Wake Forest University

Location: Winston Salem, North Carolina
Type: Private
Tell Wake Forest University to revise its speech policies by filling out this form.

Speech Code Rating

Wake Forest University 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

Due Process Rating

Felonies

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F

Sexual Misconduct

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D

Non-Sexual Misconduct

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D

  • Policy on Responsible and Ethical Use of Computing Resources

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: April 10, 2019

    Harassing, bullying or intimidating others, or otherwise engaging in conduct prohibited by University policies or applicable law. Read More
  • Undergraduate Student Handbook: Minimum Expectations- Bullying/Cyberbullying

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies
    Last updated: April 10, 2019

    Repeated and/or severe actions that intimidate or intentionally harm or control another person physically or emotionally. Examples of bullying and cyberbullying include: Sending mean or inappropriate text messages and emails; Posting humiliating pictures of someone else online for others to see; or Starting or perp... Read More
  • Undergraduate Student Handbook: Minimum Expectations- Harassment

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: April 10, 2019

    Harassment is any unwelcome and persistent or pervasive conduct directed toward an individual or against a group that is based on that person’s or group’s actual or perceived race, color, age, ethnicity, national origin, immigration status, socioeconomic status, political affiliation, veteran status, pregnancy statu... Read More
  • Undergraduate Student Handbook: Minimum Expectations- Threatening Behavior

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes
    Last updated: April 10, 2019

    Written or verbal conduct that causes a reasonable expectation of physical, emotional, or psychological harm to the health or safety of any person or damage to any property. Read More
  • Guide to Community Living: Roommate Bill of Rights and Responsibilities

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: April 10, 2019

    As a member of Wake Forest’s residential community, the following are the rights you can expect and have a responsibility to maintain: The right … To be free from fear of intimidation, physical, and/or emotional harm, and racial, sexual, or other prejudicial harassment. Read More
  • Wake Forest University CARE (Campus Assessment, Response and Evaluation) Team Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: April 10, 2019

    The CARE Team is composed of representatives from throughout the University who have specific expertise and professional training in the assessment of, and intervention with, individuals who may present a threat to themselves and/or the University community. The CARE Team can follow up (directly or indirectly) with ... Read More
  • Title IX: Definitions of Sexual Misconduct

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: April 9, 2019

    Sexual or gender-based harassment is a form of discrimination that includes verbal, written, or physical behavior, directed at someone, or against a particular group, because of that person’s or group’s sex, gender identity, actual or perceived sexual orientation, or based on gender stereotypes, when that behavior i... Read More
  • Event Management Procedures for Campus Social Functions with Alcohol

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: April 10, 2019

    Themes of registered social functions (including publicity materials) may not be sexually, racially, religiously, or ethnically offensive. Read More
  • Report Bias: Frequently Asked Questions

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: April 9, 2019

    Wake Forest defines a bias incident as any threat or act – verbal, written, or physical – that is directed against or targeted at a member(s) of the Wake Forest community or Wake Forest property that are motivated, in whole or in part, because of a bias against race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexua... Read More
  • Strategic Plan Vision and Mission Statements

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: April 9, 2019

    From its rich religious heritage, Wake Forest is committed to sustaining an environment where vital beliefs and faith traditions can engage secular thought in a climate of academic freedom and an unfettered search for truth. Read More

Policies are rated on their inclusion of 10 due process safeguards. Each policy may receive 2 points for fully including that safeguard, 1 point for partial inclusion, and 0 points for no meaningful inclusion. Most, but not all, institutions have separate policies for sexual misconduct and all other misconduct. See FIRE’s Spotlight on Due Process report for more information.

Grades

Felonies

F
3/20
  • Presumption of innocence
  • Adequate and timely notice
  • Adequate time to prepare
  • Conflicts of interest prohibited
  • Right to challenge fact-finders
  • Access to all evidence
  • Right to face accuser and witness
  • Active participation of counsel
  • Meaningful right to appeal
  • Expulsion must be unanimous

Sexual Misconduct

D
5/20
  • Presumption of innocence
  • Adequate and timely notice
  • Adequate time to prepare
  • Conflicts of interest prohibited
  • Right to challenge fact-finders
  • Access to all evidence
  • Right to face accuser and witness
  • Active participation of counsel
  • Meaningful right to appeal
  • Expulsion must be unanimous

Non-Sexual Misconduct

D
7/20
  • Presumption of innocence
  • Adequate and timely notice
  • Adequate time to prepare
  • Conflicts of interest prohibited
  • Right to challenge fact-finders
  • Access to all evidence
  • Right to face accuser and witness
  • Active participation of counsel
  • Meaningful right to appeal
  • Expulsion must be unanimous
  • Wake Forest University: Investigation into ‘Build a Wall’ Instagram Post

    March 28, 2019

    In March 2019, a screenshot of an Instagram post was circulated on Twitter, where commenters described the content as “racist.” The post depicted a mock campaign advertisement, encouraging people to write-in a student’s name for class president. The post contained various mock campaign statements, including one that said the candidate wanted to “build a wall”… Read more

  • Wake Forest: Investigating speech ‘not in conflict’ with promising freedom

    May 6, 2019

    Wake Forest University’s leaders don’t think an investigation to uncover the identity of a parody’s author creates a chilling effect on future speakers. They are wrong, and their actions undermine the promise of free expression the university makes to its students. You may remember that, in March, FIRE wrote to Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, North… Read more

  • Wake Forest wastes time, money investigating parody Instagram post

    April 4, 2019

    WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., April 4, 2019 — Does Wake Forest University know that, historically, witch hunts haven’t gone well in places named Salem? Based on the Winston-Salem school’s decision to investigate a parody Instagram post, they do not — and now a controversy is brewing. Today, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is calling on Wake… Read more

  • Wake Forest’s investigation of ‘build a wall’ Instagram post chills free speech

    March 28, 2019

    Wake Forest University has promised to investigate an anonymous Instagram post from last Friday that appears to be a parody of a student government campaign ad. Why? Because the post says the hypothetical candidate (who is a real student, but isn’t running for office and didn’t know about the post) wants to build a wall… Read more

  • REPORT: North Carolina is home to some of America’s best colleges for free speech

    September 24, 2018

    Eight colleges in North Carolina earn FIRE’s highest rating for free speech — more than in any other state — but 17 still maintain policies that substantially restrict student expression. PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 24, 2018 — A new report finds that North Carolina’s colleges and universities lead the way nationally for protecting student free speech. The… Read more

  • Of saltines and speech codes

    March 9, 2018

    Bias Response Teams were in the news last month after a 2016 incident at Wake Forest University became the subject of national attention. For administrators at Wake Forest, a student being called a “mayonnaise monster” is sufficient grounds to investigate speech and remind students of the need to be “respectful.” According to the Old Gold… Read more

  • Speech Code of the Month: Wake Forest University

    May 5, 2014

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for May 2014: Wake Forest University. Wake Forest’s “Campus Posting” policy explicitly restricts student postings on the basis of their viewpoint. Not only does the policy ban any postings subjectively deemed “sexist,” “racist,” “derogatory,” or not in “good taste,” but it threatens violators with fines and disciplinary action. With this policy, Wake Forest places an impermissibly heavy burden on students wishing to express controversial political or social opinions on campus.