University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh

Location: Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Website: http://www.uwosh.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 7th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh 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.

  • University of Wisconsin: Students’ Due Process Rights

    March 13, 2009

    FIRE successfully persuaded the University of Wisconsin’s Board of Regents to affirm due process rights for students, including the option of a hearing before a committee including student peers, attorney representation in the case of serious allegations, and both e-mail and paper notification of proceedings. The Board had proposed changes to the State Administrative Code governing infractions and judicial procedures within Wisconsin’s public universities that would have limited due process rights and granted more discretion to administrators. FIRE’s Adam Kissel engaged in a speaking tour of University of Wisconsin schools in opposition to these changes, even speaking before the Board […]

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Red Light Policies

  • Community Rights and Responsibilities Handbook: Inclusivity and Diversity

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: June 18, 2015

    No student should have to tolerate demeaning comments or actions of any kind. This includes, but is not limited to, comments regarding an individual’s race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, country of origin, and ability as well as cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations.

    In working to make the climate of our campus both accepting of, and welcoming to, all students, faculty, and staff, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh has taken the stand that it will not tolerate bias incidents or hate crimes. Bias incidents and/or hate crimes involve behavior that is motivated by race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, country of origin, and ability as well as cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations. Bias incidents include those that are motivated by bias, but may not meet the necessary elements required to prove a crime.

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  • Community Rights and Responsibilities Handbook: Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: June 18, 2015

    The introduction of unwanted gender-based verbal, written, or physical conduct into the work, learning, or living environments on the University campus will not be tolerated and is strictly prohibited. Students involved in such behavior may face disciplinary action that may result in removal from all residence halls and suspension/expulsion.

    Verbal: The bullying, intimidation, harassment, or subjecting of another person to derogatory and/or hateful comments through means of communication.

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  • Gen 1.2: Shared Principles to Guide Interactions Among Members of the University

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: June 18, 2015

    All members of the University have a responsibility to promote and a right to expect: … An environment that is free of harassment and free of insulting and demeaning comments and epithets based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, military status, socioeconomic status, family status, or political views; consistent enforcement of federal, state and university protections against discriminatory treatment yet is free from any official speech codes.

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  • Gen 1.2(4): Racist and Discriminatory Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: June 18, 2015

    [R]acist and other discriminatory conduct toward students, employees, officials, and guests at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is conduct which will not be tolerated.


    “Racist and other discriminatory conduct” means intentional conduct, either verbal or physical, that explicitly demeans the race, sex, religion, color, creed, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, or age of an individual or individuals, and that either: (1) has the purpose or effect of interfering with education, University-related work, or other University-authorized activity of a University student, employee, official or guest; or (2) creates an intimidating, hostile or demeaning environment for education, University-related work, or other University-authorized activity.

    In order to enhance understanding of the conduct prohibited under this policy, the following specific examples of racist and other discriminatory conduct are provided:

    (c) Verbal assaults based on ethnicity, such as name calling, racial slurs, or “jokes” that demean a victim’s color, culture or history.

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Yellow Light Policies
  • Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: June 18, 2015

    Section III.32(13) of the Wisconsin Statutes defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome physical contact of a sexual nature or unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.  Unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature includes but is not limited to the deliberate, repeated making of unsolicited gestures or comments, or the deliberate, repeated display of offensive sexually graphic materials which is not necessary for business purposes.

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  • Chapter UWS 18: Conduct on University Lands

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: June 18, 2015

    No person may, with intent to harass, annoy or offend another person, send a message to the person on an electronic mail or other computerized communication system and in that message use any obscene, lewd or profane language or suggest any lewd or lascivious act.

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  • Community Rights and Responsibilities Handbook: Offensive Materials

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: June 18, 2015

    While residents are allowed to post materials on the door to their room, this should not expand to the door frame or surrounding walls. Harassing or demeaning materials should not be posted to the outside of the door or in windows facing outwards for others to see.

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  • Student Affairs: Bias Motivated Incident / Crime Reporting Form

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: June 18, 2015

    The purpose is to track the nature of bias motivated incidents on and off the UW Oshkosh campus in an effort to prevent future behaviors and to help maintain a positive learning, living and working environment within our community. Examples may include but are not limited to the use of degrading language or slurs, spoken or written directed at woman, men, gays, lesbian, racist, anti-semitic, etc. Incidents that rise to the level of a crime should also be reported to University Police. This form does not take the place of reporting a crime to law enforcement.

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  • Gen 13.1(1): Acceptable Use of Computing Resources Policy

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: June 18, 2015

    Examples of inappropriate and unacceptable use of computing and networking resources include, but are not limited to, the following:

    Use of e-mail or messaging services to harass, intimidate, or otherwise annoy another person, for example, by broadcasting unsolicited messages or sending unwanted mail.

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  • Community Rights and Responsibilities Handbook: Disruptive Behavior

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: June 18, 2015

    It is an expectation that students cooperate with one another, guests, Residence Life staff, and other University officials. A student shall not interfere with, annoy, disturb, or distract any other student, guest, or staff member of the University by means of noise, abusive language, or any other nuisance, including laser pointers.

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  • Gen 1.2(6): Sexual Harassment Policy

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: June 18, 2015

    1. Sexual harassment is defined by the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh as follows: Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination. It occurs in a variety of situations which share a common element: the inappropriate introduction of sexual activities or comments into the work, learning or living situation. Often, sexual harassment involves relationships of unequal power, and contains elements of coercion–as when compliance with requests for sexual favors becomes criterion for granting work, study, grading or other benefits. However, sexual harassment may also involve relationships among equals, as when repeated sexual advances or demeaning verbal behavior have a harmful effect on a person’s ability to study or work in the academic setting. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical conduct and expressive behavior of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:
      1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education;
      2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual; or
      3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or demeaning employment or educational environment.

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  • Student Newspaper at University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh Condemns Misconduct Policy Revisions

    October 10, 2008

    The Advance-Titan, the student newspaper at the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh, has joined the fray condemning the student misconduct policy revisions proposed by the University of Wisconsin (UW) System Board of Regents. The editorial reports and agrees with the concerns of the Oshkosh Student Association (OSA) that largely reiterate the objections to the policy’s lack of due process, vagueness, and jurisdictional overbreadth already voiced by UW–Madison professor Don Downs and the Committee for Academic Freedom and Rights (CAFAR) at the University of Wisconsin, the Badger Herald editorial board, and at least one Badger Herald columnist. The Advance-Titan writes, In [the] letter […]

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