William Paterson University

Location: Wayne, New Jersey
Type: Public
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Speech Code Rating

William Paterson 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
  • Residence Life Handbook: Postings

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: August 17, 2021

    The University reserves the right to remove any sign/posting on display in the residence halls that is considered contrary to its mission. These include, but are not limited to, postings considered racially, sexually, or ethnically offensive. Approved posting may be done only on bulletin boards. Failure to comply wi... Read More
  • Student Handbook: Student Code of Conduct- Proscribed Conduct

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies
    Last updated: August 17, 2021

    K. Abuse and/or Bodily Harm … 2. Threats, intimidation, harassment or verbal abuse. 3. Bullying, stalking or cyber-bullying. … L. Bias related harassment, intimidation, or bullying which includes any single or series of, gesture[s], written, verbal or physical act[s], or electronic communication[s] that ... Read More
  • Student Handbook: Student Code of Conduct- Proscribed Conduct

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 17, 2021

    Unwanted sexual interactions, including verbal and physical acts or threats and/or sexual exploitation. Read More
  • Residence Life Handbook: Physical Harm/Harassment/Intentional or Threat of Bodily Harm/Emotional Abuse

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 17, 2021

    Behaviors such as harassment, intimidation, or bullying which includes any single or series of, gesture[s], written, verbal or physical act[s], or electronic communication[s] that is reasonably perceived as being motivated by an actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national or... Read More
  • Student Handbook: Student Demonstration Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: August 17, 2021

    William Paterson University will not restrict faculty, staff, student and/or student organization’s ability to hold an event or host a speaker based on the topic. Public areas may be used for purposes of constitutionally protected free speech, peaceable assembly, or expression without obtaining formal permission fro... Read More
  • Student Handbook: Student Code of Conduct- Students’ Rights and Responsibilities

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: August 17, 2021

    Students and recognized student organizations should be free to examine and discuss all questions of interest to them and to express opinions publicly and privately. They should always be free to support causes in a manner that does not disrupt the regular and essential operations of the University. Read More
  • William Paterson University: Punishment on Harassment Charges for Response to Mass E-Mail

    July 5, 2005

    A Muslim student-employee at William Paterson University (WPU) has been cleared of baseless sexual harassment charges. WPU’s shameful attack on 63-year-old Jihad Daniel’s rights began after he privately replied to an unsolicited March 7 mass e-mail from Professor Arlene Holpp Scala that promoted a viewing and discussion of a film described as “a lesbian relationship… Read more

  • Due Process Legal Update: The Kangaroo Lives On

    November 30, 2016

    In my most recent due process legal update, I mentioned that a California appellate court held oral arguments in the case of a University of California, San Diego student who alleged he was denied a fair hearing in a sexual misconduct case at UCSD. Last July, a California judge ruled that UCSD had denied the… Read more

  • Grand Jury Declines to Indict William Paterson Students Accused of Sexual Assault

    February 2, 2015

    Five William Paterson University (WPU) students who were arrested for sexual assault and barred from WPU’s New Jersey campus last November have had their criminal charges dismissed after a grand jury declined to indict them last week. They aren’t in the clear yet, though—university president Kathleen Waldron has stated that the university “has its own… Read more

  • Pope Center’s ‘Clarion Call’ Highlights FIRE Speech Code of the Month Victory

    November 9, 2007

    This week’s Clarion Call, the weekly column of the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, highlights FIRE’s speech code victory at Fayetteville State University. Fayetteville State’s Code of Student Conduct was picked as FIRE’s Speech Code of the Month for January 2007. It defined racial harassment as: [V]erbal or physical behavior that stigmatizes… Read more

  • FIRE, Carol Iannone, and the Amy Gutmann Halloween Costume Controversy

    November 7, 2006

    On Phi Beta Cons today, Carol Iannone criticizes FIRE’s reaction to the Halloween party picture of University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann with Saad Saadi, a Penn student who dressed as a suicide bomber for Halloween. Iannone says, in part: Contrary to the libertarian view, a good, free, ordered society does not simply proceed on… Read more

