University of West Georgia

Location: Carrollton, Georgia
Website: http://www.westga.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 11th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

University of West Georgia has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more here.

Yellow Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Advertising, Solicitation, and Selling 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies

    Non-commercial selling by college related organizations and distribution of non-commercial information such as pamphlets, handbills and other materials protected by the first amendment, is allowed in public areas when approved by the Center for Student Involvement in the Campus Center.

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  • Student Handbook: Policy Governing Outdoor Speeches, Demonstrations, Distribution of Written Material and Marches 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies

    The open areas designated for speeches, marches, and demonstrations are the Quad and outside the University Community Center, Library and Food Service Building. The Center for Student Involvement acting on behalf of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management asks student organizations interested in the use of these areas to register with that office so the university can provide necessary support for public and student safety.

    Pamphlets, handbills, circulars, newspapers, magazines and other materials which are protected by the First Amendment may be distributed on a person to person basis on the Quad and outside the University Community Center, Library and the Food Service Building between the hours of 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., Monday – Friday, when school is in session.

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  • Student Handbook: Sexual Misconduct Policy 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, “sexual harassment” is defined as Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when: … such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with the individual’s work or educational performance; of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working and/or learning environment; or of interfering with one’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity.

    Examples of Sexual Harassment …

    7. Sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexual comments and questions, and other sexually oriented conduct that is directed against a specific individual and persists despite its rejection.

    8. Conduct, even that not specifically directed at the complainant, which is sufficiently pervasive, severe or persistent to alter the conditions of the complainant’s employment or status as a student and create a hostile working or learning environment, when viewed from the perspective of a reasonable person of the complainant’s gender.

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  • Residence Life Handbook: Residence Hall Policies- Offensive Material 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Posting Policies

    Space outside the interior of one’s assigned room (e.g., visible through windows, and door exteriors) is considered public space and is maintained under the jurisdiction of Housing and Residence Life. Residents have the right to approach anyone who displays a decoration which they believe to be offensive or obscene in order to discuss their concern. Students may be asked to remove offensive material from public view.

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Green Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Rights and Regulations- Freedom of Expression 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    Recognizing the rights of free speech and peaceful assembly as fundamental to the democratic process, the university supports the right of students to express their views or to peacefully protest and peacefully dissent against actions and opinions with which they disagree.

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  • Student Code of Conduct: Disorderly Conduct 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Harassment or threat of harm, whether physical, verbal, oral or written, which is beyond the bounds of protected speech, directed at a specific individual(s), and is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it denies or limits an individual’s ability to work, or to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity.

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  • Student Handbook: Policy Governing Outdoor Speeches, Demonstrations, Distribution of Written Material and Marches 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    No rights are more highly regarded at the University of West Georgia than the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech, freedom of expression and the right to assemble peaceably.

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  • Acceptable Use Policy 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies

    Harass or harassment – any action that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent so as to interfere with or limit the recipient’s ability to work or to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or opportunities offered by UWG, including but not limited to: (1) the use of a computer to annoy, terrify, intimidate, threaten, or offend another person by transmitting or posting obscene language, photographs, pictures, or other materials or threats of bodily harm to the recipient or the recipient’s immediate family; (2) repeated attempts to communicate with a recipient after the recipient has given reasonable notice that he or she does not desire such communication; this definition addresses harassment in the context of computer and network use, and is not intended to replace any definition of harassment in the context of individual civil rights

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  • 5 More of the Worst Free Speech Violations on College Campuses

    September 12, 2012

    On Tuesday, I shared the first half of my list of ten of the most common free speech violations which the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE ) encounters in its work defending campus expression. As I noted yesterday, the list is far from comprehensive, and the offenses listed are in no particular order. They do, however, give a sense of the depth and variety of ways free speech is threatened at our colleges and universities. Here are five more of the most common violations against free speech on campus. Be sure to visit yesterday’s post for the first half of […]

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  • SGA-West Georgian conflict resolved

    August 19, 2009

    As Former Editor-in-Chief, Ellis Smith, and SGA President, Alan Webster, laughed and conversed with one another near The West Georgian table at Summer Orientation on June 26, the arduous, heated debate over newspaper funding finally seemed to reach a close. Following The West Georgian’s publication of “Join a Frat with Buck Futter, Jr.,” by Jacob Lovell, a satire on Greek organizations, the SGA passed a bill that eliminated all newspaper funding and sparked over two months of Freedom of Speech debates. After negotiations with the Student Activity Fee General Guidelines (SAFBA), letters to President Sethna and numerous faculty members, and […]

