Westfield State University

Location: Westfield, Massachusetts
Website: http://www.westfield.ma.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 1st Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Westfield State 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 here.

This school does not have any cases at this time.

Red Light Policies

  • Policy Against Discrimination, Discriminatory Harassment and Retaliation

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: June 5, 2015

    Examples of discriminatory harassment, all of which are prohibited by this Policy, include, but are not limited to: …

    • Directing epithets, slurs, derogatory comments, unwelcome jokes or stories at an individual or group because of that person or persons’ membership in a protected class.
    • Displaying hostile, derogatory and/or intimidating symbols/objects, such as offensive posters, cartoons, bulletins, drawings, photographs, magazines, written articles or stories, screen savers, or electronic communications, to an individual or group because of that person or persons’ membership in a protected class.

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Yellow Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Student Life and Related Policies- Anti-Bullying, Mobbing, and Harassment Policy

    Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies
    Last updated: June 5, 2015

    Bullying consists of abusive conduct relative to acts, omissions, or both, that a reasonable person would find hostile, based on the severity, nature, and frequency of the conduct and without regard to the method of delivery, such as verbal, written or electronic. Abusive conduct may include, but is not limited to: repeated infliction of verbal abuse, such as the use of derogatory remarks, insults, and epithets; verbal or physical conduct of a threatening, intimidating, or humiliating nature; the sabotage or undermining of an individual’s work performance; or attempts to exploit an individual’s known psychological or physical vulnerability. A single act normally will not constitute abusive conduct, but an especially severe and egregious act may meet the standard.

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  • Student Handbook: Student Life and Related Policies- Residence Hall Posting Policy

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: June 5, 2015

    Individuals and groups wishing to advertise events or services that may be of interest to on-campus residents should contact the Office of Residential Life for permission. The Executive Director of Residential Life (or designee) reserves the right to refuse permission to advertise for those events or services that promote the use of alcohol or are insensitive to members of the campus community. Approved items will be then posted in the halls by the Residential Life staff in appropriate areas.

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  • Student Handbook: Sexual Violence Policy and Investigation and Resolution Procedures

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: June 5, 2015

    Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature is prohibited when: …  such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance or creating a sexually intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment, educational, or living environment.

    Examples of sexual harassment may include, but are not limited to:

    • repeatedly pressuring another person for sexual activity;
    • making sexist remarks about an individual’s clothing, body or sexual activities;
    • unnecessary touching, patting or pinching another person;
    • demanding sex from a subordinate while making threats concerning the subordinate’s job;
    • demanding sex from a student while making implied threats concerning the student’s grade;
    • electronically transmitting derogatory, demeaning or pornographic materials;
    • posting explicit sexual pictures on an exterior office door or on a computer monitor; and
    • sexually assaulting another person.

    In order for conduct to constitute sexual harassment under this Policy, a reasonable person under similar circumstance would have to conclude that the behavior was harassing or discriminatory.

    Unwelcome conduct of a nonsexual nature based on a person’s actual or perceived sex, including conduct based on gender identity, gender expression, and nonconformity with gender stereotypes, is prohibited when: … such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment, educational, or living environment based on gender.

    Examples of gender-based harassment include, but are not limited to:

    • using derogatory comments and terms toward a male or female who do not act in ways that align with their gender stereotype, such as a male being called names for being interested in the arts or a female being called names for being interested in construction;
    • telling someone to use a restroom that does not align with that person’s gender identity; and
    • making generalized derogatory comments about one gender, such as “all females” are ______ or “all males” are _______.

    In order for conduct to constitute gender-based harassment under this Policy, a reasonable person under similar circumstance would have to conclude that the behavior was harassing or discriminatory.

    Any form of speech or conduct, no matter how offensive, unpleasant or even hateful, which is protected by the principles of academic freedom or the U.S. Constitution, is not subject to this policy.

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  • Student Handbook: Student Conduct Regulations and Procedures

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: June 5, 2015

    The following regulations demonstrate conduct that is prohibited and will subject offenders to disciplinary action. … Physical abuse, verbal abuse, intimidation or threats to any member of the university community, visitor or guest. … Harassing, intimidating, or stalking any member of the College community, visitor or guest. This includes repeated verbal or physical annoyances, or threats committed by any means such as orally, electronically, or in writing. … Acts of bullying which consists of abusive conduct that a reasonable person would find hostile based on the severity, nature and frequency of the conduct and without regard to the method of delivery. This conduct may include, but not be limited to, repeated infliction of verbal abuse, such as the use of derogatory remarks, insults and epithets; or verbal or physical conduct of a threatening, intimidating or humiliating nature.

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  • Student Handbook: Student Life and Related Policies- Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: June 5, 2015

    The University prohibits the use of its information technology resources for the following purposes: …

    • For any political purpose; …
    • To access or share sexually explicit, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate materials ….

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  • Demonstration/Picketing

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: June 5, 2015

    To ensure that public demonstrations of opinion do not violate directly or indirectly the rights of others by preventing the ordinary operation of the University, notification of a public speech, rally, demonstration, march, or protest should be submitted, if possible, a minimum of 48 hours in advance to the Vice President of Student Affairs.

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Green Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Student Conduct Regulations and Procedures

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: June 5, 2015

    Westfield State University recognizes that the student, as an adult member of society and a citizen of the United States of America, is entitled to respect and consideration and has the right to the constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of speech, assembly and association.

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This school does not have any media coverage at this time.
  • Speech Code of the Month: Westfield State College

    February 3, 2010

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for February 2010: Westfield State College in Massachusetts. Westfield’s Student Handbook prohibits “discrimination,” which it defines to include “making disparaging remarks that insult or stigmatize a student’s cultural background or race” as well as “making insensitive remarks that reflect a student’s disability.” Westfield State College is a public university, bound to protect its students’ First Amendment right to free speech. The college recognizes this fact elsewhere in its policies, clearly stating that “Westfield State College recognizes that the student, as an adult member of society and a citizen of the United States of […]

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