Central Washington University

Location: Ellensburg, Washington
Website: http://www.cwu.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 9th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Central Washington University has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more here.

  • Central Washington University: Student Group Faces De-funding for Protected Expression

    February 27, 2008

    FIRE has successfully intervened to protect the rights of a student group at Central Washington University after the student government threatened to de-fund the groups for engaging in constitutionally protected expression. The College Republicans were investigated and faced possible loss of funding after they posted flyers promoting an on-campus speech by controversial illegal immigration opponent and Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist.

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Yellow Light Policies
  • Acceptable and Ethical Use of University Information Technology Resources Policy

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: March 21, 2016

    Transmitting images, sounds, or messages to others which might reasonably be considered harassing, malicious and/or cyber bullying is not permissible.

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  • Student Conduct Code: Prohibited Student Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: March 21, 2016

    The term “harassment” means unwelcome and offensive conduct, including verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct, that is directed at a person because of such person’s protected status and that is sufficiently serious as to deny or limit the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the university’s educational program, or that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for any campus community member(s). Protected status includes a person’s actual or perceived race, color, national origin, gender, disability, or other status protected by law.

    The term “sexual harassment” means unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is sufficiently serious as to deny or limit, based on sex, the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the university’s educational program, or that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for any campus community member(s).

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  • Student Conduct Code: Prohibited Student Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: March 21, 2016

    The term “personal offense” is an offense against the safety or security of any person and includes physical assault, reckless endangerment, physical or verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, bullying, stalking, invasion of privacy, or other similar conduct that harms any person, or that is reasonably perceived as threatening the health or safety of any person, or that has the purpose or effect of unlawfully interfering with any person’s rights. The term includes personal offenses committed by electronic means.

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  • Diversity Education Center: CWU Bias Response Plan

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: March 21, 2016

    Bias Motivated Incident is an action in which a person is made aware that her/his status is offensive to another, but does not rise to the level of a crime. Incidents are motivated by bias as targeted individuals or groups are intentionally selected because of the actual or perceived race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity/national origin and, for the purposes of this program, sex, gender, gender identity and gender expression. For example, a university student of certain ethnicity/national origin continually encounters messages denigrating her ethnic background written on the classroom chalkboard or posted around her residence hall. There is no actual crime committed. Remarks are easily erased or removed, no property is damaged, and the student is never assaulted. While not a Bias crime, this episode is a clear case of a bias motivated incident. To report a bias incident, sufficient objective facts must be present to lead a reasonable and prudent person to conclude that the offender’s actions are motivated by bias toward the status of a targeted individual or a group.

    Where there is sufficient evidence to believe the university regulations prohibiting harassment, physical/emotional abuse (see I.B above) have been violated, the university may pursue disciplinary action through its Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy…. Sanctions for persons found in violation of these policies may include suspension and/or expulsion from the university. Education, including combating hate and bias/ tolerance/self awareness, may be required of the alleged offender.

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  • Sexual Harassment Policy

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: March 21, 2016

    For the purposes of this policy, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: … such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or academic environment.

    Based on the definition provided above, examples of sexual harassment prohibited by this policy include, but are not limited to: physical assault; direct propositions of a sexual nature; subtle pressure for sexual activity. In addition, behaviors which constitute a pattern of conduct that discomforts or humiliates the recipient are prohibited. Such behaviors may include: comments of a sexual nature; sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes, or anecdotes; unnecessary touching, patting, hugging, or kissing; remarks of a sexual nature about a person’s clothing or body; or remarks about sexual activity or speculations about previous sexual experience; and persistent, unwanted attempts to change a professional relationship to an amorous one.

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Green Light Policies
  • CWUP 1-30-030 Protection of Right of Peaceful Protest

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: March 21, 2016

    [C]ampus demonstrations may be conducted in areas which are generally available to the public, providing such demonstrations: are conducted in an orderly manner; do not interfere with vehicular or pedestrian traffic; do not interfere with classes, scheduled meetings and ceremonies, or with other educational processes of the university; and are not held in a disruptive manner.

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  • State Lawmakers Seek to Protect Campus Speech, With Mixed Success

    May 26, 2016

    By Peter Schmidt at The Chronicle of Higher Education State lawmakers appear willing to protect student journalists and students’ freedom to stage campus protests, but they’re reluctant to tell colleges how to deal with speech that some deem offensive or emotionally distressing… Read more here.

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  • Greenwald to Central Washington Students: No Idea Beyond Challenge

    May 10, 2013

    Attorney and columnist Glenn Greenwald spoke earlier this week to students at Central Washington University (CWU), delivering a vital message about the importance of freedom of expression. The Daily Record reports that in a talk presented as part of CWU’s weeklong First Amendment Festival, Greenwald discussed messages and symbols students had added to a “free speech wall” throughout the day:   George Carlin’s seven dirty words. Multiple references to metal band Slayer. A swastika. Passers-by put all of those things and more up on large paper sheets hung at the two entrances to the Student Union and Recreation Center at […]

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  • Central Washington University Hosts First Amendment Festival

    May 6, 2013

    Liberty Sign – Shutterstock This week, Central Washington University will celebrate freedom of expression with presentations and interactive events open to the public. The line-up includes speeches by civil rights advocates, student reenactments of famous First Amendment cases, and a live musical performance at the end of the week. As The Daily Record reports, students and visitors are encouraged to get into the full spirit of the week “by writing on a free speech wall or making their own protest sign on the [Student Union and Recreation Center] east and west patios.” This is a great opportunity for CWU students and surrounding […]

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  • Twin Victories At Central Washington, Montclair State as First Amendment Trumps Student Government Censorship

    March 11, 2008

    FIRE is very pleased to announce two important victories for free expression this afternoon at Montclair State University and Central Washington University (CWU). At both Montclair State and CWU, student government was attempting to stifle the speech of organized student groups, a clear violation of the First Amendment. As Greg makes clear in today’s press release, the incidents serve as “disturbing examples of the willingness of student governments to punish their fellow students for their expression.” At Montclair State, the student government cut off funding for the student newspaper, The Montclarion, in an attempt to punish the paper for seeking […]

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  • Twin Victories for Free Expression at Montclair State and Central Washington Universities

    March 11, 2008

    PHILADELPHIA, March 11, 2008—The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has successfully intervened to protect the rights of student groups at New Jersey’s Montclair State University and Central Washington University (CWU) after student governments at both universities threatened to de-fund the groups for engaging in constitutionally protected expression. “These two cases—on opposite sides of the country—are disturbing examples of the willingness of student governments to punish their fellow students for their expression,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “Both cases had happy endings this time, but how many other students and groups suffer such assaults on their liberty in silence? […]

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