Winona State University

Location: Winona, Minnesota
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 8th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Winona 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.

  • Winona State University: Outdoor Speech Restrictions

    April 20, 2012

    In April 2012, the GLBTA Partnership at Winona State University planned to hold a “Day of Silence” event and requested permission from WSU to position mannequin torsos bearing various epithets and slurs on campus. The university prohibited GLBTA from displaying the torsos in or near WSU’s outdoor gazebo, claiming that school-aged children would be on the campus and that it “would not be appropriate to expose” them to the language. Following a letter from FIRE, WSU defended as “reasonable” its decision to allow the outdoor display of the mannequins only from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.-an unreasonable restriction.

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Red Light Policies

  • Residence Hall Policies: Civility 13-14

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

    Students will at no time physically, psychologically or sexually abuse any member of this community; or participate in or condone any form of bigotry, harassment, intimidation or threat; whether verbal, written, online, physical or psychological, direct or implied. If you are disturbed by inappropriate activity of another student, you should address that student (when appropriate) in a non-threatening manner before involving your RA/CA. Hostile or inappropriate language or gestures, words which penetrate and hurt, words which destroy relationships rather than sustain them, or physical aggression in any form are not tolerated at WSU or within the residence hall community.

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  • Residence Hall Policies: Disorderly Conduct 13-14

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

    Disorderly conduct; breach of the peace; engaging in offensive, obscene, or abusive language or conduct; and aiding, abetting, or procuring another to breach the peace on University-controlled property or at University-sponsored or University-supervised functions.

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  • Residence Hall Policies: Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    The harassment of residents or their guests is prohibited. Harassment is defined as any unwanted, deliberate, or repeated unsolicited comments, gestures, graphic materials, physical contact or solicitation of favors. Offensive material may not be displayed in the public domain; under certain circumstances, offensive material displayed within a room may be subject to removal.

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Yellow Light Policies
Green Light Policies
  • Reclaiming ‘Labels’

    May 25, 2012

    by Adam Kissel The Huffington Post   Many are aware of a controversial part of The Vagina Monologues in which the audience is encouraged to “reclaim” a certain slur beginning with c that is sometimes used against women. Unfortunately, the idea of using derogatory words to draw attention to their effects in society has met roadblocks at two universities lately. At Winona State University this spring, the GLBTA Partnership wanted to hold a “Day of Silence” event by positioning mannequin torsos bearing various epithets and slurs in certain locations on campus. When the GLBTA Partnership, a recognized student organization, requested official permission to hang the torsos near […]

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