Evergreen State College

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

Tell Evergreen State College to revise its speech policies by filling out this form.

Speech Code Rating

Evergreen State College 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

  • The Social Contract

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: May 23, 2017

    The Social Contract is an agreement. … Civility is not just a word; it must be present in all our interactions.

    » Read More

Yellow Light Policies
  • Policies and Procedures: Use of college facilities for expressive activities

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: October 25, 2017

    “First amendment activities” include, but are not necessarily limited to, informational picketing, petition circulation, the distribution of information leaflets or pamphlets, speechmaking, demonstrations, rallies, appearances of speakers in outdoor areas, protests, meetings to display group feelings or sentiments, and/or other types of constitutionally protected assemblies to share information, perspectives, or viewpoints.

    (2) Policy. Subject to all other applicable regulations and requirements of this chapter, individuals and/or groups may use the college’s designated public forum areas for those activities protected by the first amendment.

    (4) Designated public forum area. The college designates the followingpublic forum areas are:

    (a)       The bricked areas of Red Square;

    (b)       The public sidewalks adjacent to public roads.

    Except for the use of a campus designated public forum as described in 174-136-048 WAC, use of college facilities for political activities, as described in this section, must have prior approval of the vice president for finance and administration or designee.

    » Read More

  • Event Security and Safety

    Speech Code Category: Security Fee Policies
    Last updated: May 23, 2017

    Events covered under this policy include but are not limited to:

    • Concerts
    • Lectures/Speeches/Indoor Rallies
    • Public performances or theater productions
    • Sporting events/competitions
    • Outdoor events

    Before submitting an offer or contract, the first step for student organizations and other in-house promoters is to complete a required Event Sponsor Assessment & Planning Worksheet or ESAP Worksheet. The ESAP Worksheet is the preliminary planning and screening tool that can assess the level of risk of an event, the level of security and staffing, and the resources and conditions needed to make the event safe and successful.

    The ESAP Worksheet further indicates the size, topic, invitations to outside groups, history of the performer, number of ticket sales to non-College populations, etc. The ESAP Worksheet will be reviewed by the Director of Student Activities for student groups and by the building manager/performance venue manager for faculty/staff. If the review by the Director of Student Activities or the building manager/performance venue manager highlights elements of potential risk, the Risk Assessment Review Team (RART) will be convened.

    If it is determined by the RART’s assessment that extra security will be needed, this additional cost will be the responsibility of the event sponsor.


    » Read More

Green Light Policies
  • Bias Related Incident Response Protocol: Practices & Procedures

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: May 23, 2017

    The College champions free expression. The ways in which we address bias incidents respect that value. Bias incidents often center around speech that many community members find offensive. Those who engage in the speech that offends others and those that respond to the speech may be protected by First Amendment rights. When the speech is protected, neither the student conduct system nor criminal justice system can be applied. It is through the speech of others including, the Bias Incident Team that bias incidents are best addressed. The College aspires to create an environment that is inclusive and safe for all members of the community.

    » Read More

  • The Social Contract

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: May 23, 2017

    (a) Evergreen’s members live under a special set of rights and responsibilities, foremost among which is that of enjoying the freedom to explore ideas and to discuss their explorations in both speech and print. Both institutional and individual censorship are at variance with this basic freedom. Research or other intellectual efforts, the results of which must be kept secret or may be used only for the benefit of a special interest group, violate the principle of free inquiry.
    (b) An essential condition for learning is the freedom and right on the part of an individual or group to express minority, unpopular, or controversial points of view. Only if minority and unpopular points of view are listened to, and are given opportunity for expression will Evergreen provide bona fide opportunities for significant learning.

    » Read More

  • Student Conduct Code: Prohibited Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: May 23, 2017

    Harassment which is defined as conduct against a person on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sex, gender identity or expression, disability, age, military status, or sexual orientation that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent to create an objectively hostile environment that interferes with or diminishes the ability of an individual to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by the college, or an employee to engage in work duties.

    » Read More

  • Policies and Procedures: Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: May 23, 2017

    “Sexual harassment” is a form of discrimination based on the recipient’s sex. It can involve persons of the same or differing sexes, sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions. It is characterized by unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, including sexual assault.  Such conduct violates this policy when: … Conduct (by anyone involved in a College program or activity, e.g., administrators, faculty members, students, contractors, vendor, volunteers and campus visitors) is sufficiently serious (i.e., severe, persistent, or pervasive) and objectively offensive so as to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment, (i.e., to unreasonably interfere with an individual’s employment, academic status, or deny or limit the individual’s ability to participate in or to receive the educational benefits, services or opportunities of the College).

    » Read More

  • Appropriate Use of Information Technology Resources

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: May 23, 2017

    In light of all the policies outlined above in this document, the following are examples of specifically prohibited activities: … sexual harassment or harassment based on race, color, gender, religion, creed, age, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or veteran status.

    » Read More

  • Will free speech prevail on campus?

    November 6, 2017

    By Donald Downs at the Washington Examiner. Alarm over the state of free speech and academic freedom on American campuses is nothing new under the collegiate sun. But it has reached fever pitch in the past few years… Read more here.

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  • As school year starts, Washington’s Evergreen among colleges working to balance free speech, safety

    October 5, 2017

    By Katherine Long at The Seattle Times. The hate mail was specific, and it threatened violence. I know where you live, read one email to one professor. To a student: I know what dorm room you live in. One letter was even mailed directly to the college president’s home… Read more here.

    » Read More
  • Evergreen campus takeover could happen anywhere

    June 6, 2017

    From OIA News. Founded as a “hippie school” with no grades or majors, Evergreen State College may have been ripe for a student takeover — but academics warn what has happened in Olympia, Washington, could happen anywhere. Classes resumed Monday after an anonymous threat shut down the campus for nearly three days. “At Evergreen, campus safety is our number-one priority,” Evergreen President George Bridges said in a statement. “After consultation with law enforcement today, we have determined there is no active threat to campus. We are ready to get back to the business of teaching and learning. . . ” […]

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  • Consulting All Sides on “Speech Codes”

    May 1, 2005

    By David T. Beito, Ralph E. Luker, and Robert David Johnson, Organization of American Historians Newsletter Few controversies have polarized higher education more than that of Ward Churchill at the University of Colorado (CU). Many conservatives, including Governor Bill Owens of Colorado and Newt Gingrich, have demanded that Churchill be dismissed for characterizing the victims of 9/11 as “Little Eichmanns.” Professors and students at CU and elsewhere have responded with rallies and petitions to defend Churchill’s academic freedom. They emphasize that the health of the academy rests on the toleration of controversial, even repellant, ideas. Joining in, the faculty of […]

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  • Yale 2.0 at Evergreen State College?

    June 1, 2017

    A faculty member sends an email that critiques a recent announcement from the college administration on an issue related to race, equity, and inclusion; students catch wind of the email, allege that its sender is racist, and organize campus-wide protests in response; the protesters confront the faculty member directly and demand their resignation or firing; the administration responds to the protesters’ demands with a wishy-washy statement of support for the embattled faculty member before outside pressure and criticism forces a more full-throated statement of public support. Sound familiar? It is much like the series of events that transpired on Yale […]

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  • Hey, Evergreen State: Let It Go!

    June 6, 2014

    Duquesne University law professor Jacob H. Rooksby reports on the latest failure of common sense on campus over at HigherEducationLaw, and it’s a stunner: Administrators at The Evergreen State College are refusing to let a student theater troupe perform an original work on university property because they’re worried that the production, which includes parodies of Disney songs, might trigger liability for copyright infringement.

    » Read More