Vassar College

Location: Poughkeepsie, New York
Type: Private

Speech Code Rating

Vassar College has been given the speech code rating Warning. FIRE provides a "Warning" rating to prospective students and faculty members when a private university clearly and consistently states that it holds a certain set of values above a commitment to freedom of speech. Read more
  • College Regulations: Cyberethics, Internet Safety, and Community Standards

    Speech Code Rating: Not Yet Rated
    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: June 17, 2020

    Vassar’s computer regulations set clear guidelines in accordance with college regulations to govern conduct on computers (see above). Cyberethics and Internet safety are issues that all community members must be aware of to ensure a healthy, safe, and respectful campus environment. Cyberethics codes of responsible a... Read More
  • College Regulations: Statement on Civility and Responsibility in an Academic Community

    Speech Code Rating: Not Yet Rated
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: June 17, 2020

    [M]embers of the college community accept constraints, similar to those of parliamentary debate, against personal attacks or courts of law against the use of inflammatory language. Under the rule of civility, individuals within the community are expected to behave reasonably, use speech responsibly, and respect the ... Read More
  • College Regulations: Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment

    Speech Code Rating: Not Yet Rated
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: June 17, 2020

    Discriminatory Harassment is unwelcome conduct directed toward an individual based on the individual’s actual or perceived race, color, religion or religious belief, citizenship status, sex, marital status, disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, military service or... Read More
  • College Regulations: Bias Incident and Hate Crime Protocol

    Speech Code Rating: Not Yet Rated
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: June 17, 2020

    A bias incident is characterized as a behavior or act—verbal, written, or physical—which is personally directed against or targets an individual or group based on perceived or actual characteristics such as race, color, religious belief, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, nationa... Read More
At present, FIRE has not been publicly involved in any cases at this school.
  • In Due Process Lawsuit, Court Rules in Favor of Vassar College

    April 1, 2015

    Yesterday, in a closely watched lawsuit brought by a student expelled from Vassar College for sexual assault, a federal district court issued a ruling sharply in favor of the private liberal arts college. Granting Vassar College’s motion for summary judgment in Yu v. Vassar College, federal judge Ronnie Abrams of the United States District Court… Read more

  • Boring Campuses: Not Just the Fault of Helicopter Parents

    April 16, 2014

    In a new article, Slate’s Rebecca Schuman laments the phenomenon of colleges and universities becoming toned-down, less playful, even boring. Schuman argues that this is in part due to parents over-planning their kids’ lives, leaving them incapable of finding creative ways to have fun when they’re older and on their own: A recent trip back… Read more

  • Found Guilty of ‘Improper Sexual Behavior,’ Expelled Vassar Student Files Suit

    July 30, 2013

    Former Vassar College student Xiaolu Yu has filed a lawsuit against the college, claiming that sexual discrimination and a lack of due process led to the school finding him guilty of “improper sexual behavior” a year after he had consensual sex with another student. The allegations might sound familiar to Torchreaders; former St. Joseph’s University… Read more

  • Controversy over New Independent Newspaper at Vassar Spikes Student Interest in Free Speech

    December 10, 2010

    At Vassar College recently, there was some controversy surrounding the Vassar Student Association Council’s (VSA’s) approval of the publication of The Vassar Chronicle, a new political journal created by the Moderate, Independent and Conservative Alliance (MICA). Vassar’s student-run publication, The Miscellany News, has been covering both sides of the discussion surrounding the Chronicle‘s trial run.  In… Read more

  • More Commentary on ‘New York Times’ Piece

    June 29, 2007

    On Wednesday, Greg expressed his disappointment with Joseph Berger’s column in The New York Times, which discussed Evan Maloney’s film “Indoctrinate U” and painted a picture of the status of free speech on campus using a much sunnier color palette than we would have chosen. Apparently, we weren’t the only ones bothered by Berger’s conclusions…. Read more

  • Politics vs. Porn

    September 30, 2005

    Earlier this week, my FIRE colleague Robert Shibley called Torch readers’ attention to a free speech controversy at Vassar College. Students there were outraged by the latest issue of The Imperialist, the publication of Vassar’s Moderate, Independent, and Conservative Alliance (MICA), because it criticized self-segregation on the part of minority students. There were many calls… Read more

  • More Bad News for Student Press Freedom

    September 27, 2005

    Evidence has begun to roll in showing that the freedom of the student press is under assault as never before. It’s certainly bad enough that our own federal court system is attacking the free campus press through the Seventh Circuit’s en banc decision in Hosty v. Carter (now being appealed to the Supreme Court)—but hold… Read more