Washington University in St. Louis

Location: Saint Louis, Missouri
Type: Private
Tell Washington University in St. Louis to revise its speech policies by filling out this form.

Speech Code Rating

Washington University in St. Louis 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

This school has adopted the chicago statement for free speech. This school has adopted the chicago statement for free speech. This school has adopted the chicago statement for free speech.

Due Process Rating

Sexual Misconduct

Read more
F

Non-Sexual Misconduct

Read more
D

  • Rights and Responsibilities of Resident Students

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: May 17, 2018

    The right to be free from fear of intimidation, physical and/or emotional harm. Read More
  • Discrimination and Harassment: Sexual Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: May 17, 2018

    Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination based on sex. It may include unwelcome sexual advances or other nonconsensual conduct of a sexual nature, when (1) submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis or threatened basis for employment decisions or for academic evaluation, grades, or advancemen... Read More
  • Residential Life Policies and Procedures: Posting Guidelines

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: May 17, 2018

    No reference to alcohol, drugs, or nudity is permissible; no sexist or discriminatory materials allowed. What constitutes sexist or discriminatory materials will be left to the discretion of the Residential Life staff. Read More
  • Bias Report and Support System: What is a Bias Incident?

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: May 17, 2018

    A bias incident is any discriminatory or hurtful act that appears to be or is perceived by the victim to be motivated by race, ethnicity, age, religion, national origin, sex, disability, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, veteran status or socioeconomic status. To be considered an incident, the act i... Read More
  • Advertising and Promotions

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: May 17, 2018

    Posting may not make any references to alcoholic beverages or other drugs. Sexist and discriminatory materials are not allowed. Read More
  • Demonstrations and Disruption

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: May 17, 2018

    In pursuit of its mission to promote teaching and learning, Washington University in St. Louis encourages students, faculty and staff to be bold, independent, and creative thinkers. Fundamental to this process is the creation of an environment that respects the rights of all members of the University community to ex... Read More
  • University Student Conduct Code: General Principles

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: May 17, 2018

    These community standards and expectations are intended to foster an environment conducive to learning and inquiry. Freedom of thought and expression is essential to the University’s academic mission. Respect for different points of view is essential. Nothing in this Code should be construed to limit the free and op... Read More
  • University Student Conduct Code: Offenses

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: May 17, 2018

    Stalking, hazing, engaging in domestic, dating, or interpersonal violence, or any other conduct which harasses, threatens, or endangers the safety or health of, any member of the University community or visitor to the University. Read More
  • Discrimination and Harassment: Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: May 17, 2018

    Harassment is a form of discrimination. It is generally defined as unwelcome conduct, on or off campus, that is based on race, color, national origin, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, disability or genetic information, that (1) is subjectively and objectively off... Read More
  • Residential Life Policies and Procedures: Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: May 17, 2018

    Washington University advocates a positive and safe environment for its students, faculty, and staff and does not tolerate harassment of any kind. Harassment is defined as unwelcome and objectively offensive conduct that (a) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or education... 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
0/20
  • 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
6/20
  • 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
  • Washington University: Mandatory University Viewpoint

    September 10, 2002

    The Student Bar Association (SBA) at Washington University School of Law voted 27-6, with 4 abstentions, to recognize Law Students Pro-Life. This vote overturned two earlier decisions that denied recognition to Law Students Pro-Life, the critical first vote having been 27-10-1 against the group. In a September 9, 2002 letter of rejection to Law Students… Read more

  • Speech Code Countdown: ‘U.S. News’ Top 25 College Rankings, Numbers 19-11

    October 6, 2016

    FIRE’s U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges” Countdown continues today. We’re giving you a school-by-school analysis of just how well America’s “Best Colleges” do when it comes to protecting free speech on campus. Unfortunately, in today’s crop of top campuses, troubling speech codes abound. As part of FIRE’s fresh look at U.S. News’ top-ranked… Read more

  • Washington University in St. Louis Endorses Version of the Chicago Statement

    September 12, 2016

    Last week, the Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) Faculty Senate Council endorsed a statement affirming the university’s “unwavering commitment to freedom of expression and free exchange of ideas.” With this vote, WashU joins more than a dozen other institutions at which faculty or administrative bodies have adopted a version of the 2015 University of… Read more

