Location: Dayton, Ohio
Federal Circuit: 6th Circuit
Wright 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.
March 2, 2009
Wright State University has agreed to grant recognition to the Campus Bible Fellowship (CBF) for the 2009-2010 academic year, reversing its previous decision to rescind the CBF’s official club recognition because of its requirement that voting members “accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior,” among other faith-based requirements written into the club’s constitution. Despite the CBF’s thirty-year presence on Wright State’s campus, the university removed the club’s official recognition for its failure to include required “non-discrimination” language in its constitution. After FIRE wrote Wright State President David R. Hopkins, reminding him that this policy violated the CBF’s constitutional rights to […]» Read More
Red Light Policies
Acts of intolerance or bias are behaviors which by intent, action, and/or outcome harm or threaten to harm a person or a group of people. The behaviors are motivated by prejudice toward a person or a group of people because of their race, religion, ethnicity, disability, national origin, age, gender, and/or sexual orientation. Acts of intolerance include overt actions such as verbal attacks and physical assaults on students and their property, as well as covert actions such as jokes, posters, and comments.
Some examples of acts of intolerance or bias related incidents include:
• Drawings of swastikas or other offensive symbols.
• Jokes, pranks, and slurs against an individual based on their based on race, gender, sexual identity, disabilities, religion, etc
• Stereotyping a group of people (women, men, African Americans, homosexuals, etc)
The above are only a few examples of discriminatory and insensitive behaviors; there are numerous other ways in which people can demonstrate intolerance. Acts of intolerance based on race, gender, sexual orientation, culture, ethnicity, disability, or for any other
reason, disrupt the safe and educational environment necessary for furthering the mission of the university. All reports of intolerance will be investigated to the fullest potential. All persons found responsible may be subject to suspension, expulsion, the cancellation of
current and future housing agreements, among other sanctions. Additionally, involved parties may face investigation by Wright State University’s Bias Incident Response Team, or BIRT.
Communicating verbally either directly or indirectly through another party, by telephone, regular or electronic mail, voice mail or any verbal, mechanical, electronic or written communication in a manner likely to cause causes injury, distress, or emotional or physical discomfort is also prohibited.
A bias-related incident is any behavior or action directed toward an individual or group based upon actual or perceived identity characteristics or background, including but not limited to: race, sex (including gender identity/expression), color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, military status, or sexual orientation. Such acts may result in creating a hostile environment and may have a negative psychological, emotional, or physical impact on an individual, group, and/ or community. Bias-related incidents occur without regard to whether the act is legal, illegal, intentional, or unintentional.
The Bias Incident Response Team is committed to contributing to a campus community that fosters civility, community standards, total student development, academic freedom, freedom of expression, diversity and personal empowerment. The bias response will provide for a timely internal and external intervention to incidents and will be sensitive to the rights of all parties involved.
When a bias-related incident occurs, a coordinated, effective, and timely university response will be implemented. The BIRT provides a university response that is comprehensive, coordinated, unified and establishes a communication system that will ensure that all BIRT members are informed and updated on a regular basis.
Harassment, in any form, will not be tolerated. Harassment can be verbal, written, electronic, and can be sexual, racial, ethnic, religious, or based on one’s sexual identity. All reports of harassment will be investigated to the fullest potential. All persons found
responsible may be subject to suspension, expulsion, the cancellation of current and future housing agreements, among other sanctions.
For our community, inappropriate behavior is defined as any behavior by a community member deemed to be inappropriate or in violation of the general community standards, all rules and regulations outlined in this manual, as well as all rules and regulations
outlined in the Wright State University Student Code of Conduct.
Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or educational status; submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for an employment or educational decision affecting such individual; or, such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work or educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational environment.
Following is a non-exclusive list of practices which may constitute sexual harassment:
a.) Verbal: sexual innuendo, suggestive comments, insults, humor and jokes about sex or gender-specific traits, sexual propositions, threats.
b.) Non-verbal: suggestive or insulting sounds, leering, whistling, obscene gestures.
Harassment is conduct that has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work or educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational environment. Such conduct may constitute harassment even if done under the guise of humor.
Any unwelcome sexual advance and all forms of sexual misconduct including but not limited to deliberate touching of another’s sexual parts without consent, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that expressly or implicitly imposes conditions upon, threatens, interferes with, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning environment for an individual’s participation in any aspect of university life.
