Winona State University

Location: Winona, Minnesota
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 8th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Winona 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.

  • Winona State University: Outdoor Speech Restrictions

    April 20, 2012

    In April 2012, the GLBTA Partnership at Winona State University planned to hold a “Day of Silence” event and requested permission from WSU to position mannequin torsos bearing various epithets and slurs on campus. The university prohibited GLBTA from displaying the torsos in or near WSU’s outdoor gazebo, claiming that school-aged children would be on the campus and that it “would not be appropriate to expose” them to the language. Following a letter from FIRE, WSU defended as “reasonable” its decision to allow the outdoor display of the mannequins only from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.-an unreasonable restriction.

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Red Light Policies

Yellow Light Policies
  • Student Conduct Code: Proscribed Conduct 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Physical or verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion, and/or other conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person. This includes any form of fighting.

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  • Minnesota State Colleges & Universities: Acceptable Use of Computers and Information Technology Resources 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies

    Users must not engage in inappropriate uses, including: … Storage, display, transmission, or intentional or solicited receipt of material that is or may be reasonably regarded as obscene, sexually explicit, or pornographic, including any depiction, photograph, audio recording, video or written word, except as such access relates to the academic pursuits of a system student or professional activities of a system employee.

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  • Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board Policies: Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination in Employment and Education 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical conduct, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: … Such conduct has the purpose or effect of threatening an individual’s employment; interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance; or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment.

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  • Housing & Residence Life Policies & Procedures Handbook: Civility 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility

    Students will respect the dignity and value the worth of all persons. Students will at no time physically, psychologically or sexually abuse any member of this community; or participate in any form of harassment, intimidation, or threat; whether verbal, written, online, physical or psychological, direct or implied. If you are disturbed by inappropriate activity of another student, you should address that student (when appropriate) in a non-threatening manner before involving your RA/CA. Physical aggression in any form is not tolerated at WSU or within the residence hall community.

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  • Student Conduct Code: Proscribed Conduct 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes

    Failure to engage in responsible social conduct that reflects credit upon the University community and to model good citizenship in any community.

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  • Housing & Residence Life Policies & Procedures Handbook: Decorating 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies

    Obscene, offensive, or drug/alcohol-related materials posted on the outside of a student’s individual door/room will be removed at the discretion of the Residence Hall Director/Area Coordinator.

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Green Light Policies
  • Reclaiming ‘Labels’

    May 25, 2012

    by Adam Kissel The Huffington Post   Many are aware of a controversial part of The Vagina Monologues in which the audience is encouraged to “reclaim” a certain slur beginning with c that is sometimes used against women. Unfortunately, the idea of using derogatory words to draw attention to their effects in society has met roadblocks at two universities lately. At Winona State University this spring, the GLBTA Partnership wanted to hold a “Day of Silence” event by positioning mannequin torsos bearing various epithets and slurs in certain locations on campus. When the GLBTA Partnership, a recognized student organization, requested official permission to hang the torsos near […]

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