Location: University of Richmond, Virginia
Federal Circuit: 4th Circuit
University of Richmond 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.
Red Light Policies
Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
Disruption: … Disorderly conduct, obscene conduct, inappropriate behavior or expression ….
Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
Bias Incident: defined as acts that do not appear to constitute a crime or actionable discrimination, but which may intimidate, mock, degrade, or threaten, individuals or groups and which one could reasonably conclude targets a member or group within the University community because of that individual or group’s actual or perceived age, ancestry or ethnicity, color, creed, disability, gender, gender identity or expression, immigration or citizenship status, marital status, national origin, race, religion, religious practice, or sexual orientation.
Students, faculty, and staff who are the subject of or who witness a Bias Incident may report such incident to the Director of Common Ground who shall assist the individual making the report in identifying appropriate University resources for support and guidance and shall notify the members of the Bias Response Team of such report.
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
Harassment is unwelcome, offensive verbal, written, or physical conduct which because of its severity and/or persistence, is likely to interfere significantly with an individual’s work or education, affect adversely an individual’s living conditions on campus, or create a hostile or intimidating environment.
Examples of conduct prohibited under this policy may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Making unwelcome or offensive comments about a person’s clothing, body, or personal life;
- Use of unwelcome or offensive nicknames or terms of endearment;
- Offensive jokes or unwelcome innuendoes;
- Unwelcome advances or requests for sexual favors;
- Any suggestion that sexual favors, or status as being in any protected classification identified above, would affect one’s job, promotion, performance evaluations, grades, working, or educational conditions;
- Insults, epithets, jokes, slurs, or offensive comments that relate to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability or any other status protected by applicable law;
- The placement, dissemination or circulation of any written, graphic, or electronic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability or any other status protected by applicable law;
- Other conduct that creates a work or educational environment that may be considered offensive or hostile; or
- Any other conduct or behavior deemed by the University to be inappropriate or harassing based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability or any other status protected by applicable law.
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
Unwelcome sexual advances, including requests for sexual favors or other verbal, non-verbal, written, electronic, or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment, when one or more of the following occur: … Such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creates a hostile, intimidating, or offensive work or educational environment.
January 11, 2015
By Richmond Times-Dispatch at Richmond Times-Dispatch In many ways the University of Richmond is everything a college ought to be, right down to the Gothic buildings nestled in a sylvan retreat. But in one regard it exemplifies the worst of contemporary academia. U of R has just been singled out for the dubious “Speech Codes of the Year” distinction from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). “While all of the Speech Codes of the Month flagrantly violated students’ or faculty members’ right to free expression, two of them were so egregious that they deserve special mention,” the group […]» Read More
January 2, 2013
One New Year’s resolution we’d like to see in 2013 is a renewed effort to uphold the First Amendment on college campuses. According to a new report by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, 62 percent of the nation’s colleges and universities “maintain severely restrictive speech codes … that clearly and substantially prohibit protected speech.” FIRE noted that the overwhelming majority of speech is protected. But narrow exceptions (such as “fighting words,” obscenity and defamation) “are often misused and abused by universities to punish constitutionally protected speech.” Restrictions intended to protect students from harassment or bullying have been […]» Read More
December 24, 2014
Each month, FIRE singles out a particularly reprehensible campus speech code for our Speech Code of the Month designation. While all of 2014’s Speech Codes of the Month flagrantly violated students’ or faculty members’ right to free expression, two of them were so egregious that they deserve special mention as 2014’s Speech Codes of the Year. University of Richmond The University of Richmond’s Standards of Student Conduct (PDF) prohibit “disruption,” which includes, among other things, “inappropriate behavior or expression.” This extraordinarily broad and vague prohibition gives the university administration total discretion to punish virtually any speech that another person subjectively […]» Read More
February 6, 2014
Yesterday, the University of Richmond earned the unfortunate distinction of playing host to FIRE’s February Speech Code of the Month with its Standards of Student Conduct policy, which bans “inappropriate behavior or expression.” A private institution, the University of Richmond promises to promote academic freedom and expression—but its speech code shows the university does not live up to its commitment. Thankfully, unlike her school’s administration, Richmond student Gigi DeJoy does understand the value of free expression. In an op-ed published today in her campus paper, The Collegian, DeJoy says that it is student expression that makes a school unique, not the beauty of […]» Read More
February 5, 2014
FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for February 2014: the University of Richmond. The University of Richmond’s Standards of Student Conduct prohibit any “inappropriate behavior or expression,” giving the administration complete discretion to punish virtually any expression it finds inconvenient or unwelcome.» Read More