Altering the Student Code of Conduct to Protect Students/Staff from Hate Groups

November 2, 2017

Questioner: Anonymous

Posed to: Radha Pyati, President Faculty Association

A UNF student has served in a public role as a Grand Dragon of the KKK, a known hate organization that devalues and actively threatens the lives of non-white non-Christian students on campus.

  1. Given free speech rights, what is the threshold at which his speech, writing, or behavior would trigger a student conduct code violation? What actions trigger expulsion?
  2. If the student code of conduct as written allows faculty and administrators no ability to refuse to teach this student, can the code of conduct be updated to deal with this problem?
  3. If the student behaves calmly in class, but serves in this position very publicly off campus, what recourse do faculty have to protect themselves and their students from him? How might the university ensure that faculty’s home addresses are not provided to these hate groups via a FOIA request?
  4. Among our diverse student body, we may have KKK members as well as known affiliates of ISIS. How would UNF treat a student who was a known affiliate of ISIS, in a practical sense? Are these same practical measures applied to members of the KKK and other such domestic hate groups?

Response from Karen Stone, Vice President and General Counsel:

Please see the ACLU primer on Speech on Campus linked below.  I realize that one of the question subparts ((3.))  asks about Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and faculty home addresses. Employee home addresses are public information unless the employee falls within a limited number of categories, such as current and past judges, prosecutors, police officers, etc.  But, we do not publish a directory of this information. Instead, someone would need to make a public records request for the information.

ACLU Speech on Campus link