  • Speech Code of the Month: Washington University in St. Louis

    April 5, 2013

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for April 2013: Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL). Specifically, WUSTL’s Residence Life Policies and Procedures define “harassment” as: any behavior or conduct that is injurious, or potentially injurious to a person’s physical, emotional, or psychological well-being, as determined at the sole discretion of the University. Such… Read more

  • The State of Free Speech on Campus: Washington University in St. Louis

    April 6, 2009

    Throughout the spring semester, FIRE is drawing special attention to the state of free speech at America’s top 25 national universities (as ranked by U.S. News & World Report). Today we review policies at Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL), which FIRE has given a red-light rating for maintaining policies that clearly and substantially restrict… Read more

  • This Month in FIRE History: Victory for Freedom of Conscience at Citrus College; Coerced Student Anti-War Letters Repudiated by Administration

    March 13, 2009

    As we at FIRE often say, as dangerous as it is to tell citizens what they can and cannot say, it is far worse to tell them what they must say and, worse still—what they must believe. Unfortunately, we have far too many examples of colleges doing exactly that. In February of 2003, Citrus College… Read more

  • This Month in FIRE History: Victory for Conscience and Legal Equality at Washington University, Saint Louis

    October 16, 2006

    Four years ago this month, Washington University School of Law’s Student Bar Association (SBA) voted to recognize the student group Law Students Pro-Life. The October 14, 2002, vote overturned two earlier decisions that denied recognition to Law Students Pro-Life, ostensibly on the grounds that the group’s mission was too narrow because it did not have… Read more

  • RIC Is Not the Only One

    February 24, 2005

    A FIRE supporter has written us and noted that forced lobbying is “quite common, and apparently accepted, in Social Work schools.” He goes on to say: At Washington University Social Work students also engaged in school-directed lobbying of the state legislature on behalf of University-approved positions as part of a course for credit. Since Washington… Read more

  • Open Letter From the ACLU and FIRE

    October 11, 2002

    An Open Letter from the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education to the Student Bar Association, Washington University School of Law October 11, 2002 Dear Members of the Student Bar Association, We were both surprised and profoundly disappointed to learn of your most recent meeting, at… Read more

  • Law School Dean Joel Seligman’s Response to Critics

    October 10, 2002

    From: Marjorie Anderson [mailto:manderson@wulaw.wustl.edu] Sent: Thursday, October 10, 2002 2:59 PM To: rz[…] Subject: Re: Say It Isn’t So! Due to the overwhelming number of emails, I am helping Dean Seligman answer all incoming mail. In response to your email, Dean Seligman replies: “Thank you for your recent email. The SBA and the ProLife students… Read more

  • Double Standard at Washington University, Saint Louis

    October 9, 2002

    ST. LOUIS, MO—Washington University in Saint Louis, under Chancellor Mark Stephen Wrighton and Law School Dean Joel Seligman, knowingly has permitted an official University agency to deny recognition of a student organization because of the group’s refusal to adopt the University’s political view of the group’s moral mission. “Washington University’s chancellor has condoned intolerable restrictions… Read more

  • FIRE’s letter to WUSL Chancellor Mark Stephen Wrighton

    September 30, 2002

    September 30, 2002 Mark Stephen Wrighton Chancellor, Washington University in St. Louis Chancellor’s Office, Box 1192 One Brookings Drive St. Louis, MO 63130 Dear Chancellor Wrighton, As you can see from our directors and board of advisors, FIRE unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals across the political and ideological… Read more

  • SBA President Elliott Friedman’s Letter to Law Students Pro-Life

    September 10, 2002

    —–Original Message—– From: Elliott Friedman [mailto:emfriedm@wulaw.wustl.edu] Sent: Tuesday, September 10, 2002 12:06 AM To: Jordan Siverd Subject: Law Students ProLife Jordan, By a vote of 27-10-1, Law Students ProLife did not pass approval of the Student Bar Association at Washington University School of Law to be considered an active student organization. The representatives of SBA… Read more