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  • Rights in the News: Victory at UCLA Helps FIRE Blaze Trail Into New School Year

    August 21, 2009

    It’s nice every time you can take a case public on a Thursday and declare victory by lunchtime on Friday. This was FIRE’s good fortune this week after we issued a press release yesterday concerning UCLA’s threats against former graduate student Tom Wilde, who maintained a private website that was critical of what he called UCLA’s “weeding out” practices. Within hours, UCLA had dropped its threats against Wilde (though we’re still waiting on Santa Rosa Junior College to make a similar move). Eugene Volokh—a professor of law at UCLA—is among the many pleased with the news. You can read his […]

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  • ‘West Georgian’ Reports on FIRE Victory for Freedom of the Press

    August 20, 2009

    Samantha Godwin of The West Georgian (at the University of West Georgia ) reported yesterday on FIRE’s victory for the newspaper’s First Amendment rights. Earlier this summer, FIRE successfully challenged the unconstitutional cut of the paper’s annual funding allocation on the basis of the paper’s content, as well as the student government’s attempt to freeze the paper’s assets in the wake of controversial news and opinion pieces that had targeted fraternities and the student government itself.  After FIRE intervened, an investigation found that the allocation decision indeed had been based partly on content. A new review resulted not only in the restoration of all of the paper’s […]

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  • University of West Georgia Blames Students, Tries to Snatch Defeat from Jaws of Victory

    July 17, 2009

    First, the good news. FIRE reported on Tuesday that the University of West Georgia (UWG) had not only restored but increased the funding of its controversial student newspaper, The West Georgian, after agreeing that the university’s finance committee had made its decision partly on the basis of unconstitutional considerations of the newspaper’s content. Indeed, one of the more pleasant letters FIRE has received from university counsel was the one we received from University General Counsel E. Jane Simpson. The university agreed with FIRE’s analysis of the situation, promised to investigate, and asked the finance committee to reconsider. The proof’s in […]

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  • Victory for Freedom of the Press at University of West Georgia: FIRE Turns Content-Based Newspaper Censorship into Funding Increase

    July 15, 2009

    In yesterday’s press release, FIRE reports that after subjecting it to multiple content-based retaliatory actions, including budget cuts and a proposed suspension of funding, The University of West Georgia (UWG) has restored and increased funding to its student newspaper, The West Georgian. UWG thus has reaffirmed the university’s commitment to free speech and freedom of the press. After FIRE intervened on the paper’s behalf, The West Georgian not only saw its funding restored but also received $3,600 of new funds it had requested for the coming academic year. The West Georgian, like many campus clubs, has traditionally been funded in […]

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  • Victory for Freedom of the Press at University of West Georgia: FIRE Turns Content-Based Newspaper Censorship into Funding Increase

    July 14, 2009

    ATLANTA, July 14, 2009—The University of West Georgia’s (UWG’s) finance committee has restored and increased funding to UWG’s student newspaper after the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) challenged its unconstitutional funding cut and the student government’s attempt to freeze the assets of The West Georgian. The newspaper had criticized corruption in the student government and printed a satire of fraternity life. After FIRE intervened on the paper’s behalf, The West Georgian not only saw its funding restored but also received $3,600 of new funding. “The University of West Georgia should be commended for quickly correcting its error,” FIRE […]

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  • Letter to FIRE from UWG Counsel Jane Simpson

    May 20, 2009

    Attached Files Letter to FIRE from UWG Counsel Jane Simpson, PDF, 660 KB

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  • Potential Censorship of Political Speech at University of West Georgia

    September 16, 2008

    Last week, The West Georgian, the official student paper of the University of West Georgia, ran an article regarding a dispute over “table tents” (advertisements folded into a triangle shape and placed on tables) that the College Republicans set out in the University Community Center and the Z-6 Dining Hall. Printed on the table tents were provocative statements about presidential candidate Barack Obama and advertisements for a party to watch the Republican Convention. A number of students complained, citing the inflammatory nature of the information presented about Senator Obama, and the president of the Young Democrats said that the table […]

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