University of Texas at El Paso

Location: El Paso, Texas
Website: http://www.utep.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 5th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

University of Texas at El Paso 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
  • Handbook of Operating Procedures: Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct- Definitions

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 27, 2016

    Other Inappropriate Sexual Conduct – 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.

    Sexual Misconduct – A broad term encompassing a range of non-consensual sexual activity or unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature. The term includes, but is not limited to, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual intimidation, sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Sexual misconduct can be committed by men or women, strangers or acquaintances, and can occur between or among people of the same or opposite sex.

    » Read More


Green Light Policies
  • Handbook of Operating Procedures: Speech, Expression and Assembly- General Rule on Public Assemblies

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

    » Read More

  • Handbook of Operating Procedures: Speech, Expression, and Assembly- Governing Principle

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: September 27, 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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  • Handbook of Operating Procedures: Speech, Expression and Assembly- Prohibited Expression

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 27, 2016

    No person shall make, distribute, or display on the campus any statement that constitutes verbal harassment of any other person. This section applies to all speech on the campus, including speech that is part of teaching, research, or other official functions of the University. “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 2.2.4.1.1 below.

    2.2.4.1.1 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 in Section V: Human Resources and Equal Opportunity of this Handbook are rarely, if ever, necessary to argue for or against the substance of any political, religious, philosophical, ideological, or academic idea.

    Verbal harassment may consist of threats, insults, epithets, ridicule, personal attacks, or the categories of harassing sexual speech set forth in Section V: Human Resources and Equal Opportunity of this Handbook 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.

    » Read More


  • Colleges Blasted Over ‘Free-Speech’ Zones

    May 29, 2003

    By Lisa Falkenberg at The Associated Press DALLAS (AP) — Time and again, Ruben Reyes asked the University of Texas at El Paso for permission to hold protests about environmental dangers, the administration and censorship — typical stuff for a campus demonstration. Each time, Reyes was turned down by officials who said the student union where the creative writing student wanted to talk was not one of the two “free-speech zones” on the campus of 17,000 students. Reyes responded by joining a growing number of students around the country who have taken university officials to court, complaining that free speech is […]

    » Read More
  • A space for speech

    April 28, 2003

    By Sarah Muench, Web Devil (Arizona State University)

    » Read More
At present, FIRE does not maintain information on this school's policies.