University of South Florida

Location: Tampa, Florida
Type: Public
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Speech Code Rating

University of South Florida 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

This school has adopted the chicago statement for free speech. This school has adopted the chicago statement for free speech. This school has adopted the chicago statement for free speech.
  • Policy 0-004: Sexual Misconduct/Sexual Harassment (Including Sexual Violence)- Prohibited Conduct Outside Title IX Jurisdiction

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 25, 2020

    IV. PROHIBITED CONDUCT OUTSIDE TITLE IX JURISDICTION Discriminatory conduct based on sex that does not meet the Title IX definition of harassment but that, by the totality of circumstances, is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter a term or condition of employment or enrollment is prohibited by this policy and m... Read More
  • Policy 0-502: Appropriate Use of Information Technology Resources

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: July 14, 2020

    Transmitting unsolicited material such as repetitive advertising, chain messages, or unofficial mass mailings, phone text messages (SMS), or instant messages (IM). Read More
  • Policy 6-028: Events, Signage and Space Management: Distribution of Literature

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: May 21, 2020

    Other non-commercial material or literature, the author of which is identified, may be handed out in any outdoor USF location open to the general public. Read More
  • Policy 0-007: Diversity and Equal Opportunity- Discrimination and Harassment

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: May 21, 2020

    A. The Following Actions Are Prohibited: … 1. Discrimination and/or harassment by any USF employee or student against any individual(s) or group(s) within USF. … B. Examples of Prohibited Conduct Include, but Are Not Limited To: Unwelcome touching, impeding, or blocking movement based on any individual’... Read More
  • USF6.0021: Student Code of Conduct

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 18, 2020

    Harassment – Conduct that creates an unsafe, intimidating, or hazardous situation that interferes with the ability of a student or employee to study, work, or carry out University functions and are not protected by freedom of expression. 1. Repeated and/or severe aggressive behaviors, including bullying/cyber-bul... Read More
  • Policy 0-004: Sexual Misconduct/Sexual Harassment (Including Sexual Violence)

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 25, 2020

    V. PROHIBITED CONDUCT SPECIFIC TO TITLE IX JURISDICTION B. Sexual Harassment, as an umbrella category, includes the offenses of sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, and is further defined as conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following: ̷... Read More
  • Policy 6-028: Events, Signage and Space Management: Outdoor Space

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: May 21, 2020

    Outdoor areas of the campus not connected to a specific use and considered open to the public, may be used for informal, unscheduled and unamplified expression of opinion or musical event by person participating as individuals without registration or approval. By using the space, the individuals assume all responsib... Read More
  • USF6.0021: Student Code of Conduct

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 18, 2020

    Sexual Harassment – Conduct on the basis of sex/gender or that is sexual that satisfies one or more of the following: … Unwelcome conduct, determined by a reasonable individual, to be so severe, and pervasive, and objectively offensive, that it effectively denies an individual equal access to the University’s ... Read More
  • Policy 6.026: Distribution of Material and Solicitation on Campus

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: May 19, 2020

    Non-commercial material or literature may be handed out in any outdoor USF location open to the general public in compliance with University regulation or policy. Read More
  • Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities: Rights and Responsibilities

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: May 21, 2020

    Student Rights … The constitutional rights of freedom of expression and assembly. Read More
  • University of South Florida: Administrator Confuses Conservatives and Libertarians to Deny Group’s Recognition

    October 15, 2010

    The University of South Florida (USF) denied recognition to the conservative student organization Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), arguing that YAF was too “similar” to the libertarian Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) student group. YAF submitted its Chapter Constitution in April 2010, but Student Programs Coordinator Edna Jones Miller rejected the application several months later… Read more

  • University of South Florida: The ‘Heckler’s Veto’

    January 29, 2002

    Computer Science Professor Sami Al-Arian no longer faces termination for his alleged “disruption” of university activities, which FIRE protested through a letter from Alan Charles Kors to University of South Florida (USF) President Judy Genshaft. In the letter, Kors denounced USF’s termination of Professor Al-Arian due to FIRE’s belief that his firing was an example… Read more

  • Comparing ‘red light’ and ‘green light’ universities is like comparing apples and oranges

    June 15, 2020

    When I began my college search, I was looking for an orange: a university that promoted a vibrant culture of free inquiry and expression. I thought the University of South Florida was a fantastic candidate because it was located in a demographically diverse, politically contentious, and culturally vibrant state. I hoped to find at USF… Read more

  • Boston College Students Experience the Benefits of True Civil Debate

    October 7, 2013

    “Civility” is one of the words that sets off alarm bells at FIRE. (No, it’s not because we’re unusually rude.) Many universities have enacted “civility codes,” ostensibly to maintain a respectful and inclusive atmosphere on campus. But, as my colleague Samantha Harris has pointed out, this is often censorship by another name. If you curtail… Read more

  • USF Student Newspaper Reports on Speech Codes; Administration Defensive

    July 12, 2013

    The University of South Florida’s student newspaper, The Oracle, published a comprehensive story on free speech at USF this week. The article leads off with an example that illustrates a problem all too common on today’s college campuses: Students seek to express themselves on an issue of political or social importance, but instead of helping… Read more

  • USF Polytechnic Clears Student of Disciplinary Charges For Sending Critical Emails

    December 16, 2011

    A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the troubles faced by University of South Florida Polytechnic student Michael Nacrelli. To bring you up to speed: Nacrelli, a Student Government senator, faced charges of "disruptive conduct" and "failure to follow instructions" last month following a series of emails criticizing student government on which he copied… Read more

  • Double Standard at USF Parodied by Mike Adams

    December 1, 2010

    Did the University of South Florida (USF) deny recognition to the Young Pakistani student group because they were too "similar" to the Young Indian student group? Read Mike Adams’ parody of what happened to the conservative Young Americans for Freedom when USF denied recognition to them for being too "similar" to coexist with the libertarian… Read more

  • University Recognizes Young Americans for Freedom: Conservative and Libertarian Groups Were Too ‘Similar’ to Coexist

    November 30, 2010

    TAMPA, Nov. 30, 2010—The University of South Florida (USF) has reversed its denial of recognition to the conservative Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) student group. USF had argued that YAF was too “similar” to the libertarian Young Americans for Liberty on campus. After USF denied YAF’s application for recognition, YAF came to the Foundation for… Read more

  • Whose Far Is ‘Too Far’?

    February 15, 2005

    While many agree that Ward Churchill’s academic freedom should be protected, many have also condemned his essay and, outside of his expression, have also condemned him—by questioning and ridiculing his character and ethnic background. Despite others’ negative interpretations of his words and assessment of his competence, Churchill recently received a standing ovation when giving a… Read more

  • University of South Florida Makes a U-Turn: FIRE and the Case of Sami Al-Arian

    August 30, 2002

    TAMPA, Fla., August 30, 2002—Vindicating FIRE’s position, the University of South Florida (USF) has abandoned its claim that negative reactions to Professor Sami Al-Arian’s otherwise protected speech constituted appropriate grounds to fire him. USF now has set forth charges of sanctionable and criminal behavior against the tenured professor of computer science, against which he now… Read more

  • Academia’s Swindle

    August 13, 2002

  • Amid New Probe Al-Arian Speaks

    February 23, 2002