Virginia State University

Location: Petersburg, Virginia
Type: Public
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Speech Code Rating

Virginia State 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
  • Student Organization Handbook: Rallies, Public Assemblies and Demonstrations

    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: August 29, 2019

    Organizations require written approval from the Department of Student Activities and Campus Police Department. An “Application for Demonstrations and Assemblies” form must be submitted to the Department of Student Activities at least 10 days in advance of the demonstration. Read More
  • Student Handbook: Student Code of Conduct- Sexual Harassment

    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 29, 2019

    Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination based on sex. It is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other conduct of a sexual nature including: verbal (e.g., specific demands for sexual favors, sexual innuendoes, sexually suggestive comments, jokes of a sexual nature, sexual propos... Read More
  • Student Handbook: Assembly Rights

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: August 29, 2019

    Students or organizers must inform the Department of Student Activities and Campus Police Department of their intent to assemble. An “Application for Demonstrations and Assemblies” form must be submitted to the Department of Student Activities at least five (5) business days in advance of the demonstration. Read More
  • Student Handbook: Resident Bill of Rights

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: August 29, 2019

    All students will be held accountable for violations of any rules and regulations of Virginia State University policies and procedures as provided in this Student Handbook and the Community Living Guide. You have the right to the following … Environments free from fear of intimidation, physical and emotional h... Read More
  • Student Handbook: Student Code of Conduct- Disorderly Conduct

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies
    Last updated: August 29, 2019

    (5) Disorderly Conduct … (B) Harassment, threats, bullying, physical abuse, intimidation, and the threat of physical abuse, including bias-related incidents, are prohibited. Read More
  • Student Organization Handbook: Distribution of Literature

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: August 29, 2019

    Registered student organizations may sell, distribute or display literature on campus in accordance with the following guidelines: … The material must be approved and signed by the Department of Student Activities. The material must identify the name of the student organization. Read More
  • Student Organization Handbook: Posting Signs

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: August 29, 2019

    The term “sign” may include billboard, decal, notice, poster, banner, fliers, and any kind of hand-held sign. The following guidelines apply for publicly posting signs on University property: … All signs must be approved and signed by the Department of Student Activities before they are distributed... Read More
  • Student Handbook: Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, and Retaliation

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 29, 2019

    Harassment is a form of discrimination in which unwelcome verbal, written, or physical conduct is directed toward an individual on the basis of their protected characteristics or statuses, by any member of the campus community. Harassment does not have to include intent to harm, be directed at a specific target, or ... Read More
At present, FIRE has not been publicly involved in any cases at this school.
  • Speech Code of the Month: Virginia State University

    May 17, 2017

    FIRE announces our Speech Code of the Month for May 2017: Virginia State University. This is Virginia State’s second time earning the Speech Code of the Month distinction; the last time was in December 2013, for a policy the university has since revised. Sadly, however, the university has not learned its lesson about speech codes… Read more

  • Speech Codes of the Year: 2013

    December 26, 2013

    Each month, FIRE singles out a particularly reprehensible campus speech code for our Speech Code of the Month designation. While all of 2013’s Speech Codes of the Month flagrantly violated students’ or faculty members’ right to free expression, two of them were so egregious that they deserve special mention as 2013’s Speech Codes of the Year. Troy… Read more

  • Speech Code of the Month: Virginia State University

    December 11, 2013

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for December 2013: Virginia State University. According to Virginia State’s Student Code of Conduct (PDF), “[s]tudents shall not injure, harass, threaten, offend, or degrade a member of the University community” (emphasis added). Any violation of this provision “is subject to disciplinary sanctions including, but not limited to warning, probation, loss of… Read more