University of Southern Indiana

Location: Evansville, Indiana
Website: http://www.usi.edu/
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 7th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

University of Southern Indiana 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.

At present, FIRE has not been involved in any cases at this school.

Red Light Policies

  • Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct Policy

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 25, 2016

    This policy applies to all members of the University community, including faculty, administrators, support staff, student workers, and students.

    Harassment is a course of conduct that creates what a reasonable person would perceive as an intimidating, offensive, or hostile working or learning environment. This includes conduct affecting tangible job benefits, interfering unreasonably with an individual’s academic or work performance, or (in the case of individuals living on campus) adversely affecting their living conditions. Such harassment can be physical, verbal, or visual and other nonverbal actions, and can be committed by employers, faculty, administrators, support staff, co-workers, students, and third parties.

    a) Examples of harassment include but are not limited to:

    i. making ethnic slurs or “jokes” based on race or religious beliefs that are targeted against a specific individual or individuals

    1) As stated in Section IX of this policy, such comments that are legitimately and reasonably related to the University’s mission of education (e.g. a class discussion or exercise about examples of discriminatory slurs or jokes, reviews of “racist” literature or videos, reviews of the history of discrimination) will generally not be considered to be a violation of this policy.

    ii. openly displaying offensive material (e.g., display of a pornographic website or magazine in view of other students or employees)

    iii. gossiping, spreading rumors, or intrusive questioning related to an individual’s protected characteristics (e.g., religious beliefs, sexual orientation)

     

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  • Student Handbook: Student Rights and Responsibilities- Social Media Policy

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: August 25, 2016

    Students may not: …

    • Make comments about members of the USI community either in a specific or non-specific way which negates the culture of civility on USI’s campus.

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Yellow Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Student Rights and Responsibilities- Threatening or Intimidating Behavior

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 25, 2016

    Behavior that involves an expressed or implied threat, which includes, but is not limited to the use of words verbal, written, or electronic (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) inherently likely to provide an immediate violent reaction when directed toward a specific individual, or any behavior that has the purpose or reasonably foreseeable effect of creating a hostile environment by, but not limited to, interfering with another individual’s personal safety, safety of property, academic efforts, employment, or participation in University-sponsored activities and causes that person to have a reasonable apprehension that such harm is about to occur, is prohibited.

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  • Data Communications and Computer Use Policy

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: August 25, 2016

    Unacceptable activities … 12. Sending or leaving abusive, obscene messages or content via computer. 13. Harassing other users by the sending unwanted messages or files.

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  • Student Handbook: Student Rights and Responsibilities- Disorderly Conduct/Indecent Behavior

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 25, 2016

    Disorderly, lewd, indecent, bullying, cyber-bullying, or obscene conduct is prohibited, including the expression of such on University-owned or -controlled property or at University-sponsored or -supervised events, on or off campus.

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  • Student Affairs: USI Creed

    Speech Code Category: Policies Restricting Freedom of Conscience
    Last updated: August 25, 2016

    Member of the USI community…

    I will practice personal and academic integrity; I will reject and confront all manifestations of discrimination while striving to learn from differences in people, ideas, and opinions;

    I will demonstrate concern for others, their feelings, their property, and their need for conditions which support their work and development;

    Allegiance to these ideals requires that I refrain from and discourage behaviors which threaten the freedom and respect every individual deserves.

    If you experience or observe actions on campus which are not in accordance with the USI Creed, please contact the Dean of Students Office at 812/464-1862.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Student Organizations and Activities- Sales, Solicitation, and Fundraising

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: August 25, 2016

    Solicitation shall be defined as the act of making a request or plea for one’s cause or philanthropy and includes the receipt of or request for any gift or contribution.

    Application for approval for sales, solicitation, and fundraising (including athletic events and events held in Housing and Residence Life areas) must be initiated with the Office of Student Development Programs. Approval for all activities must be received prior to beginning these activities. This must occur whether or not you are reserving university space.

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  • Student Handbook: Student Rights and Responsibilities- Harassment (General)

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 25, 2016

    Harassment is any conduct based on the victim’s actual or perceived identification with a particular class or classes protected by law or University policy that creates an intimidating, offensive or hostile working or learning environment that interferes with the victim’s work or education, or that adversely affects their living conditions. Such harassment can be physical, verbal or visual, and can be committed by employers, coworkers, faculty and students. Statements and/or conduct legitimately and reasonably related to the University’s mission of education will generally not constitute harassment under this policy.

    » Read More


Green Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Student Rights and Responsibilities- Student’s Rights

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: August 25, 2016

    A student has the right to participate in a free exchange of ideas, and there shall be no University policy that in any way abridges the rights of freedom of speech, expression, petition, and peaceful assembly in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws.

    » Read More


At present, FIRE does not maintain information on this school's policies.
  • University of Southern Indiana Adopts the Chicago Statement

    August 31, 2016

    The University of Southern Indiana (USI) has added the Chicago Statement—the FIRE-endorsed principles declaring free expression paramount on campus—to its employee handbook. USI joins more than a dozen other institutions at which faculty or administrative bodies have formally endorsed the 2015 University of Chicago (UChicago)-authored statement, which FIRE has called the gold standard for free speech policy statements in higher education. “We believe that that statement really speaks to the way the university believes we should be approaching and interpreting speech,” said Kindra Strupp, USI’s Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications. While some schools have chosen to tailor the […]

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  • Student Paper Highlights University of Southern Indiana’s Speech Codes

    April 9, 2010

    In an article published yesterday in The Shield, the student newspaper at the University of Southern Indiana (USI), student Zach Evans highlights the unconstitutional speech policies in force at USI. Evans opens with an examination of USI’s free speech zone policy. With that in mind, what does free speech mean at USI? It all begins in the area set aside for the sole purpose of the exercise of free speech. Universities were at one point in time were (sic) the breeding ground for social activism and political protest.  During the 1960’s and 70’s the Vietnam War polarized young adults who […]

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