University of Vermont

Location: Burlington, Vermont
Website: http://www.uvm.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 2nd Circuit

Speech Code Rating

University of Vermont 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.
Speech Code Memorandum for the University of Vermont

Yellow Light Policies
  • Solicitation 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: January 21, 2015

    Prior registration is generally not required for casual forms of non-commercial solicitation, such as leafleting, that do not involve the dedicated or exclusive use of University buildings, grounds, or facilities, provided that access to, or the use of buildings, grounds or facilities may be subject to restrictions designed to protect safety, or to avoid undue disruption of customary campus activities.

    Unless they have already been reserved, lawful non-commercial solicitation may occur without prior reservations at the following venues:

    a Royall Tyler Theatre plaza
    b Davis Center Oval
    c Davis Center Outdoor Stage area
    d Bailey-Howe quad area
    e the University Green area south of the Ira Allen statue
    f Waterman main (east) entrance plaza
    g Waterman College Street (south) entrance plaza

    “Noncommercial solicitation” includes, without limitation, petition drives, public opinion polling, membership drives for recognized groups and organizations, preaching, proselytizing, political organizing, political canvassing, and political campaigning. It also includes charitable fundraising for the benefit of the University, University-recognized groups and organizations, or other nonprofit or charitable organizations.

    » Read More

  • Student Alcohol and Other Drug Policy 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: January 21, 2015

    The sponsoring organization is responsible for any publicity, advertising, marketing, or promotion that is disseminated in conjunction with the event and must ensure adherence to the following guidelines: … Advertisements should be consistent with University policy discouraging the demeaning sexual or discriminatory portrayals of individuals or groups.

    » Read More

  • Sexual Harassment: Students 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: January 21, 2015

    Sexual harassment: means conduct that includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, written, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when one or more of the following occur: … The conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially undermining and detracting from or interfering with a student’s educational performance or access to school
    resources or creating an objectively intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.

    Examples of sexual harassment may include, but are not limited to, the following: … persistent, offensive, and unwelcome sexual jokes and comments; unwelcome displays of sexually graphic pictures.

    » Read More

  • Bias Response Program: What is Bias? 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: January 21, 2015

    Bias is a personal inclination or temperament based on unreasoned judgment or belief. Bias may be reflected in behavior (verbal, nonverbal, or written) that is threatening, harassing, intimidating, discriminatory, hostile, unwelcoming, exclusionary, demeaning, degrading, or derogatory and is based on a person’s real or perceived identity or group affiliation, including (but not limited to) race, age, disability status, gender, gender identity/expression, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran status or religion.

    Depending on the nature and severity of the behavior, the associated bias, and impact, incidents will be addressed as appropriate through interventions such as: education, restorative practices, community dialogue, and formal processes through institutional offices (e.g., review, investigation, resolution). Not every incident will be a violation of university policy or law, however all reported incidents will be reviewed for an appropriate response.

    Note: This definition of a bias incident is intentionally broad to reflect our values to create and sustain an inclusive, safe, and productive community for all of our members.

    » Read More


Green Light Policies
  • Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities: Offenses Against Persons 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: January 21, 2015

    Prohibited conduct includes physical harm or words or behavior that has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning environment that substantially interferes with another’s ability to participate in or realize the intended benefits of educational or employment opportunities, peaceful enjoyment of residence, or physical security and which is not protected by the First Amendment.

    » Read More

  • Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities: Student Rights 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: January 21, 2015

    [T]he University of Vermont considers freedom of inquiry and discussion essential to a student’s educational development. Thus, the University recognizes the right of all students to engage in discussion, to exchange thought and opinion, and to speak, write, or publish freely on any subject, in accordance with the guarantees of the United States and Vermont constitutions. This broad principle is the cornerstone of education in a democracy.

    » Read More

  • Campus Demonstrations 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: January 21, 2015

    Fundamental to our entire philosophy is our firm belief that rights guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, including rights to freedom of speech, peaceful assembly, petition, and association must be protected on the campus as elsewhere, and that local, state, and federal laws must prevail on the campus.

    » Read More

  • Harassment: Students 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: January 21, 2015

    A. “Harassment” means an incident or incidents of verbal, written, visual, or physical conduct based on or motivated by a student’s or a student’s family member’s actual or perceived race, creed, color, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, or disability that has the purpose or effect of objectively and substantially undermining and detracting from or interfering with a student’s educational performance or access to school resources or creating an objectively intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.

    B. “Harassment” includes conduct which violates subdivision (A) of this definition and constitutes one or more of the following: B.1. Sexual harassment, which means conduct that includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal, written, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when one or both of the following occur: B.1.a Submission to that conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a student’s education. B.1.b Submission to or rejection of such conduct by a student is used as a component of the basis for decisions affecting that student. B.2 Racial harassment, which means conduct directed at the characteristics of a student’s or a student’s family member’s actual or perceived race or color, and includes the use of epithets, stereotypes, racial slurs, comments, insults, derogatory remarks, gestures, threats, graffiti, display, or circulation of written or visual material, and taunts on manner of speech and negative references to racial customs. B.3. Harassment also includes verbal, written, visual, or physical communications and/or conduct based on or motivated by a student’s age that has the purpose or effect (1) of substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance or access to University resources or (2) of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive learning environment. Harassment may include the use of epithets, stereotypes, slurs, comments, insults, derogatory remarks, gestures, threats, graffiti, display, or circulation of written or visual material, taunts, and negative references related to age.

    » Read More


This school does not have any media coverage at this time.
  • Student Papers at U of Alabama, U of Vermont Demonstrate the Value of a Free Press

    February 27, 2014

    In case Torch readers wanted more examples of the value of a free student press on college and university campuses, recent columns in student newspapers at the University of Alabama (UA) and the University of Vermont (UVM) fit the bill.

    » Read More
  • Harvey Silverglate on Campus Isolation: ‘Tear Down this Wall’

    September 13, 2007

    FIRE co-founder and board chairman, Harvey Silverglate has written a truly insightful post on The Phoenix’s “Free for All” blog about the University of Vermont’s new mega-student center/administrative headquarters/hive complex in Burlington and what it says about the problems of modern campus culture: The tendency of colleges—in Burlington, Cambridge, and just about everywhere else—to turn the campus into a company town of sorts, and keep the students penned in rather than out on the town, surely helps preserve the oddly isolated culture that has afflicted American campuses of higher education, where the values and practices of the “real world” grow […]

    » Read More
  • ‘Free Speech…With Permission Only’

    April 18, 2005

    Check out this excellent article by Ron Jacobs of the University of Vermont (UVM) in CounterPunch’s weekend edition about free speech on campuses including UC Berkeley, Harvard University, Emerson College, and UVM. Here’s an excerpt: There is currently a regulation on the books here at UVM (where I work) that demands that any group—whether student or not—get a permit to espouse their philosophy on campus. Why? What is the university afraid of? Communists? Out of control religious zealots? And who made them the arbiter of who should be allowed to have freedom of speech and who should not? These regulations […]

    » Read More