Washington & Lee University

Location: Lexington, Virginia
Website: http://www2.wlu.edu
Type: Private
Federal Circuit: 4th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Washington & Lee University 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.

This school does not have any cases at this time.
Yellow Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Statement on Student Behavior 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility

    Washington and Lee University expects an atmosphere of civility and mutual respect to prevail. Instances of uncivil behavior involving students are most effectively dealt with in personal and informal ways, not by formal conduct procedures. Therefore, members of the Washington and Lee community who believe themselves to have been objects of such behavior should first seek resolution by personal consultation with friends, faculty, designated advisers, or others who may intervene in the dispute. If such direct efforts do not resolve the matter, instances of uncivil behavior involving students may be reported to the Associate Dean of Students for Student Conduct.

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  • Student Judicial Council 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes

    The SJC believes that honorable behavior is a University Community Standard (“Standard”) that must be upheld. Students are bound to this Standard just as they are bound to the Honor System. Any person who believes a student has deviated from this Standard may bring a complaint  to the SJC. Violations of the Standard include, but are not limited to, the following: … Conduct unbecoming of a Washington and Lee student.

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  • Statement on Responding to Bias Incidents 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech

    Bias incidents – – incidents that one could reasonably conclude may intimidate, mock, degrade, or threaten individuals or groups because of actual or perceived inclusion in any of the categories or statuses listed above – – can adversely affect the members of our University community and undermine the climate of civility and respect necessary to achieve and maintain a diverse and inclusive community. The University is therefore committed to responding promptly and effectively, as appropriate, to bias incidents reported by members of the University community.

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Green Light Policies
  • Interim University Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Other Than Sex 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    To constitute harassment in violation of this policy there must be a finding that the conduct was: (1) based on one or more of the protected categories mentioned above; (2) unwelcome and offensive; and (3) either severe (in the case of isolated incidents) or repeated and pervasive such that it had the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile or abusive work or educational environment at the University.

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  • Computing Resources, Network and Email Use Policy 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies

    Neither the network pathways nor W&L-owned computer systems are to be used: … for harassing, fraudulent, or threatening purposes.

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  • Interim Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Sexual harassment is any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature (sexual advances, request for sexual favors, or other unwanted verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature); or unwelcome conduct based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, when one or more of the following conditions are present: …  The unwelcome conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance, or creates an intimidating or hostile academic or work environment under both an objective (a reasonable person’s view) and subjective (the complainant’s view) standard.

    Examples of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment as defined above may include a severe, persistent, or pervasive pattern of unwelcome conduct that includes one or more of the following:

    • Physical conduct:
      • Unwelcome touching, sexual/physical assault, impeding, restraining, or blocking movements
      • Unwanted sexual advances
    • Verbal conduct:
      • Making or using derogatory comments, epithets, slurs, or humor
      • Verbal abuse of a sexual nature; graphic verbal commentaries about an individual’s body; sexually degrading words used to describe an individual; suggestive or obscene letters, notes, or invitations
      • Offensive comments of a sexual nature, including persistent or pervasive sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes, or anecdotes
    • Visual conduct:
      • Leering; making sexual gestures; displaying suggestive objects or pictures, cartoons, or posters in a public space or forum
      • Severe, persistent, or pervasive visual displays of suggestive, erotic, or degrading, sexually oriented images that are not pedagogically appropriate
    • Written conduct: letters, notes or electronic communications, including social media, containing comments, words, or images described above

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  • The Problem with Mandating Civility

    October 11, 2012

    FIRE is often referred to as a “watchdog” organization, and that is indeed an important part of what we do. But those who follow our work know that we also love to reward schools for upholding students’ free speech rights. That is why when a university earns a “green light” rating—a distinction currently awarded to just 15 out of the hundreds of schools we survey—FIRE does as much as possible to ensure that good news receives the maximum publicity. For example, we publish an annual list of the best colleges for free speech on The Huffington Post. In the last […]

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