  • Bible Studies: Not So Bad After All

    March 14, 2006

    FIRE’s press release today announces a tremendous victory for religious liberty throughout the 13 schools in the University of Wisconsin System. Since last November, the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire (UWEC) has been under attack for a policy that banned RAs from leading Bible studies—or studies of any other holy book—in their dorm rooms, on the… Read more

  • Celebrating One Year of ‘The Torch’

    February 28, 2006

    One year ago this month, FIRE launched The Torch as a decisive step into the daily debate over civil liberties on campus. The blog format has proved to be a great forum for FIRE staff members to introduce and follow up on FIRE cases, discuss current legal and policy issues affecting campus rights, point out… Read more

  • ‘Sexual Harassment Policies Need Reform’

    February 15, 2006

    Do not miss Wendy McElroy’s piece on the abuse of “sexual harassment” from grade school through college. As we wrote on the home page: McElroy aptly rebukes the AAUW for “the harm wrought to children by biased reports that lump ‘comments, jokes, teasing, gestures, or looks’ in with real violence.” FIRE salutes Wendy McElroy for… Read more

  • Censorship is Everybody’s Problem

    December 29, 2005

    FIRE’s press release from yesterday details some of the cases that made 2005 FIRE’s busiest year ever. If 2005 made anything clear, it is that no student, regardless of his or her views, is safe from censorship on today’s college and university campuses. This year, we intervened on behalf of students censored for expressing viewpoints… Read more

  • Cal State’s Spineless Defense

    December 20, 2005

    FIRE’s case at Cal State San Bernardino is making national headlines today. An Associated Press piece is running across California, and the San Bernardino County Sun, the Riverside Press Enterprise, and several other media outlets have published their own stories on Cal State’s assault on religious liberty. FIRE’s own Greg Lukianoff has also been taking… Read more

  • FIRE’s Work Lauded in Newspapers Nationwide

    December 12, 2005

    It’s been a good couple of days for Justice Brandeis’ maxim that “sunlight is the best disinfectant.” Thanks to articles in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, news of FIRE’s efforts to disinfect the swamps of repression currently passing for American universities is reaching an ever-increasing number of… Read more

  • False Harassment Accusations: A Moral Outrage

    December 7, 2005

    FIRE proudly announced today that Jihad Daniel, a student and employee at William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J., has finally been cleared of outrageous sexual harassment charges for the “offense” of expressing a religious disagreement with homosexuality and requesting that he not be sent any more mass e-mails about it. That someone of the Islamic… Read more

  • Victory for Free Speech and Religious Liberty at William Paterson University

    December 7, 2005

    WAYNE, N.J., December 7, 2005—A Muslim student employee at William Paterson University (WPU) in New Jersey has finally been cleared of baseless sexual harassment charges. With the help of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), Jihad Daniel forced the public university to officially revoke the punishment it inflicted on him after he expressed… Read more

  • Hey, Derek Zoolander: Stay away from Flagstaff!

    November 16, 2005

    Remember Derek Zoolander? Many college students do. He is Ben Stiller’s character in the 2001 comedy “Zoolander.” And it’s a good thing he didn’t attend Northern Arizona University. At one point in the movie, Derek says, “Rufus, Brint, and Meekus were like brothers to me. And when I say brother, I don’t mean, like, an… Read more

  • Art and the Myth of the ‘Right Not to Be Offended’

    October 21, 2005

    Check out the fascinating story (“Censoring Art or Protecting Workers?”) about censored artwork in Inside Higher Ed. Apparently the University of Michigan at Flint is demanding that a graphic drawing called Hermaphrodite be removed from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Center because it is creating a “hostile environment” for workers. Anyone who pays attention… Read more

