Wake Forest University

Location: Winston Salem, North Carolina
Type: Private
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Speech Code Rating

Wake Forest University 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

Due Process Rating

Sexual Misconduct

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F

Felonies

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F

  • Student Code of Conduct: Verbal Abuse and/or Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: February 19, 2018

    Verbal abuse is the use of obscene, profane, or derogatory language that abuses or defames another person. Harassment is any action, verbal or nonverbal, that annoys or disturbs another person or that causes another person to be reasonably apprehensive or endangers the health or safety of another person. Read More
  • Student Code of Conduct: Campus Posting

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: February 19, 2018

    All signs/posters/flyers displayed on campus must be in good taste, consistent with University policies, and must not contain sexist, racist, profane or derogatory remarks, or nudity. In addition, messages that contain abusive language, threats, fighting words, or obscenities will be removed. The University retains ... Read More
  • Student Code of Conduct: Misuse of Online Resources

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: February 19, 2018

    Although the University does not actively monitor students’ use of computing resources, any information brought to the attention of University officials about the misuse of online resources, including social networking sites, may be pursued through the University’s undergraduate judicial system. Examples of such beh... Read More
  • Student Code of Conduct: Conduct and Social Regulations and Policies – Introduction

    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes
    Last updated: February 19, 2018

    When, in the opinion of the University, the conduct of a student at any place is reprehensible or detrimental to the best interests of that student, his or her fellow students, or the University, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken. Read More
  • Student Code of Conduct: Bullying/Cyberbullying

    Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies
    Last updated: February 19, 2018

    Although definitions of bullying vary, most agree that bullying involves: … Repetition: incidents of bullying happen to the same the person over and over by the same person or group. … Bullying can take many forms. Examples include: Verbal: name-calling, teasing Social: spreading rumors, leaving people ... Read More
  • Guide to Community Living: Room Displays

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: February 19, 2018

    Realizing that the display of certain items may be considered offensive and disrespectful to some community members, the university requires the use of discretion concerning the content of the pictures, posters, or written materials displayed in rooms and hallways. Residents possessing any materials that the univers... Read More
  • Title IX: Definitions of Sexual Misconduct

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: February 19, 2018

    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
  • Report Bias: Frequently Asked Questions

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: February 19, 2018

    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 Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: February 19, 2018

    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

Sexual Misconduct

F
2/20
  • 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

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
At present, FIRE has not been involved in any cases at this school.
  • 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.