University of Montana Western

Location: Dillon, Montana
Website: http://www.umwestern.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 9th Circuit

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Speech Code Rating

University of Montana Western 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.

At present, FIRE has not been involved in any cases at this school.
Yellow Light Policies
  • Campus Policy Manual: 101.4 Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, and Retaliation

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: November 27, 2018

    Harassment is covered under this policy if it is based upon an individual’s race, color, religion, national origin, creed, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran status, sex, age, political ideas, marital or family status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Harassing conduct may take various forms, including, name-calling, graphic, spoken or written statements (including the use of cell phones, landlines, or the internet), or other conduct that may be physically threatening, harmful, or humiliating. Harassment does not have to include intent to harm, be directed at a specific target, or involve repeated incidents. Sex-based harassment includes sexual harassment, which is further defined below, and non-sexual harassment based on stereotypical notions of what is female/feminine v. male/masculine or a failure to conform to those gender stereotypes.

    Harassment violates this policy when it creates a hostile environment …

    Sexual Harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal 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 the law, this policy prohibits two types of sexual harassment:

    A Hostile Environment based on race, color, religion, national origin, creed, service in the uniformed services, veteran status, sex, age, political ideas, marital or family status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation exists when harassment:

    • is sufficiently serious (i.e., severe, pervasive, or persistent) and objectively offensive so as to deny or limit a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s programs, services, opportunities, or activities ; or
    • when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s employment.

    Harassment that creates a hostile environment (“hostile environment harassment”) violates this policy.

    » Read More

  • Campus Policy Manual: 500.1 Acceptable Use

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: November 27, 2018

    Use of the UMW Network for purposes which may be interpreted as harassment or intimidation is prohibited.

    » Read More


Green Light Policies
  • Campus Policy Manual: 101 Student Rights and Responsibilities

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: November 27, 2018

    The University of Montana Western recognizes that its students retain the rights provided by the United States and Montana Constitutions, Federal and State statutes, and other applicable University policy, while attending UMW.

    » Read More

  • Student Code of Conduct: General Behavior Code for Misconduct

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: November 27, 2018

    When a student, with the intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy, bully, or offend, (a) causes bodily injury to another, (b) causes reasonable apprehension of bodily injury in another, (c) damages, destroys, or defaces any property of another or any public property, or (d) makes repeated telephone communications anonymously or at extremely inconvenient hours or in offensively coarse language.

    » Read More

  • Campus Policy Manual: 200.4 Student Academic Freedom

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: November 27, 2018

    Fundamental to our entire philosophy is the firm belief that rights guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States must be protected on the campus as elsewhere and that local, state, and federal laws must prevail on campus. Becoming a member of the University community in no way abrogates or compromises the rights that the Constitution of the United States guarantees to all persons. This principle applies to the adjudication of violations of campus policies as well as other areas.

    » Read More


  • College Sex Bureaucracies Expand and Get More Intrusive

    September 15, 2016

    By Hans Bader at Liberty Unyielding  Writing in the California Law Review, Harvard Law School professors Jeannie Suk and Jacob Gersen note that “Today we have an elaborate and growing federal bureaucratic structure that in effect regulates sex.” This is largely the result of pressure from the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, where I used to work… Read more here.

    » Read More
  • Obama Administration Attacks ‘Reasonableness’ and ‘Common Sense’ in Sex Harassment Investigations

    September 13, 2016

    By Hans Bader at Competitive Enterprise Institute The Supreme Court has repeatedly said that not all sexual flirtation or interaction constitutes sexual harassment, and that whether conduct is bad enough to amount to harassment “should be judged from the perspective of a reasonable person in the plaintiff’s position, considering ‘all the circumstances.’” Thus, reasonableness is part of the legal standard… Read more here.

    » Read More
  • Feds distance themselves from college campus speech restrictions

    November 24, 2013

    By Gabriella Morrongiello at Red Alert Politics Free speech and due process guaranteed by the First and Fifth Amendments remains intact on college campuses as federal officials have backed away from implementing the “blueprint” for campus speech restrictions issued by the Departments of Education (DOE) and Justice (DOJ) in May. The guidelines on campus speech restrictions were developed after the DOE and DOJ carried out a joint investigation into allegations of sexual assault that occurred at the University of Montana. “The investigation found that six football players were accused of aiding, attempting or committing sexual assault from spring 2009 to spring […]

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  • Speech Code of the Month: University of Montana Western

    December 4, 2018

    The debate about “civility” in public expression has raged on over the past year. When several Trump administration officials were heckled at D.C. area restaurants in June, some commentators condemned the hecklers for their “incivility,” while others thought this condemnation wrongly discouraged protest. That same month, Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters called on her supporters to publicly confront officials, while House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi argued that President Trump’s “daily lack of civility” had provoked responses like that of Waters, which she called “unacceptable.” This back-and-forth demonstrates the problem with demands for civility: The term is entirely subjective. And whether elected […]

    » Read More