  • Feelings vs. Freedom

    October 14, 2005

    FIRE was pleased to see that on September 14, the Pioneer Times—the student newspaper at William Paterson University—covered our case there. Since we first exposed the ongoing injustice to student and employee Jihad Daniel over the summer, when the Pioneer Times was not being published, the incident didn’t really have a chance to permeate the… Read more

  • Grover Furr Ignores Facts, Again

    September 9, 2005

    In the comments section below my and Azhar Majeed’s Inside Higher Ed article, the infamous Grover Furr makes some outrageous accusations against my and FIRE’s writings.  He claims we do not “substantiate” our claims, that our articles are “dishonest” and that our articles “do not merit publication.”  Here is my response: Professor Furr, In claiming… Read more

  • FIRE Starts Off the School Year with a Bang

    September 6, 2005

    People often mention the “dog days of August.” Supposedly it’s a long, hot month during which most people are on vacation and nothing really happens, especially in the media. But it seems Greg Lukianoff, FIRE’s director of legal and public advocacy, didn’t get that memo. Dog days or not, Greg managed to author three important… Read more

  • Playing a Dangerous Game

    September 2, 2005

    When people think about a “threat,” they tend to imagine a variety of dark scenarios—from the mugger in the alley who says, “Your money or your life,” to the chilling answering machine message where a faceless person says, “I will kill you.” Threats like those have never been considered “free speech.” In fact, true threats… Read more

  • AU President Placed on Leave

    August 25, 2005

    Benjamin Ladner, the president of American University, has been placed on paid leave “pending the outcome of an investigation into personal and travel expenses.” Ladner is accused of “us[ing] university funds to pay for the use of a French chef, an engagement party for his son, trips to Europe, and $200,000 in drainage and landscaping… Read more

  • Fat Chance

    August 25, 2005

    Wendy McElroy’s latest Fox News column asks parents an important question: “Will Colleges Respect Your Child’s Rights?” The short answer, of course, is “fat chance.” As evidence, McElroy points out Richard Stockton College, FIRE’s Speech Code of the Month “winner” for August, as well as our appalling case at William Paterson University. McElroy also plugs… Read more

  • Nontraditional Students

    August 18, 2005

    One of the more interesting aspects of our case submissions is that a disproportionately high number come from “nontraditional” students—those students who are older, married, or often have substantial work experience. Many of our more sensational and egregious cases—including the recent ban on showing The Passion of the Christ at a college in Florida, Scott… Read more

  • FIRE on National Television TONIGHT!

    August 15, 2005

    Tonight’s edition of Fox News Channel’s Fox Report with Shepard Smith, which airs at 7 p.m. ET, will will feature FIRE President David French. David will be discussing FIRE’s case at William Paterson University  in New Jersey. Tune in tonight to learn more about FIRE’s efforts to halt the university’s outrageous trampling on student Jihad… Read more

  • William Paterson University’s Disgrace

    August 10, 2005

    Fully understanding that geographical distance is no reason not to weigh in on affronts to the most crucial liberties, the editorial board of The Daily Cougar, the University of Houston’s student newspaper, has written a superb piece on FIRE’s case at William Paterson University. After summarizing the facts of the case, the editorial board correctly… Read more

  • Religious Discrimination at William Paterson?

    August 5, 2005

    As Greg noted yesterday, Jihad Daniel’s ordeal at William Patterson University is generating an enormous amount of outraged email. Several individuals have argued that the university is not just violating Daniel’s First Amendment rights, but also discriminating against his religious beliefs in a manner that violates New Jersey’s own anti-discrimination policy. As one recent correspondent noted:… Read more

  • Remembering the Principles at Stake in the Jihad Daniel Case

    August 3, 2005

    The response to the remarkable case at William Paterson University has been overwhelming. FIRE has received dozens of thoughtful and eloquent emails arguing that it is simply outrageous that WPU, a public university, did not show the same respect for free speech for Jihad Daniel’s point of view as it did for professor Arlene Holpp… Read more

