Youngstown State University

Location: Youngstown, Ohio
Website: http://www.ysu.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 6th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Youngstown 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 here.

This school does not have any cases at this time.

Red Light Policies

  • Resident Handbook: Harassment/Threats

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: June 24, 2015

    You are expected to treat all persons with respect and dignity. You should not harass any individual or group. Harassment is defined as a course of conduct which subjects a person or group of persons to unwanted physical contact, or the threat of such contact, or which seriously threatens or alarms a person or group. This includes activity over the phone or via the internet. (Also see Physical or Verbal Abuse.) Display or distribution of material that is offensive to others is prohibited.

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  • Resident Handbook: Student Networking Protocol

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: June 24, 2015

    Do not harass others or send threatening, offensive, or obscene materials or messages to others. Altering of email headers is prohibited.

    » Read More


Yellow Light Policies
  • Responsible Use of University Computing Resources

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: June 24, 2015

    Any form of harassment by electronic means (e.g., email, web access, phone, paging) whether through language, content, frequency or size of messages is prohibited.

    Examples of Unacceptable Use: … Using technology resources to engage in fraud, defamatory, abusive, unethical, indecent, obscene, pornographic and/or unlawful activities is prohibited.

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  • University Guidebook: Discrimination/Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: June 24, 2015

    Unlawful workplace harassment is conduct that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance. For the purposes of this policy, it is conduct based on sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, disability, or veteran status or any other basis protected by law. It can also be conduct involving epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping, or threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts, or written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion and that is on the premise or circulated in the workplace.

    Examples of inappropriate conduct which may constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to: … Sexual innuendo, suggestive sexual comments, notes or letters. Sexual comments or inappropriate references to gender. Sexually oriented kidding or other harassing acts or behavior directed against a person on the basis of an individual’s sex or sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression. Teasing or joking, sexually degrading or vulgar words. The display of sexually oriented obscene printed or visual material (including through e-mail or Internet use or other electronic means). Use of offensive gestures or body motions ….

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  • Student Organization Policies: Invitation of Off-Campus Speakers

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: June 24, 2015

    A request in writing to invite an outside speaker will be considered by the Vice President for Student Affairs only when made by a registered student organization at least ten University working days in advance of the scheduled event. The request shall include (a) the name of the sponsoring organization; (b) name of the speaker; (c) time and date; (d) desired location of the meeting; (e) expected size of the audience; and (f) topic of speech.

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  • Student Organization Policies

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: June 24, 2015

    Students acting individually or on behalf of a registered student organization/group may distribute written material at designated on-campus locations after reserving those locations with the site administrator.

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  • Resident Handbook: Obscene Material

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: June 24, 2015

    Obscene materials including posters, signs etc. are not allowed in public areas (suite common area doors & walls, hall walls and outside of room doors). Obscene material is defined as 1) Material that is overtly, sexually suggestive. 2) Material that is offensive or morally objectionable to the community standard. 3) Material that is utterly without any social or artistic value.

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  • The Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct: Student Conduct Standards

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: June 24, 2015

    Use of computing facilities and resources to send obscene or abusive messages.

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  • The Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct: Student Conduct Standards

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: June 24, 2015

    Physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, stalking, bullying and/or coercion which endangers or tends to endanger the safety, health, or life of any person (including self).

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  • The Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct: Sexual Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: June 24, 2015

    Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that represents unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment may occur when: … The conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s curricular, co-curricular, or work performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational, employment, or on-campus living environment.

     

    Examples of inappropriate conduct which may constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, the following, when such acts or behaviors come within one of the above definitions: …
    d. Displaying or transmitting sexually suggestive language, pictures, objects, cartoons, or posters.
    e. Writing sexually suggestive notes or letters.
    f. Referring to or calling a person a sexually oriented name.
    g. Telling sexual jokes or using sexually vulgar or explicit language.
    h. Derogatory or provoking remarks about or relating to an individual’s sex or sexual orientation.
    i. Harassing acts or behavior directed against a person on the basis of an individual’s sex or sexual orientation.
    j. Off-campus conduct which falls within the above definition and affects the individual’s on-campus environment.

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  • Resident Handbook: Physical or Verbal Abuse

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: June 24, 2015

    You are expected to treat all persons with respect and dignity. You are not permitted to physically or verbally assault any resident including yourself. This includes sexual assault, harassment and/or threats. Slurs regarding a person’s racial, ethnic, or sexual orientation are considered verbal abuse. All forms of physical or verbal abuse are prohibited, including over the phone or via the internet/social media (i.e. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter)

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  • Sexual and Relationship Violence

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: June 24, 2015

    As a recipient of Federal financial assistance the University is subject to the requirements and prohibitions of Title IX.

    Under Title IX discrimination on the basis of sex can include:

    SEXUAL HARASSMENT: unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

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Green Light Policies
  • The Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct: Basic Rights

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: June 24, 2015

    The following enumeration of basic rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage other rights and privileges retained by students in their capacity as members of the student body or as citizens of the community at large:

    1. The right of free inquiry, expression, and/or assembly.

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  • Advocacy Group Takes Aim at Several YSU Policies

    April 17, 2014

    By Lauren Wood at WKBN The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, using the website thefire.org, analyzes speech policies on universities across the country and grades them green light, yellow light or red light. FIRE said its mission is to make students and universities aware of policies that are not in line with the rights granted by the First Amendment. YSU is one of 10 Ohio universities to receive red light ratings from the agency for at least one policy. FIRE said its concern is with several anti-harassment policies that ban “offensive” speech. They said “offensive” is too broad a term and […]

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  • Do campus tribunals wield too much power?

    March 13, 2006

    By John Higgins at The Beacon Journal A Summit County jury found Charles Plinton not guilty of selling drugs to a confidential informant in 2004. A few weeks later, a University of Akron disciplinary board found him “responsible” for “selling drugs to a confidential informant.” The difference between those two words — guilty and responsible — may not sound meaningful to the average person. But it’s a distinction that begins to explain the secretive world of college justice in which campus committees may re-try the facts of serious crimes after criminal courts have already decided them. Critics see the hearings […]

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  • Youngstown State University Leads Censorship of ‘Straight Pride’ Posters

    May 22, 2015

    Last month, flyers advertising “Straight Pride Week” were posted at Youngstown State University (YSU) in Ohio, asking students to celebrate thusly: “Just … go about your day without telling everyone about how ‘different’ you are.” Reporting at the time indicated that the Student Government Association got in touch with administrators in order to receive permission to take the posters down, but email correspondence recently obtained through a public records request suggests that the YSU administration initiated the censorship itself. It is still not clear who hung the flyers, but small text at the bottom said: Brought to you by the […]

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