Western Washington University

Location: Bellingham, Washington
Type: Public
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Speech Code Rating

Western Washington 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
  • Chapter 516-21 WAC: Student Conduct Code- Harassment (other than sexual harassment or discriminatory harassment)

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 27, 2018

    Harassment is conduct by any means that is severe or pervasive. It is of such a nature that it would cause a reasonable person in the complainant’s position substantial emotional distress and undermine their ability to work, study, or participate in their regular life activities or participate in the activiti... Read More
  • Chapter 516-21 WAC: Student Conduct Code- Discrimination and discriminatory harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: September 27, 2018

    (1) Sexual harassment is a violation of the code. Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal, nonverbal, electronic, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when: (a) It has a tangible impact on a student’s educatio... Read More
  • Chapter 516-21 WAC: Student Conduct Code- Misuse of computers, electronic data or communication systems

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: September 27, 2018

    Misuse of computers, electronic data, or communication systems is a violation of the code. This includes, but is not limited to: … (4) The use of campus computing facilities, networks (including wireless networks), equipment, or services to “cyber stalk” another person or to send obscene, abusive, ... Read More
  • Exterior Space Use

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: September 27, 2018

    All outside activities with a potential impact on the normal conduct of the University’s operation must be scheduled through the Viking Union Reservations Office. Outside activity space requests must be approved beforehand with request of a particular space through the Viking Union Reservations Office, at whic... Read More
  • Posting Policy (Campus Wide)

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: September 27, 2018

    1. Interior Spaces Displays on building interiors must be confined to bulletin boards or similar areas provided for that purpose. Attaching signs or other displays to walls, doors, stairs, railings, balconies or other interior structures causes damage and creates hazards and is, therefore, prohibited. … iv) Op... Read More
  • Bias Incident Reporting Form

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: September 27, 2018

    Western wants to address bias, harassment and discrimination within our community.  So that the appropriate people can respond and assist those who are targeted, we need to know what happens and how often.  By reporting incidents, you become part of the solution. … Bias incidents can be demonstrations of bias,... Read More
  • Western Washington University: Student Investigated Over Parking Ticket Remark

    October 21, 2011

    After receiving a parking ticket from WWU’s Parking Services Division in September 2011, student Jacob Ramirez sent in his payment via personal check, writing "F— the Police" on both the check and the ticket. Two weeks later, WWU notified him that he was being investigated for a possible violation of WWU’s Student Rights and Responsibilities… Read more

  • WWU Admits Error in Using Student Code to Investigate Protected Speech

    November 1, 2011

    FIRE likes to give credit where it’s due when a university is forthright about errors it made in violating the rights of students. While we already commended Western Washington University last week for quickly doing the right thing and ending its investigation of student Jacob Ramirez, WWU’s official response to FIRE deserves its own additional praise. That’s because it… Read more

  • Victory: Western Washington University Drops Investigation of Student Over Parking Ticket Remark

    October 27, 2011

    Western Washington University (WWU) student Jacob Ramirez recently found out he was the subject of a university investigation due to a comment he wrote on a parking ticket he received. After FIRE intervened, WWU quickly backtracked, dropping the case and clearing the student’s record. Jacob Ramirez’s case began around September 30, when he was issued… Read more

  • Are Pictures of Abortion ‘Hate Speech?’

    May 11, 2006

    Last week, Phi Beta Cons noted a story in the Bellingham (Wash.) Herald describing yet another instance of vandalism of a pro-life display. According to the Herald, Western Washington University student David Janus Zhang was so enraged by a “display showing pictures of aborted fetuses next to images of genocide” that he jumped over a… Read more