Location: Westfield, Massachusetts
Federal Circuit: 1st Circuit
Westfield State 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
Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility, StatementWestfield State University prohibits all forms of racism or cultural intolerance.
This policy proscribes all conditions and all actions or omissions, including all
acts of verbal harassment or abuse, which deny or have the effect of denying
to anyone his/her rights to equity, dignity, and security on the basis of his/her
race or color. This policy reaffirms the doctrine of civility, appreciation for
cultural/racial pluralism and the pre-eminence of individual human dignity as
preconditions to the achievement of an academic community which
recognizes and utilizes the resources of all persons.
Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies, StatementBullying consists of abusive conduct relative to acts, omissions, or both, that a reasonable person would find hostile, based on the severity, nature, and frequency of the conduct and without regard to the method of delivery, such as verbal, written or electronic. Abusive conduct may include, but is not limited to: repeated infliction of verbal abuse, such as the use of derogatory remarks, insults, and epithets; verbal or physical conduct of a threatening, intimidating, or humiliating nature; the sabotage or undermining of an individual’s work performance; or attempts to exploit an individual’s known psychological or physical vulnerability. A single act normally will not constitute abusive conduct, but an especially severe and egregious act may meet the standard.
Speech Code Category: Posting Policies, StatementIndividuals and groups wishing to advertise events or services that may be of interest to on campus residents should contact the Office of Residential Life for permission. The Director of Residential Life (or designee) reserves the right to refuse permission to advertise for those events or services that promote the use of alcohol or are insensitive to members of the campus community. Approved items will then be posted in the halls by the Residential Life staff in appropriate areas.
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, StatementSexual harassment consists of unwelcome verbal, non-verbal and/or physical behavior of a sexual nature which has the effect of interfering with a person's academic, employment or other status, or of creating a sexually intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, StatementFor the purposes of this Policy, speech or other expression constitutes Harassment by Personal Vilification if it:
Is intended to insult or stigmatize an individual or a small number of individuals on the basis of their gender, race, color, disability, religion, creed, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, marital or veteran status; and
Is addressed directly to the individual or individuals whom it insults or stigmatizes; and
Makes use of insulting or "fighting" words or non-verbal symbols. In the context of discriminatory harassment by personal vilification, insulting or "fighting" words or non-verbal symbols are those that, by their very utterance, tend to incite to an immediate breach of peace, and that commonly understood to convey direct and visceral hatred or contempt for human beings on the basis of their gender, race, national origin, color, disability, religion, creed, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, marital or veteran status.
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, StatementSexual harassment consists of unwelcome verbal, non-verbal
and/or physical behavior of a sexual nature which has the effect
of interfering with a person’s academic, employment or other
status, or of creating a sexually intimidating, hostile or offensive
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, StatementThe following regulations demonstrate conduct that is prohibited and will subject offenders to disciplinary action.
Physical abuse, verbal abuse, intimidation or threats to any member of the university community, visitor or guest. Ã¢ï¿½Â¨
Harassing, intimidating, or stalking any member of the College community, visitor or guest. This includes repeated verbal or physical annoyances, or threats committed by any means such as orally, electronically, or in writing.
Acts of bullying which consists of abusive conduct that a reasonable person would find hostile based on the severity, nature and frequency of the conduct and without regard to the method of delivery. This conduct may include, but not be limited to, repeated infliction of verbal abuse, such as the use of derogatory remarks, insults and epithets; or verbal or physical conduct of a threatening, intimidating or humiliating nature.
Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression, StatementWestfield State University recognizes that the student, as an adult member of society and a citizen of the United States of America, is entitled to respect and consideration and has the right to the constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of speech, assembly and association.
February 3, 2010
FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for February 2010: Westfield State College in Massachusetts. Westfield’s Student Handbook prohibits “discrimination,” which it defines to include “making disparaging remarks that insult or stigmatize a student’s cultural background or race” as well as “making insensitive remarks that reflect a student’s disability.” Westfield State College is a public university, bound to protect its students’ First Amendment right to free speech. The college recognizes this fact elsewhere in its policies, clearly stating that “Westfield State College recognizes that the student, as an adult member of society and a citizen of the United States of […]» Read More