University of Richmond

Location: University of Richmond, Virginia
Website: http://www.richmond.edu
Type: Private
Federal Circuit: 4th Circuit

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Speech Code Rating

University of Richmond 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
  • Bias Incident Protocol

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: September 27, 2018

    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. The Common Ground director will assist individuals making reports in identifying appropriate University resources for support and guidance, and will notify the members of the Bias Resource Team of such reports.

    » Read More

  • Information Services Policies: Regarding the Use of Technology and Information Resources

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: September 27, 2018

    Members of the University of Richmond community may not: …  Use computing or network resources to harass, threaten, or otherwise cause harm to others.

    Certain types of e-mail and uses of e-mail or other forms of electronic communications are prohibited; these include chain letters, obscene messages, harassing messages, and unsolicited political messages.

    » Read More

  • Policy on Preventing and Responding to Discrimination Against Students

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

    Harassment is unwelcome conduct directed against an individual based on that individual’s Protected Status, as defined in this policy, that: (a) is sufficiently serious or pervasive such that it limits or denies an individual’s employment, academic performance, or ability to participate in or benefit from University programs or activities …

    » Read More

  • Demonstrations and Peaceful Assembly

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: September 27, 2018

    Demonstrations or peaceful assemblies must be registered with the Events Office at least 48 hours in advance.

    » Read More


Green Light Policies
  • University of Richmond Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 27, 2018

    Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that: (a) creates Hostile Environment, as defined in this Policy; or (b) constitutes Quid Pro Quo Harassment, as defined in this Policy. Sexual Harassment is sexual misconduct prohibited by the University.

    1. Hostile Environment: A hostile environment exists, for purposes of this Policy, when unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature is sufficiently serious, persistent, or pervasive such that it limits or denies an individual’s employment, academic performance, or ability to participate in or benefit from University programs or activities. Conduct must be deemed serious, persistent, or pervasive from both a subjective and an objective perspective.

    » Read More

  • Standards of Student Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 27, 2018

    The following conduct is prohibited by the University. … Conduct that threatens, intimidates, or endangers the health or safety of any person.

    » Read More

  • Policy on Preventing and Responding to Discrimination Against Students

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

    Members of the University community are expected to promote academic freedom, including the freedom to discuss all relevant matters in the classroom; to explore all avenues of scholarship, research, and creative expression; and to speak or write as a public citizen without institutional restraint or discipline. Members of the University community are also expected to foster intellectual honesty and freedom of inquiry and to respect those with differing views.

    » Read More


  • Today’s Top Opinion: The Wrong Lesson

    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
  • Examiner Local Editorial: Muzzling free speech on campus

    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
  • So to Speak podcast: ‘Natural Rights and the First Amendment’ with Jud Campbell

    December 28, 2017

    Did the founders intend for the First Amendment to protect as much speech as it does today? University of Richmond Assistant Professor of Law Jud Campbell argues probably not. He is the author of an article recently published in The Yale Law Journal that Cass Sunstein says “might well be the most illuminating work on the original understanding of free speech in a generation.” In “Natural Rights and the First Amendment,” Professor Campbell argues that the founders’ understanding of the freedoms of speech and of the press rested on “a multifaceted understanding of natural rights that no longer survives in […]

    » Read More
  • Speech Codes of the Year: 2014

    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
  • University of Richmond Student Understands Free Expression Better Than Her College

    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 […]

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  • Speech Code of the Month: University of Richmond

    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