Fun with speech codes

Via The Torch, here’s a rundown of some amusing speech codes at various colleges and universities. Here are some that I particularly like:

* At Jacksonville State University in Alabama, students can be punished if they “offend” anyone “on university owned or operated property.” [But offending people is apparently fine off university property.]
* At the University of Mississippi, “offensive language is not to be used” over the telephone. [Exactly how do they check that?]
* At Macalester College, harassment includes “speech that makes use of inappropriate words or non-verbals.” [So, I can’t mime “You’re a loser” to somebody.]
* Rutgers University prohibits “‘joking’ comments (between friends, roommates, floormates)…which may be racist, sexist, heterosexist (homophobic),” even when “it is believed or discovered that the perpetrator(s) has no specific or general intent to harm an individual or group.” [Yikes. Thoughtcrime, anyone?]

And my favorite of the bunch:

* Finally, William Paterson University simply forbids “[b]ehavior that annoys.”

I don’t think there’d be anybody left at my college, including me, if that rule were enforced here.

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Filed under Education, Higher ed, Life in academia

4 responses to “Fun with speech codes

  1. Rob

    I find WPU’s policy annoying. Does that mean they’re in violation and can be disciplined?

  2. Bingo. It’s all about who gets to decide what is annoying.

  3. JimMc

    This is probably only funny to other school board dorks, but it reminded me of a meeting policy we recently reviewed that said that:

    “You cannot use email, in your capacity as a school board member, to deliberate on school district matters or decisions.”

    Me being the annoying antogonist, asked “then how bout we just use it in our capacity as parents then?”

  4. JimMc

    sorry, annoying misspeller too – that’s ANTAGONIST.