Wright State University has a zero tolerance approach to bullying. All reports of bullying will be investigated to the fullest potential. All persons found responsible may be subject to suspension, expulsion, and the cancellation of current and future housing agreements,
among other sanctions.
Wright State University recognizes the exercise of the rights of expression, affiliation, and peaceful assemblage. Wright State students, faculty, and staff may express their views by demonstrating peacefully for concepts they wish to make known, and the university will make every reasonable effort to protect this right.
Any individual or group may use, without prior notification, on any day of the week during daylight hours, any publicly accessible outdoor area of the university’s Fairborn and Lake campuses to collect signatures, distribute materials, and/or speak, as long as they do not disrupt the functioning of the university.
Students may not access, send, or store any messages and/or material that is found to be fraudulent, harassing, or in violation of any local, state, federal, or international law.
November 13, 2013
by Kristen Hare Student journalists at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, ran ads from a white supremacist group, then pulled the ads after administrators threatened to cut funding. Samantha Vicent writes about the decision in Student Press Law Center, reporting that student paper The Guardian agreed to a four week contract with a group called The First Freedom, which reports on its own site that it’s supported by the Nation of Aryans Against Commie Putrefaction. Michael Crew reported on the paper’s decision to run the ad, and later pull it, for The Guardian on November 7. Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian Brandon Semler said […]» Read More
June 23, 2009
A Christian student organization that claimed it was banned by Wright State University for the 2008-2009 academic year has received recognition for the coming school year, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). “Wright State advocates for diversity and we have resolved the registration matter with the Campus Bible Fellowship student organization so that they can practice the full expression of their religious beliefs on campus,” said Dan Abrahamowicz, university vice president for student affairs, on Monday, June 22. Wright State in January withdrew recognition for the Campus Bible Fellowship “after the group refused to eliminate faith-based […]» Read More
March 10, 2009
Here’s another case of intolerance on the part of a university – supposedly a place where free expression and divergent opinions are welcome. Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, has banned the Campus Bible Fellowship from meeting on campus because of its requirement that voting members be Christian and its refusal to accept “nondiscrimination” language that would eliminate faith-based standards for its voting members. Never mind that students pay a hefty tuition for which they rightfully expect access to campus facilities. And never mind that the families of in-state students have paid lots of taxes to build and maintain those […]» Read More
March 7, 2009
Campus Bible Fellowship (CBF) on Wright State University’s campus recently received renewed recognition as a registered student organization following an apparent conflict with university officials during the annual renewal process. According to a press release issued earlier this month by national advocacy group the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), Wright State University banned CBF from meeting on campus because of the group’s requirement that voting members be Christian and its refusal to accept the university’s ‘nondiscrimination’ language that would eliminate faith-based standards for its voting members. In response, the Campus Bible Fellowship turned to FIRE for help, according […]» Read More
March 4, 2009
A Christian fellowship group that was denied registration from Wright State University in Ohio because of its faith-based policies has now been granted recognition by campus officials – for now that is. Representatives of Campus Bible Fellowship received an e-mail Monday evening from the university’s director of student activities that they would be reinstated for the remainder of the school year. “It told us that that CBF was reinstated – that we could meet and schedule rooms and that all rights and privileges are restored for rest of school year,” Gary Holtz, who oversees the chapter, told The Christian Post. […]» Read More
March 3, 2009
A Christian group that claimed it was banned from the campus of Wright State University in Ohio because of its religious standards has been reinstated. Members of the Campus Bible Fellowship said they were informed late Monday that they would be allowed to resume holding meetings on the Dayton campus. The reinstatement came after repeated media requests to school officials. “We’re good for now, but come May, we’ll be up against the same qualifications they refused us on this time,” said Gary Holtz, 62, a Campus Bible Fellowship organizer. “I believe because of public pressure [school officials] changed their case.” […]» Read More
March 3, 2009
A Christian fellowship group that has been on the Wright State University campus for over 30 years was denied registration as a student group this year for its faith-based policies. Representatives of Campus Bible Fellowship, which ministers to students at secular colleges, reported that they were turned down by school officials earlier this year when they tried to re-register the group. The Office of Student Activities at the Ohio-based university named two reasons for the denial, according to CBF representatives. First, CBF refused to adopt university-mandated nondiscrimination language in its membership requirements that would have forced the group to nix […]» Read More
