on Salon arguing against uncritical support of the military. But he chose to do so in a deliberately provocative way, framing his… Read more

  • Revisiting Twitter Controversy, University of Rhode Island President Issues New Statement Acknowledging First Amendment

    December 28, 2012

    University of Rhode Island (URI) President David Dooley issued a new statement this past Sunday regarding Associate Professor Erik Loomis’ recent criticism of the National Rifle Association. Following the tragic murders in Newtown, Connecticut, Loomis took to Twitter to sharply criticize the NRA. Among other statements, Loomis called for NRA Chief Executive Officer Wayne LaPierre’s… Read more

  • Standing Up for a Professor’s Right to Free Speech, Even While Disagreeing!

    December 19, 2012

    Protecting controversial or offensive speech is what the First Amendment is all about. After all, no one tries to censor speech that they like. FIRE’s core mission is the defense of students and faculty from censorship, and as defenders of free speech on campus, we often defend the rights of people who have said things… Read more

  • This Month in FIRE History: Student Senate Attempts to Compel Speech

    April 30, 2010

    In April of 2007 at the University of Rhode Island (URI), the future of the College Republicans was in jeopardy. The group had advertised a "scholarship" that satirically protested scholarships awarded on the basis of race, gender, or nationality. The advertisements for the "WHAM Scholarship," short for White Heterosexual American Males, were posted as a… Read more

  • John Leo on Censorship Tactics in ‘The New York Sun’

    May 3, 2007

    Yesterday’s issue of The New York Sun includes a very telling opinion piece by John Leo that looks at the ploys used by university administrators in their efforts to stifle student speech. “It’s not news that the modern university is censorship-prone, particularly when conservatives wish to speak, but the tactics of the censors keep changing,”… Read more

  • Victory for Free Expression at the University of Rhode Island

    April 26, 2007

    Today’s press release announces that after a months-long showdown over the University of Rhode Island (URI) College Republicans’ satirical “scholarship” for white, heterosexual American males, the Student Senate has finally acknowledged its constitutional obligations. At the Senate meeting last night, the Executive Committee voted against last week’s proposed bill to derecognize the College Republicans because… Read more

  • Victory for Freedom of Expression at the University of Rhode Island

    April 26, 2007

    PROVIDENCE, R.I., April 26, 2007—In a meeting last night, the Student Senate of the University of Rhode Island (URI) voted against a proposal to derecognize the College Republicans, holding that the group need not apologize for advertising a satirical white, heterosexual, American male “scholarship.” This decision overturns last week’s Student Senate committee vote to revoke… Read more

  • URI Student Senate Meeting Determines CRs’ Fate Tonight

    April 25, 2007

    The fate of the University of Rhode Island (URI) College Republicans (CRs) rests on a meeting of the Student Senate tonight. The CRs have been threatened with revocation of their official student group status for advertising a satirical “White, Heterosexual, American Male” (WHAM) scholarship for $100. No less than eight letters in support of the… Read more

  • FIRE’s Case at URI Hits the Media

    April 20, 2007

    FIRE’s defense of the College Republicans at the University of Rhode Island (URI) has gained the attention of local and national media, including a front-and-center spot on today’s homepage of FOXNews.com. The accompanying article by Melissa Drosjack explores our fight for the College Republicans’ right to advertise a satirical “scholarship,” despite the Student Senate’s demand… Read more

  • URI President Carothers Responds to FIRE Ally

    April 18, 2007

    Today, FIRE went public with the case of the University of Rhode Island College Republicans, who face derecognition by the URI Student Senate because they refuse to apologize for offering a satirical $100 scholarship to white, heterosexual, American males. You can get everything you need to know about this shameful episode out of today’s press… Read more

  • URI Student Senate Committee Votes to Derecognize College Republicans

    April 18, 2007

    FIRE’s press release today announces that a committee of the University of Rhode Island (URI) Student Senate voted on Monday to derecognize the College Republicans.   As we said last week, the Student Organizations Advisory and Review Committee (SOARC) has for months attempted to force the College Republicans to publicly apologize for advertising a satirical… Read more

  • University of Rhode Island Student Senate Dumps College Republicans

    April 18, 2007

    PROVIDENCE, R.I., April 18, 2007—Displaying a dramatic disregard for students’ constitutional rights, a committee of the University of Rhode Island (URI) Student Senate voted on Monday to derecognize the College Republicans student group. For months, the Student Senate has demanded that the group publicly apologize for advertising a satirical $100 “scholarship” for white, heterosexual, American… Read more

  • University of Rhode Island President Forbids Student Senate from Imposing Unconstitutional Sanctions

    April 12, 2007

    The University of Rhode Island (URI) Student Senate has been looking for a way to punish the College Republicans for months. In November, the College Republicans advertised a satirical “White, Heterosexual, American Male” (WHAM) scholarship, and wanted to award $100 to anyone fitting those criteria who submitted an application and an essay on the adversities… Read more

  • University of Rhode Island President Forbids Student Senate from Imposing Unconstitutional Sanctions

    April 12, 2007

    University of Rhode Island (URI) President Robert Carothers has intervened to stop the Student Senate from imposing unconstitutional sanctions on the URI College Republicans, who sponsored a satirical $100 “scholarship” for white, heterosexual, American males. The Senate prohibited the group from disbursing the money, but the Senate later demanded that the College Republicans apologize publicly… Read more

  • Police State U

    October 18, 2005

    Check out “Keeping a Close Watch on Students” on Inside Higher Ed. It tells only the latest story of universities’ encroachment into students’ lives, this time at the University of Rhode Island: About 150 students rallied Monday in protest of university policy changes that will allow students who live off-campus—as a majority do—to be referred… Read more