Board Buzzwords: Legislative and Legal

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campus carry

legislation that allows licensed concealed handguns on college campuses. Many college campuses are quite conflicted about students and college staff having concealed weapons on campus.  (See “concealed  carry” below and ACCT’s Trustee Talk, Issue #10 and Addendum To Keep and Bear Arms – Implications for Governing Boards and Trustee Talk, Issue #15: Guns on Campus–A Loaded Issue, Part I.)

concealed carry

the practice of carrying a concealed weapon (such as a handgun, knife, etc.) in public places. (See “campus  carry” above and ACCT’s Trustee Talk, Issue #10 “To keep and bear arms”-Implications for Governing Boards and Addendum To Keep and Bear Arms – Implications for Governing Boards and Trustee Talk, Issue #15: Guns on Campus – A Loaded Issue, Part I.)


usually referring to controversial speakers who were invited to speak on campus by a particular student group. For those speakers who have created campus disruptions in the past, some student groups and administrators have requested that the students retract their invitations, thus limiting free speech on the basis of potential violence and protest. In a May 2016 commencement address, President Obama urged not to “try to shut folks out or shut them down, no matter how much you might disagree with them. There’s been a trend around the country to trying to get colleges to disinvite speakers with a different point of view., or disrupt a politician’s rally. Don’t do that—no matter how ridiculous or offensive you might find the things that come out of their mouths because ..every time a fool speaks, they are just advertising their own ignorance. Let them talk. If you don’t, you just make them a victim, and they can avoid accountability.”

free speech zones

also known as First Amendment zones, are areas in the college set aside for the purpose of political protests. Many feel that these zones confine political expression to distant out-of-the-way locations on campus. See also related “disinvitations” and “speech codes.”

heckler’s veto

refers to a situation involving a government official who allows a hostile audience’s reaction to shut down or silence an unpopular speaker. It is an American free speech term  describing situations in which a party who disagrees with a speaker’s message is able to conduct events that result in silencing the speaker. See also, “Free speech zone” and “speech codes.”

speech code

written college policies regulating expression at colleges and universities that is constitutionally protected under the First Amendment. Such policies can also include policies on controversial speakers, public demonstrations and harassment.

sunshine laws

regulations requiring public openness, advance notice, convenient times and places for meetings, records, votes, etc., i.e. open access to the public.

Title IV

term that refers to federal financial aid funds. Federal regulations state that any federal funds disbursed to a student's account in excess of allowable charges must be delivered to the student (or parent in case of an undergraduate PLUS loan).

Title IX

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces, among other statutes, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Title IX states that: No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. See ACCT’s Trustee Talk #13: Sexual Misconduct Prevention on College Campuses for resources and samples of college policies related to Title IX.

trigger warning

refers to the use of warnings to students about course content: In academic settings, they are written or spoken warnings given by professors to alert students that course material might be traumatic for people with particular life experiences.  Much debate about freedom of speech, etc. In the classroom.