Winston Salem State University

Location: Winston Salem, North Carolina
Website: http://www.wssu.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 4th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Winston Salem 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.

  • University of North Carolina System: State of the First Amendment

    January 10, 2006

    FIRE teamed up with the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy to release the Report on the State of the First Amendment in the University of North Carolina System. The Report notes that UNC System’s many speech codes and illiberal restrictions on religious groups would likely not survive a legal challenge. It also reveals that “13 out of the 16 schools in the UNC System have at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech.”

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Red Light Policies

Yellow Light Policies
Green Light Policies
  • Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and
    other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute
    sexual harassment when ... such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably
    interfering with an individual's work or academic performance or
    creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic
    environment.

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  • Student Code of Conduct 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    Any activity that deliberately threatens, harasses, intimidates an individual, places an
    individual in reasonable fear of harm to the individual or damage to the individual’s property; or
    has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the individual’s daily life via
    the use of electronic information and communication devices, to include but not be limited to: email messages, instant messaging, text messaging, cellular telephone communications, internet
    blogs, social media sites, internet chat rooms, internet postings, and defamatory websites

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  • Policy on Campus Demonstrations and Disruption of University Activities 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression, Statement

    Winston-Salem State University respects the rights of all groups or individuals to express
    opinions, publicly and privately, regarding matters relating to their welfare while members of the
    university community.

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  • Plain talk about free speech

    January 16, 2008

    It must have seemed like a good idea at the time-making sure that people who wished to spontaneously grab a soapbox and publicly announce their views on the campus of Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) do so in an appropriate fashion. But by declaring a campus “free speech zone,” which limits speakers to one small area of campus, the WSSU Board of Trustees stepped right into one of the most controversial issues in American higher education. Crafting effective speech regulations that do not infringe on the rights of the regulated today requires hair-splitting attention to legal precedents and language. Recently, Fayetteville […]

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  • WSSU will alter policy on protests and demonstrations

    January 6, 2008

    The chancellor of Winston-Salem State University said Friday that the university will revise a new policy that limits unscheduled protests and demonstrations to one area of campus. Donald Reaves said that the new policy wasn’t intended to limit free speech at WSSU. But it has caught the attention of a national civil-liberties watchdog group that has successfully helped challenge free-speech zones at public universities across the country. The Foundation for Individual Rights for Education, or FIRE, sent a letter to WSSU on Friday criticizing the university’s policy for being too restrictive and suggesting that it may violate the First Amendment. […]

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  • WSSU assigns area for protests

    December 23, 2007

    Any groups who want to hold unscheduled demonstrations and protests at Winston-Salem State University will now be able to gather on only one area of campus. The adoption of a “free-speech zone’’ at WSSU – an idea that has brought controversy elsewhere, and was rescinded last year at UNC Greensboro – was approved by WSSU’s trustees earlier this month. The area designated for free speech is the breezeway in front of the Thompson Center. The center is a main building on campus that houses many student-affairs offices, such as financial aid and admissions, as well as the campus bookstore and […]

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