Intolerance and bigotry are antithetical to the values of the university and unacceptable within the Rutgers community. One of the ways the university seeks to effect this principle is through a policy of nondiscrimination, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, or veteran status in university programs. In order to reinforce institutional goals of nondiscrimination, tolerance, and civility, the following policy against verbal assault, defamation, and harassment makes clear that such behavior toward others violates acceptable standards of conduct within the university. (This policy is not intended to supersede the university's policy against harassment.)
Verbal assault, defamation, or harassment interferes with the mission of the university. Each member of this community is expected to be sufficiently tolerant of others so that all students are free to pursue their goals in an open environment, able to participate in the free exchange of ideas, and able to share equally in the benefits of our educational opportunities. Beyond that, each member of the community is encouraged to do all that she or he can to ensure that the university is fair, humane, and responsible to all students.
A community establishes standards in order to be able to fulfill its mission. The policy against verbal assault, defamation, and harassment seeks to guarantee certain minimum standards. Free speech and the open discussion of ideas are an integral part of the university community and are fully encouraged, but acts that restrict the rights and opportunities of others through violence, intimidation, the destruction of property, or verbal assault, even if communicative in nature, are not protected speech and are to be condemned.