Utah Valley University

Location: Orem, Utah
Website: http://www.uvu.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 10th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Utah Valley University 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

  • Policy No. 541: Student Rights and Responsibilities Code

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: March 13, 2017

    A student assumes the responsibility to conduct himself or herself in an appropriate manner. Categories of misconduct include, but are not limited to, the following: … Sexual assault, harassment, or any other unwelcome verbal or physical sexual activity, including the support or assistance of such activities.

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Yellow Light Policies
  • Policy No. 541: Student Rights and Responsibilities Code

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: March 13, 2017

    A student, while properly enrolled at the institution, will have the right to the following institutional services, treatment and information: … E. Freedom from a discriminatory and offensive environment that may cause emotional stress or a hostile or offensive campus environment directed toward another person.

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  • Policy No. 441: Appropriate Use of Computing Facilities

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: March 13, 2017

    Illegal activities: Pertinent laws include, but are not limited to:

    Harassment: A course of conduct directed at a specific person that causes emotional distress in such person.

    Disorderly conduct: Utah law (76-9-102) prohibits a person from knowingly creating a hazardous or physically offensive condition by an act which serves no legitimate purpose. Intending to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk. Making unreasonable noises in a public place. Engaging in abusive or obscene language or making obscene gestures in a public place.

    Public displays: Utah law (76-10-1228) prohibits public display (at any establishment frequented by minors, or where the minors are invited as a part of the general public, i.e. UVU), any motion picture, or any still picture that consists of nude or partially denuded figures posed or presented in a manner to provoke or arouse lust or passion.

     

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Green Light Policies
  • Policy No. 541: Student Rights and Responsibilities Code

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: March 13, 2017

    A student, while properly enrolled at the University, will have the right to the following institutional services, treatment, and information:

    1) Free and open discussion, inquiry and expression, subject to constitutional limitations regarding time, place and manner.

    7) Full protection under the Constitution for freedom of the press, including constitutional limitations on prior restraint and censorship.

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  • Policy No. 165: Discrimination, Harassment, and Affirmative Action (Temporary Emergency)

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: March 13, 2017

    Harassment: Any unwelcome physical, verbal, or non-verbal conduct or written, graphic, or electronic statements or depictions (whether direct, indirect, or by third persons) toward an employee, student, or other person affiliated with the University based on that person’s inclusion in one or more protected classes that unreasonably interferes with that person’s work or academic performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or abusive work or learning environment, viewed from both a subjective and objective viewpoint based on a totality of the circumstances, including but not limited to the frequency and severity of the conduct, whether the conduct was physically threatening or humiliating, the effect of the conduct on the individual’s mental or emotional state, whether the conduct was directed at more than one person, whether the conduct arose in the context of other discriminatory conduct, and whether the speech or conduct deserves the protections of academic freedom or the First Amendment.

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  • Policy No. 441: Appropriate Use of Computing Facilities

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: March 13, 2017

    4.7 Free Expression

    4.7.1 Communications which originate from UVU facilities are free from censorship or prior restraint, except when they are illegal.

    4.7.2 Universities exist for the transmission of knowledge and the pursuit of truth. Censorship of material on partisan or doctrinal grounds is contrary to these goals.

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  • Policy No. 162: Sexual Misconduct

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: March 13, 2017

    Hostile environment: For purposes of this policy, any unwelcome verbal, physical, written, electronic, or non-verbal conduct (whether directly, indirectly, or through a third party) of a sexual nature, or related to an individual’s sex, pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, sexual orientation, or gender identity, that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to alter the conditions of employment or limit, interfere with, or deny educational benefits or opportunities, from both a subjective and objective viewpoint based on a totality of the circumstances, including but not limited to the frequency and severity of the conduct, whether the conduct was physically threatening or humiliating, the effect of the conduct on the individual’s mental or emotional state, whether the conduct was directed at more than one person, whether the conduct arose in the context of other discriminatory conduct, and whether the speech or conduct deserves the protections of academic freedom or the First Amendment.

    Sexual harassment: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal actions including lewd or sexually suggestive comments, jokes, questions, innuendoes, remarks about clothing, body, or previous or future sexual activity; physical actions including unwelcome touching, patting, hugging, or brushing against a person’s body; written, graphic, or electronic statements or depictions; or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature (whether the conduct is direct, indirect, or by third persons) when … Such conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive and it unreasonably interferes with an individual’s employment or educational performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or abusive environment for that individual’s employment, education, or participation in a university activity.

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  • Policy No. 161: Freedom of Speech (Temporary Emergency)

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: March 13, 2017

    Members of the university community shall have the right to freedom of speech and assembly without prior restraint or censorship, subject to clearly stated, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory rules and procedures regarding time, place, and manner.

    […]

    Although it is not necessary for a person planning a protest or demonstration to obtain prior permission from the University, the University encourages such persons to contact the Campus Scheduling Office to reserve or schedule a place in advance to ensure availability in accordance with UVU Policy 425 Scheduling Campus Facilities. University organizations and members of the university community reserving use of university facilities and places shall have preference over those who do not have a reservation.

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  • Policy No. 161: Freedom of Speech (Temporary Emergency)

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: March 13, 2017

    The University shall provide reasonable space indoors and outdoors for the posting of non-commercial signs, notices, posters, and banners by members of the university community. Subject to the limitations on unlawful/unprotected speech (section 4.2.2) and reasonable and nondiscriminatory time, place, and manner restrictions, such signs, notices, posters, and banners may deal with any subject matter, including but not limited to notices of meetings or events and expressions of positions and ideas on social or political topics.

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  • Utah Professors: University President Abused His Position By Defending Natural Marriage

    May 6, 2015

    By Drew Belsky at Life Site OREM, UT, May 6, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) — Utah Valley University (UVU) has become the latest front in the simmering debate over the definition of marriage. On Saturday, over 100 UVU faculty members, calling themselves “(More than) 100 Scholars Committed to Diversity and Inclusion,” penned a letter for the Salt Lake Tribune blasting their university’s president, Matthew Holland, for his support of marriage defined as between one man and one woman. Holland had added his signature to an amici curiae brief filed with the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges, a consolidation of four cases […]

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  • Fighting Words 101

    March 14, 2005

    Colorado legislator Bob Hagedorn admits that when he proposed Senate Bill 85 in December, he was thinking of himself. In the wake of last fall’s polarizing race for the White House, Hagedorn, a Democrat who is also a political-science professor at Metropolitan State College in Denver, grew more and more worried about saying the wrong thing as his students debated contentious issues like George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind initiative and the teaching of creationism in schools. Earlier in the year, students had filed bias complaints against a colleague who had criticized Republicans. “I’m thinking ‘My God, we don’t […]

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  • FIRE’s Azhar Majeed on Utah Valley’s Speech Codes

    July 3, 2013

    FIRE Associate Director of Legal and Public Advocacy Azhar Majeed spoke earlier this week with Alex Sousa of the UVU Review, Utah Valley University’s student newspaper, about the public institution’s two “red light” speech codes—policies that clearly and substantially restrict freedom of speech. As Sousa’s article notes, both red light policies deal with sexual harassment, an issue of particular concern to FIRE and other free speech advocates after the Departments of Education and Justice’s May 9 “blueprint” letter mandating overbroad sexual harassment policies on campuses across the country. One of UVU’s speech codes prohibits, among other things, “any … unwelcome […]

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