University of Iowa
A red light university has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech. Read more here.
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On this page, FIRE has excerpted policies that address speech and expression. You may download the full policy in .pdf form, below.
Restrictions on Expressive Rights
Harassment Policies (Learn More)
Code of Student Life 12-13
Personal conduct perceived as threatening or harassing is considered a violation of the Code of Student Life under a reasonable person standard even if the student did not intend to discomfort the party who felt threatened or harassed, or the party to the unwanted attention did not specifically direct the student to refrain from contacting him/her. After an individual does request that a student refrain from contacting him or her, further communication is ordinarily considered an act of prohibited harassment.
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Policies & Regulations Affecting Students: Sexual Misconduct Involving Students, Including Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment 12-13
Comments or communications could be verbal, written, or electronic. Behavior does not need to be directed at or to a specific student, but rather may be generalized unwelcomed and unnecessary comments based on sex or gender stereotypes.
Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination that includes verbal, written, or physical behavior of a sexual nature, directed at someone, or against a particular group, because of that person's or group's sex, or based on gender stereotypes, when that behavior is unwelcome and meets either of the following criteria: ... (2) The behavior has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with the student's work or educational performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning environment for employment, education, on-campus living, or participation in a University activity. Examples of this type of sexual harassment can include:
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(a) persistent unwelcomed efforts to develop a romantic or sexual relationship
(b) unwelcome commentary about an individual's body or sexual activities
(c) unwanted sexual attention
(d) repeated and unwelcome sexually-oriented teasing, joking, or flirting
(e) verbal abuse of a sexual nature.
Policies & Regulations Affecting Students: University Policy on Sexual Harassment 12-13
Behavior that may be considered evidence of prohibited sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, the following: ... c) Direct propositions of a sexual nature;
(d) Subtle pressure for sexual activity, an element of which may be repeated staring;
(e) A pattern of sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes, or anecdotes, whether made orally, in writing, or through electronic media (see also II-19 Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources) ... (g) A display of graphic sexual material (not legitimately related to the subject matter of a course, if one is involved, or to job requirements) in a context where others are not free to avoid the display because of an employment or educational requirement or without surrendering a privilege or opportunity that others may reasonably expect to enjoy in that location.
For purposes of this policy, "sexual harassment" means persistent, repetitive, or egregious conduct directed at a specific individual or group of individuals that a reasonable person would interpret, in the full context in which the conduct occurs, as harassment of a sexual nature, when: ... (c) Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with work or educational performance, or of creating an intimidating or hostile environment for employment, education, on-campus living, or participation in a University activity.
View full policy (PDF, 689 KB).
Policies & Regulations Affecting Students: University Policy on Anti-Harassment 12-13
"Harassment" means intentional conduct directed toward an identifiable person or persons that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent that it interferes with work, educational performance, on-campus living, or participation in a University activity on- or off-campus.
Behavior that may be considered evidence of prohibited harassment, if it meets the definition set forth in paragraph a above, includes, but is not limited to, the following:
(1) repeated contact with another in person, by telephone, in writing, or through electronic means, after the recipient has made clear that such contact is unwelcome.
(2) physical, visual, or verbal behavior directed toward another person or an identifiable group of persons that is intended to be or is reasonably likely to be interpreted as threatening or intimidating. Behavior that constitutes speech is included within this section only to the extent to which it has a direct tendency to incite an immediate violent reaction in a reasonable person or to place a reasonable person in fear of imminent physical harm.
Isolated behavior of the kind described in II-14.2, which does not rise to the level of harassment but which if repeated could rise to that level, demonstrates insensitivity that may warrant remedial measures. Academic or administrative officers who become aware of such behavior in their areas should counsel those who have engaged in the behavior. Such counsel should include a clear statement that the behavior is not acceptable and should cease, information about the potential consequences if such behavior persists, and a recommendation, as appropriate, to undertake an educational program designed to help the person(s) understand the harm caused by the behavior.
When an allegation of harassment rests upon the content of oral, written, or symbolic speech, it falls within this definition only if 1) the content consists of those personally abusive epithets which are inherently likely to provoke a violent reaction, 2) the content is a serious expression of an intent to commit an act of unlawful violence to a particular individual or group of individuals, or 3) the content is a threat to a person or group of persons with the intent of placing the victim in fear of bodily harm or death. Conduct that constitutes a protected exercise of an individual's rights under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution (and related principles of academic freedom) shall not be deemed a violation of this policy.
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What is Sexual Harassment? 12-13
Sexual harassment can occur whenever somebody says or does something sexually related that you don’t want them to say or do, regardless of who it is. Whether such unwelcome sexual behavior is sexual harassment depends on the circumstances in which the behavior occurs. For example:
View full policy (PDF, 224 KB).
* Talks about their sexual experiences.
* Asks you to talk about yours.
* Tells sexual jokes, innuendoes, and stories, or comments (about your clothes or body, or someone else’s).
Such behavior can constitute sexual harassment if it interferes with your work or educational performance, or creates an intimidating or hostile environment for your employment, education, on-campus living, or participation in a University activity.
Sexual Harassment Examples 12-13
Red Flags / Harassing Behavior ... Anyone who makes unwanted and repeated statements about your clothes, body or personal life ... Somebody puts up sexually graphic posters, magazines, screensavers, web pages, and/or emails where you can see them. ... Someone you met puts pressure on you for sex (included repeated requests, staring, or other persistent behavior). ... The University of Iowa forbids these types of behaviors and has a sexual harassment policy and related policies.
View full policy (PDF, 273 KB).
Free Speech Zones
Policies & Regulations Affecting Students: Use of Campus Outdoor Areas 12-13
The University of Iowa permits eligible groups to sponsor events on the Pentacrest as long as those events are conducted under reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions promulgated by University departments.
The use of Kautz Plaza as a public forum for speech, assembly, and petition is encouraged by the University.
View full policy (PDF, 190 KB).
Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
Policies & Regulations Affecting Students: Student Bill of Rights 12-13
[E]numeration of the rights or registration at the University shall in no manner be construed to nullify or limit any other constitutional or legal rights or freedoms possessed by students as citizens or residents of the United States or the State of Iowa.
View full policy (PDF, 141 KB).
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The speech codes and policies above were last fully checked via internet and other research means by FIRE in July 2013. According to FIRE’s research the substantive policies are current at least until this date. Directory information, including the name of the president of the college or university, may have been updated more recently. If any policy has been revised, or if you believe that we are in error, please contact us.