University of West Florida

Location: Pensacola, Florida
Website: http://www.uwf.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 11th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

University of West Florida 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

  • Student Code of Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: February 8, 2016

    The following behavior violates the University Student Code of Conduct: Disrespect to persons or to property of others or of the University ….

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  • Housing Handbook: Standards for Community Living

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: February 8, 2016

    While each of us has the right to our own personal beliefs, these beliefs do not give us the right to put down others on the basis of their age, physical disability, nation of origin, sexual orientation, race, gender, or religious affiliation.

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  • Discrimination and Harassment Guide for Faculty, Staff, and Students

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: February 8, 2016

    What is sexual harassment?

    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 academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or academic environment.

    Examples of sexual harassment include:

    • Offensive sexually-oriented jokes or remarks that degrade a person or group based on gender
    • Sexist remarks regarding a person’s body, clothing or intellectual capacity

    Harassment is verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility toward an individual based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, veteran status
    or any other protected status.

    Examples of other types of harassment include:

    Epithets, slurs, or negative stereotyping, threatening, intimidating or hostile acts, denigrating jokes and display or circulation (including via email) of written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility toward an individual or group.

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Yellow Light Policies
  • Student Code of Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: February 8, 2016

    Harassment based on any of the following protected classes: gender (including gender identity and sex), race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, marital status, veteran status or sexual orientation. Harassment is defined as conduct that unreasonably interferes with an individual’s academic or employment status or performance by creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment or an educational environment. (Harassment on the basis of these protected classes may include unequal treatment that is based on prejudiced stereotypes of a group to which that individual may belong such as objectionable epithets, threatened or actual physical harm or abuse, stalking, or other intimidating or insulting conduct directed against the individual based on his or her protected class.)

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  • Student Code of Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: February 8, 2016

    Use of University computing facilities or resources to send obscene or abusive material.

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  • Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: February 8, 2016

    For the purpose of this policy, harassment is defined as unwelcome conduct which is based on an individual’s protected class (age, color, disability, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation and veteran status) that is sufficiently severe or pervasive, so as to alter the terms and conditions of employment or substantially disrupt the educational environment.

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  • Public Expression, Assembly, and Distribution of Written Materials

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: February 8, 2016

    The University does not contain any traditional public forum areas.

    In the interest of facilitating a “marketplace of ideas,” designed to provide opportunities for public debate and discourse while at the same time minimizing disruption to the campuses core functions, the University has designated an area for public expression (designated public forum). The lawn immediately west of the Pace Library is designated as the University’s Public Forum. The Designated Public Forum is also open to all individuals seeking to express their opinions without prior registration or approval. In the event that a Universitysponsored or sanctioned activity is scheduled to take place in the Designated Public Forum, alternative space will be made available to interested parties. The use of the Designated Public Forum is limited to regular university operating hours (Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.).

    The exercise of public expression and assembly on the UWF campus by students, faculty, staff, guests and members of the public shall be in accordance with the guidelines set forth herein:

    a. Scheduled Assemblies – Assemblies in all areas on the campus, except for the area designated as the “Designated Public Forum,” must be scheduled and approved according to the policies set forth in the locations/buildings/facilities in which they are to be held.
    b. Unscheduled Assemblies – The lawn immediately west of the Pace Library (UWF’s Designated Public Forum) is established as the only campus location for unscheduled public assemblies.

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  • Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Violence, Gender-Based Discrimination and Retaliation

    Last updated: February 8, 2016

    Sexual Harassment – unwelcome conduct, based on sex/gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity, that is sufficiently severe or pervasive so that it alters the terms and conditions of the Complainant’s employment or educational environment. Sexual harassment may include, for example, unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other physical or verbal conduct of sexual nature.

    (a) Sexual Harassment. Sexual harassment violates this Policy when any one of the following occur:

    (i) the unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature is sufficiently severe or pervasive so as to alter the terms and conditions of the individual’s employment or educational environment…

     

     

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Green Light Policies
  • Bias Response: Hate Speech and Free Speech

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: February 8, 2016

    An area of concern, but one which is particularly difficult for universities to deal with, is the area of “Hate Speech.” This area is difficult because of the nation’s deep commitment to free speech and all universities’ particular focus on free speech as a major component in the university learning environment. We believe that we can both maintain respect for free speech and engage a fruitful concern for “hate speech.” With this in mind, we define Hate Speech as:

    Hate speech is speech, text, images (written/spoken) presented in public that are designed to incite hatred, violence, contempt, or severe ridicule towards, or to intimidate or create terror or fear among members of racial, religious, or other groups (such as sexual minorities).

    The UWF community values the freedom of expression rights guaranteed to all individuals in the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. While some acts of bias or hate may be violations of the law and/or University policy, many may be considered speech protected by the First Amendment; which allows for the expression of hateful and intolerant statements and expressive conduct. In such cases, no formal action can be taken against the offending person or persons. However, the University has an obligation and the right to respond to such incidents in a manner consistent with the role of promoting a climate of tolerance, respect, inclusion and dialogue. Having an ongoing discussion of what constitutes bias and hate speech, in the context of the preservation of free speech, is an imperative part of the process of creating and maintaining a just and inclusive learning community.

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At present, FIRE does not maintain information on this school's policies.
  • Free Speech Zone Policy Debated at University of West Florida

    March 4, 2011

    On Valentine’s Day at the University of West Florida (UWF), people strolling the public university’s Cannon Greens did not see the language of love displayed, but instead the graphic images of genocide victims and aborted fetuses provided by a California anti-abortion group. According to an article by Terry Strickland in UWF’s student newspaper The Voyager, the display was held outside of UWF’s “free speech zone” (between buildings 18 and 21 on the campus map), and not without complaint. Many students claimed that the display was “a violation of decency” and questioned why it had not been confined to UWF’s free […]

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