March 3, 2009
A university in Ohio has threatened the future of a campus Bible organization for requiring voting members and office holders be Christian. According to Campus Bible Fellowship representative Gary Holtz, his group had been a registered student organization at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, for more than 30 years. Upon seeking re-registration for 2009, however, the university denied the Bible group’s access to facilities, student club fairs, advertising venues and recruiting opportunities – essentially blacklisting the club – because of CBF’s requirement that voting members adhere to a doctrinal statement and “accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior.” In […]» Read More
June 26, 2009
FIRE’s victories for religious liberty and academic freedom at Wright State University and the University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB) were in the news this week, while Bucknell University’s continuing refusal to acknowledge its wrongful and discriminatory treatment of the Bucknell University Conservatives Club has only intensified the media spotlight it is trying to avoid. As Torch followers read this week, The Wall Street Journal’s law blog and The Philadelphia Inquirer both ran in-depth stories on Bucknell’s suppression of the political activities of the BUCC. Susan Snyder’s article for the Inquirer, since its publication on Tuesday, has been one of the […]» Read More
June 23, 2009
Dave Larsen of the Dayton Daily News discusses FIRE’s victory for religious liberty at Wright State University on the paper’s “On Campus” blog today. Wright State initially denied re-recognition to the Campus Bible Fellowship for 2008-2009 on the ground that its faith-based requirements for voting members violated university nondiscrimination policies, but Wright State finally relented and recognized the group for both 2008–2009 and (after additional struggle) 2009–2010. The News quotes a senior Wright State administrator regarding the resolution of the dispute: “Wright State advocates for diversity and we have resolved the registration matter with the Campus Bible Fellowship student organization […]» Read More
May 14, 2009
FIRE President Greg Lukianoff is at Wright State University today, where he is scheduled to speak as part of a conference titled “Legal Issues in Higher Education: When Policy and Religious Freedom Collide.” The event is hosted by the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education in partnership with Wright State. Greg appears at the event alongside various representatives from local universities. The notice for the event states, “In several cases across the nation religious student groups have challenged university regulations relative to recognition of student organizations. Especially at issue are institutional anti-discrimination policies that could affect membership in these organizations.” […]» Read More
March 7, 2009
Nationwide reaction to the news of Wright State University‘s unconstitutional denial of recognition to the Campus Bible Fellowship, a Christian student organization, has been swift and furious, as readers who have been following The Torch throughout the week are well aware. Along with continued coverage in The Christian Post and an excellent article in WorldNetDaily, FIRE’s efforts at Wright State were featured as a front page item at FOXNews.com, turning up the heat on an administration already on the wrong side of the law. As Robert noted in a previous Torch entry, the Wright State administration was quick to backtrack […]» Read More
March 3, 2009
FIRE’s case at Wright State is big news today as a featured story, under the heading “We’re Good for Now,” on FoxNews.com! (Here’s the permanent link for when it’s moved off the front page.) Wright State’s behavior in banning the Campus Bible Fellowship has indeed been outrageous, and it’s always good to see the media taking First Amendment rights seriously. Eroding one of those rights—religious liberty—can only lead to the eventual erosion of them all. Let’s hope Wright State gets the message and restores all of CBF’s rights soon.» Read More
March 3, 2009
Developments are coming fast in the Wright State University case that FIRE took public yesterday. Mere hours after FIRE sent out its press release on the case, Wright State began sending the following statement to journalists making inquiries: “Campus Bible Fellowship is a recognized student organization at Wright State. We do not discriminate on the basis of religion and we treat Campus Bible Fellowship like any other student group on campus,” said Dan Abrahamowicz, vice president for student affairs at Wright State University. “We are in the process of reviewing the policy for recognizing students groups on campus. If there […]» Read More
March 2, 2009
Today’s FIRE press release comes out of Dayton, Ohio, where Wright State University has banned a Christian group, the Campus Bible Fellowship, from meeting on campus because of the group’s constitutional requirements for voting members. Here’s an excerpt that explains how this all started: After more than 30 years of existence as a registered student organization at Wright State, the Campus Bible Fellowship (CBF) was prohibited from re-registering in 2009. On January 30, according to CBF representatives Joe Hollaway and Gary Holtz, CBF was informed by Wright State’s Office of Student Activities that its registration was being denied for two […]» Read More