Eastern Washington University

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

Speech Code Rating

Eastern Washington 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.

At present, FIRE has not been involved in any cases at this school.

Red Light Policies

  • 240-040-010: Information Policy

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: September 5, 2018

    It is a violation of the university information policy for an individual to do any of the following: … Harass others by sending annoying, threatening, libelous, or sexually, racially or religiously offensive messages.

    » Read More


Yellow Light Policies
  • EWU Policy 901-04: Bullying Prevention and Response

    Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies
    Last updated: September 5, 2018

    Eastern Washington University will not tolerate bullying behavior directed toward any member of the university community or to any person on university property.

    Bullying is behavior that is:

    • Intentional;
    • targeted at an individual or group;
    • repeated;
    • hostile or offensive; and,
    • creates an intimidating and/or threatening environment which produces a risk of psychological and/or physical harm.

    Bullying behavior may take many forms, including, but not limited to, physical, verbal, or written acts or behaviors.  It may also manifest as excluding behavior such as ignoring or dismissing individuals or groups.

    Hostile behaviors include, but are not limited to, behaviors that are harmful or damaging to an individual and/or property.  Behaviors that are intimidating, threatening, disruptive, humiliating, sarcastic, or vicious may also constitute hostile behavior.

    Offensive behaviors may include, but are not limited to, inappropriate behaviors such as abusive language, derogatory remarks, insults, or epithets.  Other offensive behaviors may include the use of condescending, humiliating, or vulgar language, swearing, shouting or use of unsuitable language, use of obscene gestures, or mocking.

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  • EWU Policy 402-01: Discrimination, Sexual Harassment & Sexual & Interpersonal Violence

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 5, 2018

    For the purposes of this policy, discriminatory conduct is defined as conduct by any means directed at another person that is so severe, pervasive, or persistent, and objectively offensive that it substantially interferes with another’s ability to work, study, participate in, or benefit from the university’s programs or activities, such that the person is effectively denied equal access to the university’s resources and opportunities on the basis of the individual’s protected status.

    Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination and violates this policy.

    Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature and may include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, including sexual assault.

    Sexual harassment, including sexual assault, can involve persons of the same or opposite sex.

    Consistent with state and federal law, this policy prohibits two types of sexual harassment:

    Sexual harassment may create a hostile environment when it is so severe, pervasive, or persistent, and objectively offense that:

    (1) It substantially interferes with another’s ability to work, study, participate in, or benefit from the university’s programs or activities; or,

    (2)  The conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with another individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.   This alternative only applies in the context of employment.

    » Read More

  • WAC 172-121: Student Conduct Code

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: September 5, 2018

    The following are defined as offenses which are subject to disciplinary action by the university. … Physical abuse, verbal abuse, and/or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person.

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  • WAC 172-121: Student Conduct Code

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 5, 2018

    (i) Harassment is conduct by any means that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent, and objectively offensive so as to threaten an individual or limit the individual’s ability to work, study, participate in, or benefit from the university’s programs or activities.

    (ii) Gender-based harassment includes nonsexual acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on a person’s gender or nonconformity with gender stereotypes. Gender-based harassment violates this code and Title IX when it is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent such that it denies or limits another’s ability to work, study, participate in, or benefit from the university’s programs or activities.

    (iii) Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature and may include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment violates this code and Title IX when it is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent such that it denies or limits another’s ability to work, study, participate in, or benefit from the university’s programs or activities.

    » Read More

  • WAC 172-137: Use of University Facilities

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies, Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: September 5, 2018

    (4) Prohibited speech. The following types of speech or materials are prohibited in university facilities or on university property: … (f) Speech or conduct that will cause a material and substantial disruption of university activities.

    Signs, posters, tables, and visual displays. To ensure that goals and objectives relating to the appearance of the campus are maintained, the university regulates the content, location, dimensions, and period of display time of posted materials. Posters must be approved by PUB administration, in accordance with university policy, prior to their placement in any campus location.

    All requests for the use of university facilities by students, nonaffiliated groups, and outside community members, whether sponsored or not, must be approved by the VP-BF or designee. Such requests are subject to the following additional limitations:
    (i) Use of the facility must benefit the university; …

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Green Light Policies
  • WAC 172-141: Use of Outdoor Areas for First Amendment Activities

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies, Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: September 5, 2018

    (1) Use of outdoor space. University employees, students, university-affiliated groups, nonaffiliated groups, and outside community members may engage in first amendment activities in open, outdoor spaces on the university’s Cheney campus between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. and subject to the restrictions identified in WAC 172- 141-050.
    (2) Notification. Individuals and groups who are planning on engaging in first amendment activities on campus are encouraged to notify the university police at 509-359-4021 at least twenty-four hours in advance of the activity to ensure adequate safety measures are in place, to acknowledge receipt of these rules, and to ensure there are no scheduling conflicts for the area they are planning to use. This notice does not involve an application or approval process. When providing the notification, groups are encouraged to provide the name of their organization, a contact person, the date, time, and location of the proposed activity, and the estimated number of people expected to participate in the activity. Additional rules apply to large groups as set forth in subsection (3) of this section.
    (3) Large groups. If an activity is likely to attract one hundred or more attendees or counter-protestors, individuals and groups are required to contact university police at 509-359-4021 at least three days in advance of the activity. Advanced notice is required in such situations because large groups require additional safety and security planning. The purpose and elements of this notice are the same as those specified in subsection (2) of this section.

    Information that falls within the definition of “first amendment activities” as set forth in WAC 172-141-030, may be distributed in open spaces on campus. The distributor is encouraged, but not required, to include its name and address on the distributed information. All individuals and groups may distribute information in outdoor space.

    » Read More


  • Rawlins wrong on free speech

    July 18, 2005

    V. Lane Rawlins has abetted censorship. Inadvertently, perhaps, but that’s what it was. In an attempt to placate protesters, the Washington State University president reiterated his support for faculty and students who shouted their objections this spring during the final performance of student Chris Lee’s “intentionally offensive” play, “Passion of the Musical.” In a followup letter to Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Rawlins said the demonstrators had “exercised their rights of free speech in a very responsible manner.” Except that the “speech” they were exercising was nothing but a high-decibel barrage to drown out the message coming from the […]

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  • Baking With Fire

    April 18, 2005

    The enemies of campus bake sales are at it again, inflaming one another over the dire threat of cupcakes and cookies sold at different prices to whites, minorities, and women. The sales are political parody, of course, poking fun at affirmative action policies and trying to get a debate going. Campus orthodoxy holds that such policies are sacred and that any dissent, even in the form of satirical cookie prices, is illegitimate and deserving of suppression. When members of a Republican club staged a bake sale March 21 at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich., several students said they […]

    » Read More
At present, FIRE does not maintain information on this school's policies.