Western Oregon University

Location: Monmouth, Oregon
Website: http://www.wou.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 9th Circuit

Tell Western Oregon University to revise its speech policies by filling out this form.

Speech Code Rating

Western Oregon 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 here.

At present, FIRE has not been involved in any cases at this school.
Yellow Light Policies
  • Policy FA-04-016: Campus Posting Guidelines

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: October 19, 2017

    All posting materials must be approved no later than five (5) days prior to the date of the event or activity by authorized personnel (e.g. Student Affairs, Campus Dining, University Housing).

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  • Code of Student Responsibility: Specific Standards and Policies- Harassment, Discrimination, Bullying or Stalking Behavior

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: October 19, 2017

    Harassment, which includes but is not limited to: …

    (b) Conduct without physical contact or physical interference with a person, including but not limited to harassing, bullying or threatening behavior, including verbal communication, which is intended to and has the effect of:

    (A) Substantially disrupting another person’s lawful activity;

    (B) Causing another person to be subject to unwelcome or offensive physical contact;

    (C) Causing personal injury or property damage or risk of personal injury or property damage;

    (D) Causing another person to be subject to unwelcome and objectively unreasonable interference with mental and emotional health;

    (E) Putting the person in fear for safety; or

    (F) Harassing or bullying another person based on their actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion.

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  • Policy GL-05-002: Discrimination and Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: October 19, 2017

    Harassment. Harassment, for the purposes of this policy, is defined as conduct that creates an intimidating, hostile, or degrading environment that would interfere with the work or academic performance of a reasonable person of the complainant’s protected status.

    Sexual Harassment. Sexual harassment is a form of discriminatory harassment. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature when directed toward an individual because of that individual’s sex when: … Such conduct is unwelcome and has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or academic environment.

    Examples of Prohibited Conduct. The following are examples of conduct that may be prohibited under this policy. This list is representative and is not exhaustive:

    a. Unwelcome touching or physical closeness of a personal nature, which can include leaning over, cornering, or pinching.

    b. Sexual innuendos, teasing and other sexual talk such as jokes, intimate inquiries, persistent and unwanted courting, and sexist put-downs or insults.

    c. Derogatory remarks, slurs or jokes about an individual’s race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, veteran status, disability, or any other status protected by law.

    » Read More

  • Code of Student Responsibility: Specific Standards and Policies- Sexual Misconduct

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: October 19, 2017

    Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, sexual advances, requests or suggestions to engage in sexual conduct, and other physical and expressive behavior of a sexual nature when: … Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance or creates an intimidating or hostile employment, educational, or living environment.

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  • Code of Student Responsibility: Specific Standards and Policies- Threatening or Abusive Behavior

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: October 19, 2017

    (b) Conduct which threatens imminent bodily harm or endangers the physical or emotional health of any person or oneself.
    (c) Physical or emotional abuse of any person.

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  • Guide to Residential Living: Posting in the Residential Complex

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: October 19, 2017

    [O]bscene, degrading, racist, sexist, and/or harassing literature will be removed from bulletin boards and other public areas at the discretion of the RD.

    » Read More


Green Light Policies
  • Policy GL-01-004: Time Place and Manner

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: October 19, 2017

    It is the policy of Western Oregon University to have guidelines for Time, Place and Manner. These are rules for speech activities on campus.

    PUBLIC AREAS Hours: Speech activities are permitted on university grounds and in university buildings during regular business hours except:

    1 Classroom buildings

    2 Research and laboratory facilities and buildings

    3 Library

    4 Student Health and Counseling Center, and

    5 Any area or building that has restricted access including offices and special purpose rooms in the Werner University Center.

    Speech activities in residence halls and married student housing areas may be regulated by the Director of University Residences. Such regulations shall be content neutral. All meeting rooms and dining areas in the residence halls are subject to this section, insuring that there will not be disruption of regular campus activities.

    Location: University Business Not to be Impeded

    • NO speech activity shall impede pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

    • NO speech activity shall unreasonably disrupt regular or authorized activities in classrooms, office laboratories, and other university facilities or grounds.  The Director of Campus Public Safety may restrict speech activity to a reasonable distance from any exit, entrance, staircase, parking lot or roadway to allow access.

    • Speech activities shall be conducted at a volume that does not disrupt the normal use of classrooms, offices, and laboratories.

    • Speech activities may not be available on portions of the campus and within the university community in order to meet traffic, emergency access, and public transit needs.

    • The size, number, and location of posters and lawn signs may be regulated by the administrator responsible for the geographic area.

    In order to allow scheduling and to assure public safety, persons desiring to picket or demonstrate are encouraged to notify the Director of Campus Public Safety at least 24 hours in advance.

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At present, FIRE does not maintain information on this school's policies.
  • College Media Advisers Censures Western Oregon University

    January 20, 2009

    Inside Higher Ed is reporting today that College Media Advisers (CMA), a group dedicated to promoting student journalism, sent an official letter of censure to Western Oregon University President Dr. John Minahan. According to the CMA’s letter: The university chose not to rehire Ms. [Susan] Wickstrom [the student paper’s adviser] after student staff of the Western Oregon Journal in spring 2007 discovered Social Security numbers and other confidential information about former students in files on the university’s public computer server. The students downloaded the information to a disk and, after consulting with Wickstrom, notified university administrators of the security breach. […]

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