Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan
Federal Circuit: 6th Circuit
Western Michigan University has been given the speech code rating Red. A red light university has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech. Read more here.
Red Light Policies
Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual conduct which is related to any condition of employment or evaluation of student performance. This definition is intended to include more condition of employment or evaluation of student performance. This definition is intended to include more than overt advances toward actual sexual relations. It applies as well to repeated or unwarranted sex-related statements, unwelcome touching, sexually explicit comments, and/or graphics. All persons should be sensitive to situations that may affect or cause the recipient discomfort or humiliation or may display a condescending sex-based attitude towards a person.
Conduct will be defined as sexual harassment when any or all three of the following conditions exist:
1. The sex-related situations are unwelcome by the recipient.
2. A specific or implied connection with employment or student status is involved.
3. The sexual harassment continues after the recipient has made it clear that the conduct is
As an open community, WMU protects freedom of expression and powerfully affirms civility. As such, all members of the University community and all those who visit our community are expected to respect the rights and dignity of others. In support of these principles and the marketplace of ideas, WMU has established the flagpoles as an area for outdoor expression.
Because of these values, all individuals are expected to conduct themselves in a professional and civil manner in the University setting as well as in the community. Responsibility for fulfilling the obligations of the code of honor is shared by the students, faculty, and every other member of the University community.
Any student found to have committed the following misconduct is subject to conduct sanctions … Physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion and/or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health, well-being, or safety of any
Organizations may post or distribute literature on University property. However, the University expects that poster and literature content will conform to established requirements and generally accepted standards of good taste.
Students may not post or distribute literature on University premises except in designated areas and with appropriate University approval.
November 30, 2012
In 2007, Keith John Sampson, a middle-aged student working his way through Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis as a janitor, was declared guilty of racial harassment. Without granting Sampson a hearing, the university administration — acting as prosecutor, judge and jury — convicted him of “openly reading [a] book related to a historically and racially abhorrent subject.” “Openly.” “Related to.” Good grief. The book, “Notre Dame vs. the Klan,” celebrated the 1924 defeat of the Ku Klux Klan in a fight with Notre Dame students. But some of Sampson’s co-workers disliked the book’s cover, which featured a black-and-white photograph of a Klan […]» Read More
November 16, 2012
At Yale University, you can be prevented from putting an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote on your T-shirt. At Tufts, you can be censured for quoting certain passages from the Quran. Welcome to the most authoritarian institution in America: the modern university—”a bizarre, parallel dimension,” as Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, calls it. Mr. Lukianoff, a 38-year-old Stanford Law grad, has spent the past decade fighting free-speech battles on college campuses. The latest was last week at Fordham University, where President Joseph McShane scolded College Republicans for the sin of inviting Ann Coulter to speak. […]» Read More
May 25, 2007
As Torch readers know, each month, FIRE features a college or university with a particularly egregious speech code as its Speech Code of the Month. We use Speech Code of the Month to educate the public about the ever-present problem of speech codes on campus, but the feature also helps put public pressure on these schools to encourage revisions of these repressive policies. An article in our new issue of The FIRE Quarterly discusses the changes in policies FIRE has witnessed in four institutions that have been named Speech Code of the Month in the past. Since June 2005, Albertson […]» Read More
March 21, 2007
Students at Western Michigan University (WMU) are freer today thanks to a concerned alumnus who wrote to an open-minded university president about an unlawful policy in place at the school. After FIRE named WMU’s sexism policy its March 2007 Speech Code of the Month, WMU alumnus Brian Akers wrote to WMU President Diether Haenicke to express his concern over the policy. Akers’ compelling and articulate letter is worth reprinting here in its entirety. Akers wrote: Dear Dr. Haenicke: Please accept this note of interested concern from a WMU alumnus (B.A. 1979; M.A. 1981), regarding the WMU Sexual Harassment Policy, […]» Read More