University of Washington

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

Speech Code Rating

University of Washington 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 does not maintain information on this school's policies.
Yellow Light Policies
  • Presidential Orders: Non-discrimination and Affirmative Action

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: April 13, 2016

    Sexual harassment is a form of harassment based on the recipient’s sex that is characterized by: … Unwelcome and unsolicited language or conduct that is of a sexual nature or that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it could reasonably be expected to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment, or has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic or work performance.

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  • Housing and Food Services: Options and Resources for Victims of Bias-related Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: April 13, 2016

    Bias-related conduct is behavior that by intent, action and/or outcome may offend, harm or threaten to harm a person or group. Such behavior is usually motivated by prejudice toward a person or group because of factors such as race, religion, ethnicity, disability, national origin, age, gender or sexual orientation.

    Some bias-related conduct comes in the form of speech that can appear to be offensive, derogatory or demeaning. Although these and other expressions betray the UW’s ideal of a campus community committed to honor and respect, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution may protect expressions of this nature.  Regardless of whether or not a specific situation is punishable, acts of bias should be appropriately addressed.  In the absence of a disciplinary procedure, an educational response may be warranted.

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  • Residence Hall System Community Standards

    Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies
    Last updated: April 13, 2016

    I will not participate in any action or situation involving physical or mental abuse, harassment, bullying, cyber-bullying, intimidation, hazing, pranks and/or other conduct that recklessly or intentionally endangers or threatens the health, safety or welfare of any person or results in damage to University property.

     

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Green Light Policies
  • Presidential Orders: Non-discrimination and Affirmative Action

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: April 13, 2016

    Harassment is conduct directed at a person because of the person’s race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, or military status that is unwelcome and sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that:

    1) It could reasonably be expected to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or learning environment, or

    2) It has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance. Harassment is a form of discrimination.

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  • Student Activities Office Policy Guide: Handbill Distribution

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: April 13, 2016

    Non-commercial handbills, leaflets, and similar materials may be distributed by regularly enrolled students, and by University personnel in public areas of the HUB, and in meeting rooms that have been reserved for their use, so long as such distribution does not materially or substantially interfere with the conduct of University functions or the freedom of movement.

    . . .

    To promote robust dialog, the HUB encourages, but does not require, distributors of handbills, leaflets, and similar materials to include contact information on the material distributed.

     

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  • Student Conduct Code: Standards of Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes
    Last updated: April 13, 2016

    As a condition of enrollment, all students assume responsibility to observe standards of conduct that will contribute to the pursuit of academic goals and to the welfare of the university community. That responsibility includes, but is not limited to:

    Refraining from any conduct that would substantially disrupt or materially interfere with university operations;
    Refraining from any conduct that would cause harm to or endanger the health, safety, or welfare of other persons…

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  • Letter: Universities Must Abandon Political Correctness and Illiberal Policies

    January 3, 2016

    By Tom Patten to Tri-City Herald I have donated numerous times over the years to the University of Washington. I am grateful for the excellent educational experience that I enjoyed at the university. In the tradition of scientific inquiry, I was exposed to many different ideas and taught to always question the basis of my beliefs and knowledge. Unfortunately today, higher education is in crisis. Many colleges and universities seek to stifle liberal thought and free speech in a misguided attempt to avoid confrontation and to protect the feelings of illiberal students. I am distressed to see that the UW […]

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  • From Megaphones to Muzzles

    November 25, 2015

    By Susan Mulligan at US News It was students in California who birthed a new era on college campuses, one in which collegians would demand to be included, to be treated like adults and to have a very public say on such hotbed issues as civil rights and the Vietnam War. The Berkeley Free Speech Movement of 1964 became a defining moment in a nationwide trend, with students insisting they would not be silenced on some of the most controversial issues of the day. A half-century later, campuses are again the site of unrest and tension, but it’s not about […]

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  • UW group holds bake sale to slam affirmative action

    October 9, 2003

    By Nguyen Huy Vu at The Seattle Times A conservative student group at the University of Washington said it will continue to protest affirmative action after it held a mock bake sale yesterday in which the goods were priced according to race or ethnicity. In an attempt to show what, they said, are the inequities of affirmative action in college admissions, chocolate-chip cookies were priced at 25 cents for Native Americans, 30 cents for African Americans, 35 cents for Latinos, 50 cents for Pacific Islanders, 95 cents for Asian Americans and $1 for whites. Doughnuts were available for 50 cents to everyone […]

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  • Woe to Moderates on the UW Campus

    January 2, 2002

    By Matt Rosenberg at The Seattle Times Some undergraduates at the University of Washington are learning about freedom of speech the hard way. Take Kathleen Ahern, a freshman business major from Sammamish. This fall, she passed the table of a campus group passing out “Scarves for Solidarity” with Afghan women, and was asked if she’d like to wear one. She declined, and a disagreement followed. Ahern eventually went on her way — posting fliers for a campus speech on terrorism by conservative commentator Ann Coulter. But when Ahern passed the group’s table again later, she says she was called over and handed […]

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  • Student Government at U. of Washington Unanimously Passes Free Speech Resolution

    December 4, 2013

    On November 26, all 100 members of the Associated Students of the University of Washington (ASUW), the university’s student government, voted for the passage of a resolution supporting students’ right of free speech. The unanimous resolution (PDF) reads in part: WHEREAS, roughly 1 in 6 of America’s top colleges have so-called “free speech zones,” defined here as a space into which a college reserves the right to restrict speech or assembly activities, frequently characterized by limited use, limited area, and the need for pre-registration; and WHEREAS, the UW administration in recent years has been both supportive and considerate of the free speech […]

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  • Do School Admins Need to Have a Thicker Skin for Discussion of Social Issues?

    December 2, 2013

    I have to admit, I am tempted to have the text of this blog entry consist of the word “yes” and then head home for the day. A thick skin seems so self-evidently critical to the functioning of a free and democratic society that it’s hard to believe people need to be reminded of it. Yet they do, and among those most in need of a dermatological toughening are administrators at our nation’s high schools (and colleges). Frank LoMonte of the Student Press Law Center (SPLC) brings to our attention a new joint report on civic education from Stanford University and the […]

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