University of Rochester

Location: Rochester, New York
Website: http://www.rochester.edu
Type: Private
Federal Circuit: 2nd Circuit

Speech Code Rating

University of Rochester 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.

This school does not have any cases at this time.
Yellow Light Policies
  • Policy on Acceptable Use of Information Technology and Resources 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies

    In making acceptable use of resources, individuals covered by this policy must not: … Use e-mail, social networking sites or tools, or messaging services in violation of laws or regulations or to harass or intimidate another person, for example, by broadcasting unsolicited messages, by repeatedly sending unwanted mail, or by using someone else’s name or userid.

    » Read More

  • Standards of Student Conduct: Harassment and Discrimination 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Harassment is (1) any unwanted conduct (2) that is intended to cause or could reasonably be expected to cause an individual or group to feel intimidated, demeaned, abused or fear or have concern for their personal safety (3) because of their age, color, disability, ethnicity, marital status, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or other status protected by law or because of their perceived or actual affiliation or association with individuals or groups identified by such characteristics and (4) that could reasonably be regarded as so severe, persistent, or pervasive as to disrupt the living, learning, and/or working environment of the individual or group. Harassment includes any behavior that is unlawful harassment under applicable New York State and/or federal law.

    Examples of harassment can include, but are not limited to, unwanted physical contact or threats of physical contact, intimidation, stalking, degrading and derogatory words, graffiti, pictures, jokes, epithets, statements or stereotyping activities as well as other forms of verbal, visual or written messages of intimidation.

    » Read More

  • Standards of Student Conduct: Student Sexual Misconduct Policy 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Sexual Harassment is (1) any unwanted verbal, written, electronic or physical conduct, of a sexual nature (2) that is intended to cause or could reasonably be expected to cause an individual or group to feel intimidated, demeaned, abused or fearful or have concern for their personal safety (3) because of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression or because of their perceived or actual affiliation or association with individuals or groups identified by such characteristics. Sexual harassment prohibited under this policy can be classified as either hostile environment sexual harassment or quid pro quo sexual harassment.

    • Hostile Environment Harassment: A hostile environment based on sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression exists when the conduct:
      • is sufficiently severe or pervasive (meaning that the conduct is either of an extraordinarily severe or egregious nature or has been repeated with sufficient frequency or continually); in other words, typically a single offense or occasional, episodic instances of offensive behavior will not qualify as sufficiently severe or pervasive, but a single egregious offense (e.g., sexual assault) would, and
      • objectively and subjectively has the effect of
        • unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or equal access to education or
        • creating an intimidating, intolerable, or offensive work or academic environment.

    Mere offensiveness is not enough to create a hostile environment.

    The following types of behavior may constitute sexual harassment:

    • Unwanted comments about an individual’s body, clothing or lifestyle that have sexual implications or demean the individuals sexuality or gender;
    • Unwanted sexual flirtations, leering or ogling;
    • Unwanted sexual advances and propositions;
    • Unwanted display of sexually demeaning objects, pictures or cartoons in areas visible to other members of the University community;
    • Threats or insinuations that an individual’s refusal or willingness to submit to sexual advances will affect the individual’s status, evaluation, grades, wages, advancement, duties or career development;
    • Unwanted and intentional sexual touching, patting, pinching, or brushing another’s body or clothing;
    • Stalking in person or by electronic means;
    • Dating or domestic violence;
    • Sexual assault.

    » Read More

  • Personal Web Pages 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies

    Any complaints regarding web pages that contain obscene, racist, misleading, or offensive material will be referred to the Assistant Dean of Students Office. The user with these questionable web pages will be allowed to maintain them until a final decision is made by University Administration.

    » Read More

  • Standards of Student Conduct: Student Code of Conduct 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes

    Possible violations of University standards or policies include: … Behavior that negatively impacts the normal pursuit of academic, administrative, extracurricular or personal activities, or that violates any University policies or rules.

    » Read More


Green Light Policies
  • Standards of Student Conduct: Statement of Communal Principles 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    The freedom of all people in a community of learning to ask questions and to seek answers is essential and actively encouraged. Each person has the right to learn, teach, and work — to express themselves through their ideas and activities — without threat to his or her education or career progress or to that of others. Freedom of expression of ideas and action is not to be limited by acts of intimidation, political or ideological oppression, abuse of authority, or threat of physical harm and well being.

    » Read More

  • Standards of Student Conduct: Student Code of Conduct 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Harassment consists of any unwanted conduct that is intended to cause, or could reasonably be expected to cause, an individual or group to feel intimidated, demeaned or abused, or to fear or have concern for their personal safety—where this conduct could reasonably be regarded as so severe, persistent, or pervasive as to disrupt the living, learning, and/or working environment of the individual or group.

    » Read More


  • Campus President Rebukes Limbaugh-Supporting Professor

    March 10, 2012

    By now, most are familiar with the national tempest over conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh’s comments about Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, and her testimony to Congress about whether Georgetown and other Catholic universities should have to cover birth control through their insurance policies. Predictably, the controversy has spilled over to a university campus. But the campus is the University of Rochester, and the issue is not contraception, but campus policing of speech. UR economics professor Steven Landsburg addressed the arguments of Limbaugh and Fluke on his blog, The Big Questions, with three entries. In the first blog entry, “Rush to […]

    » Read More
  • Some U. of Rochester Students Just Don’t Get How Free Speech Works

    April 12, 2013

    Last week, I told you about the kerfuffle happening at the University of Rochester, where a professor, Steven Landsburg, has come under fire for hypothetical situations involving rape that he presented in a personal blog post. I praised university administrators for resisting the all-too-common urge to censor or punish the professor’s controversial expression, particularly since it has received such negative attention from the public. However, it seems the drama isn’t over. According to The Huffington Post, more than 30 students protested outside Professor Landsburg’s class on Monday. While FIRE certainly recognizes the students’ right to protest ideas that they don’t […]

    » Read More
  • University of Rochester and Towson U. Get It Right on Recent Controversies

    April 4, 2013

    It’s not often enough that FIRE gets to relay a good example of speech on campus, but today I’m happy to bring you not one but two schools that are fostering proper respect for values of free speech and liberty more generally on their campuses  The first comes from the University of Rochester, where economics professor Steven Landsburg posed a controversial question on his personal blog, The Big Questions, concerning whether or not harm is done to rape victims if they are not physically damaged by their assault.  As you might expect, Landsburg’s question stirred up news media from Gawker […]

    » Read More
  • Robert in PJ Media on Limbaugh-Fluke Campus Fallout

    March 12, 2012

    In his most recent PJ Media article, FIRE’s Robert Shibley reported on the campus fallout from the recent kerfuffle about radio commentator Rush Limbaugh’s comments about Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke. University of Rochester (UR) economics professor Steven Landsburg took to his blog to partially defend Limbaugh’s comments and discuss the economic issues behind the demand that Catholic universities cover birth control in their insurance policies, leading Joel Seligman, UR’s president, to release a statement condemning Landsburg’s comments. Robert points out that while Seligman had the right to disagree with Landsburg’s posts (but not punish him for them), doing so […]

    » Read More