University of Texas at Arlington

Location: Arlington, Texas
Website: http://www.uta.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 5th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

University of Texas at Arlington 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.

Yellow Light Policies
  • Policy 11-200: Speech, Expression and Assembly- Prohibited Expression

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: June 30, 2016

    1. “Verbal harassment” means hostile or offensive speech, oral, written or symbolic that

    a.  personally describes or is personally directed to one or more specific individuals; and

    b.  is sufficiently severe, pervasive or persistent to create an objectively hostile environment that interferes with or diminishes the victim’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities or privileges provided by the University; and

    c.  is not necessary to the expression of any idea described in paragraph 2 of this subsection.

    2.   To make an argument for or against the substance of any political, religious, philosophical, ideological or academic idea is not verbal harassment even if some listeners are offended by the argument or idea. The categories of sexually harassing speech set forth by the UT Arlington Standards of Conduct Guide are rarely, if ever, necessary to argue for or against the substance of any political, religious, philosophical, ideological or academic idea.

    3.  Verbal harassment may consist of threats, insults, epithets, ridicule, personal attacks or the categories of harassing sexual speech set forth by the UT Arlington Standards of Conduct Guide and is often based on the victim’s appearance, personal characteristics or group membership, including but not limited to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, citizenship, veteran status, sexual orientation, ideology, political views or political affiliation.

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  • Policy 5-513: Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: June 30, 2016

    This Policy applies to all University administrators, faculty, staff, students, third parties within the institution’s control, including visitors, and applicants for employment. It applies to conduct regardless of where it occurs, including off University property, if it potentially affects the complainant’s education or employment with the University.

    Definitions: …

    Other Inappropriate Conduct of a Sexual Nature: Includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature directed towards another individual that does not rise to the level of sexual harassment but is unprofessional, inappropriate for the workplace or classroom and is not protected speech. It also includes consensual sexual conduct that is unprofessional and inappropriate for the workplace or classroom.

    Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature including but not limited to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a person’s student status, employment, or participation in university activities; such conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it interferes with an individual’s education, employment, or participation in university activities, or creates an objectively hostile environment; or such conduct is intentionally directed towards a specific individual and has the effect of unreasonably interfering with that individual’s education, employment, or participation in university activities, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that includes:

    1. Verbal conduct not necessary to an argument for or against the substance of any political, religious, philosophical, ideological, or academic idea, including oral, written, or symbolic expression, including but not limited to:
      1. explicit or implicit propositions to engage in sexual activity;
      2. gratuitous comments, jokes, questions, anecdotes or remarks of a sexual nature about clothing or bodies;
      3. gratuitous remarks about sexual activities or speculation about sexual experiences;
      4. persistent, unwanted sexual or romantic attention;
      5. subtle or overt pressure for sexual favors;
      6. exposure to sexually suggestive visual displays such as photographs, graffiti, posters, calendars or other materials; or
      7. deliberate, repeated humiliation or intimidation based upon sex.

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Green Light Policies
  • Policy 11-900: Speech, Expression and Assembly- Public Assemblies Without Amplified Sound

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: June 30, 2016

    “Publicly assemble” and “public assembly” include any gathering of persons, including discussions, rallies, and demonstrations. … University persons and organizations may publicly assemble on campus in any place where, at the time of the assembly, the persons assembling are permitted to be.

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  • Policy 11-100: Speech, Expression and Assembly- Governing Principles

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: June 30, 2016

    The freedoms of speech, expression and assembly are fundamental rights of all persons and are central to the mission of the University. Students, faculty and staff have the right to assemble, to speak, and to attempt to attract the attention of others and corresponding rights to hear the speech of others when they choose to listen, and to ignore the speech of others when they choose not to listen.

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  • Commentary: ‘Sexual Harassers’ Protest Guns on Campus

    August 26, 2016

    By Robert Shibley at Austin American-Statesman Hundreds of students at the University of Texas participated in a campus carry protest on Wednesday, with many carrying sex toys donated by local merchants to protest the concealed carry of firearms on campus. As one student organizer of the protest said, “The dildos will stay as long as the guns are here. So if you’re uncomfortable with my dildo, you cannot imagine how uncomfortable I am with your gun.”… Read more here.

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  • Right to Wear Greek Letters Vindicated at UT Arlington

    November 30, 2012

    Recently, FIRE intervened at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) after the Sigma Phi Epsilon (SigEp) fraternity brought to our attention what I suspect is an all-too-common punishment against fraternities and sororities: the prohibition on displaying their letters in any way while the chapter was under investigation. After FIRE brought this issue to UTA’s attention, the university promised that students and student organizations at UTA enjoy the full freedoms of the First Amendment.  Here’s the background on the chain of events resulting in this unconstitutional punishment for SigEp, as we wrote in a letter to UTA President James D. […]

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