We survey British universities, examining the policies and actions of universities and students’ unions, and rank them using our traffic-light system.
Traffic-light ranking system:
has banned and actively censored ideas on campus
has chilled free speech through intervention
has a hands-off approach to free speech
The University of Essex and the University of Essex Students' Union collectively create a hostile environment for free speech. The university, which has maintained its Red ranking, operates a ban on the expression of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic views. The students' union, which has also maintained its Red ranking, has a No Platform policy, banning racists and fascists, and a policy restricting anti-gay speech. The institution’s overall ranking remains Red.
The university - RED
Guidelines for the Use of IT Facilities
‘You must not cause needless offence, concern or annoyance to others.’
Due to the specific nature of this policy, it has been weighted as an Amber Action
Guidelines for Dealing with Harassment and Bullying
Forbids ‘the use of homophobic, biphobic or transphobic language or display of homophobic, biphobic or transphobic materials’.
Equality and Diversity Codes of Practice
‘The use of homophobic propaganda in the form of written materials, graffiti, songs or speeches will not be tolerated. The university undertakes to remove any such propaganda from its premises and to take action against those responsible.’
The students’ union - RED
‘That’s So Gay’: Think before you speak!
Resolves: ‘To stop the misuse of LGBT language/terminology in SU venues, by anybody, working or socialising or by anybody wearing official SU uniform or SU lanyard... To ensure that the misuse of LGBT language/terminology in students’ union media, in any form does not happen... There needs to be a clear record of all incidences reported to students’ union staff, security personnel and venue security.’
Stop the BNP
‘The BNP are No Platformed according to the constitution of the University of Essex Students’ Union.’
Safe Space Policy
‘The chair of any forum has the right to issue a ban to guarantee safe space for all members and make meetings as accessible as possible.’
Racism in Education
Resolves: ‘To condemn and organise to remove from office individuals who make racist comments.’