  • The Media Discover William Paterson University Student’s Plight

    August 3, 2005

    FIRE’s efforts to defend William Paterson University master’s student Jihad Daniel, who has been unjustly punished for “harassment” and “discrimination” for privately replying to a professor’s mass e-mail stating his religious objections to its content, have drawn well-deserved public attention. Wendy McElroy of Fox News commented on the case in “On Campus, Only Some Speech… Read more

  • ‘That Is Insanity’

    July 27, 2005

    Columnist Jeffrey Page of the Bergen (N.J.) Record weighs in today on the treatment of William Paterson University (WPU) student and employee Jihad Daniel, who made the “mistake” of expressing a religious opinion over e-mail to the wrong person and found himself accused of discrimination and harassment (FIRE’s full coverage of this scandal is here)…. Read more

  • ‘On Campus, Only Some Free Speech Protected’

    July 27, 2005

    Check out Wendy McElroy’s column on the ongoing scandal at William Paterson University. Hats off to Wendy for bringing more attention to this crucial and extraordinary case!

  • Facing the Consequences of One’s Actions

    July 26, 2005

    A recent front-page story in the Herald News (another North Jersey Media Group paper) on FIRE’s case at William Paterson University contains some highly interesting tidbits. After a fairly straightforward exposition of the facts of the case, the piece turns to the professor whose complaint sparked the controversy: “It creates a hostile environment,” she said… Read more

  • Well, Yes, But…

    July 25, 2005

    The Record, a North Jersey paper, editorialized Friday against William Paterson University’s actions, which of course makes FIRE very happy. But some of the editorial board’s reasoning is quite suspect and deserves addressing here. First, The Record refers to FIRE as “the national conservative group that’s representing [Jihad Daniel] and that has represented many Christian… Read more

  • In Jihad Daniel’s Own Words

    July 22, 2005

    Jihad Daniel’s case at William Paterson University is particularly striking because Daniel himself argued his own case quite forcefully and eloquently in his March 24 email defense sent to university administrators. While reviewing his email, I thought it was worth sharing in its entirety, not only as a case document, but also as a fine… Read more

  • Prof Gives William Paterson Prez an ‘F’

    July 22, 2005

    Norman Levitt, a professor at Rutgers, recently forwarded us a copy of an insightful and biting email he sent to William Paterson University President Arnold Speert after reading about the university’s censorship of student Jihad Daniel. We have reproduced it below with Professor Levitt’s permission, and encourage all lovers of liberty to join him in… Read more

  • First Amendment 101

    July 21, 2005

    The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land. All legislation passed by the federal government and by state governments must be consistent with the Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court of the United States, otherwise that legislation is invalid. The rights guaranteed to Americans by the Bill of Rights are inviolable… Read more

  • The Unbearable Absurdity of New Jersey Non-Discrimination Law

    July 21, 2005

    Perhaps the worst aspect of the already-outrageous Jihad Daniel case is the New Jersey attorney general’s response to FIRE’s letter protesting William Paterson University’s punishment of Daniel. In his response, the attorney general takes the position that even a single “derogatory” or “demeaning” comment directed at “members of protected categories” is unlawfully discriminatory. Putting aside… Read more

  • Jihad’s Struggle at William Paterson University

    July 20, 2005

    In Arabic, “jihad” means “struggle.” On March 8, 2005, 63-year-old Jihad Daniel began his own struggle when he faced, yet again, an inbox flooded with unwanted university announcements and mass emails. A little irritated by the proliferation of announcements in his inbox that he never signed up for, he encountered one email promoting a film… Read more

  • William Paterson University Tramples Student’s Constitutional Rights

    July 20, 2005

    WAYNE, N.J., July 20, 2005—William Paterson University in New Jersey has convicted student employee Jihad Daniel of “discrimination” and “harassment”—without due process—for describing homosexuality as a “perversion” in a private response to a professor’s unsolicited announcement of a university event that promoted a positive view of lesbian relationships. “William Paterson’s punishment of Mr. Daniel is… Read more