Worcester State University

Location: Worcester, Massachusetts
Website: http://www.worcester.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 1st Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Worcester State 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
  • Student Code of Conduct: Rules and Regulations

    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes
    Last updated: February 16, 2016

    Conduct unbecoming of a member of the WSU Community….

    » Read More

  • Network Acceptable Use Policy

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: February 16, 2016

    WSU at any time may make determinations that particular uses are not consistent with the purposes of the WSU network.

    » Read More

  • Title IX: Definitions

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: February 16, 2016

    Sexual harassment consists of unwelcome verbal, non-verbal, and/or physical 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 creating a sexually intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment, educational, or living environment.

    » Read More

  • Student Code of Conduct: Rules and Regulations

    Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies
    Last updated: February 16, 2016

    Bullying, defined as the severe or repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic expression, or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at another student or a member of the Worcester State community that has the effect of:
    * Causing physical or emotional harm to the other student or damage to the other student’s property
    * Placing the other student in reasonable fear of harm to him/herself or of damage to his/her property
    * Creating a hostile environment at school for the other student
    * Infringing on the rights of the other student on campus
    * Materially and substantially disrupting the education process or the orderly operation of Worcester State.
    * Bullying through the use of technology or any electronic means (cyberbullying.)

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  • Student Code of Conduct: Rules and Regulations

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: February 16, 2016

    Conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person including but not limited to: … verbal abuse.

    Create an intimidating, hostile or demeaning environment for education, Worcester State University-related work, activities on premises or off-campus where Worcester State University jurisdiction applies.

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  • Student Handbook: University Policies- Leafleting Policy

    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: February 16, 2016

    The Student Government Association has prohibited solicitation by leafleting except when approved by the Student Senate or a recognized Worcester State office.

    » Read More

  • Student Code of Conduct: Glossary

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: February 16, 2016

    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.

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  • Massachusetts Board of Higher Education: Policy Against Discrimination, Discriminatory Harassment and Retaliation

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: June 23, 2016

    Discriminatory harassment. A form of unlawful discrimination including verbal and/or physical conduct based on legally protected characteristics and/or membership in a protected class that:

    1. has the purpose or effect of creating an objectively intimidating, hostile or offensive work or educational environment;

    2. has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or educational opportunities; or

    3. otherwise unreasonably adversely affects an individual’s employment or educational opportunities.

    For purposes of this Plan, unwelcome conduct constitutes hostile environment harassment when:

    it is targeted against a person on the basis of his/her membership in a protected class;

    AND

    it is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it alters the conditions of education or employment and creates an environment that a reasonable person would find intimidating, hostile or offensive; OR

    submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education; OR

    submission to, or rejection of, such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual.

    The determination of whether an environment is “hostile” is based on the totality of the circumstances. These circumstances could include the frequency of the conduct, its severity, and whether it is threatening or humiliating. Simple teasing, offhand comments and isolated incidents (unless extremely serious) will not amount to hostile environment harassment under this Plan.

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

    • Physically harassing another individual or group because of that person’s or persons’ membership in a protected class by assaulting, touching, patting, pinching, grabbing, staring, leering at them, making lewd gestures, invading their personal space, blocking their normal movement, or other physical interference.
    • Encouraging others to physically or verbally abuse an individual (or group of individuals) because of that person or persons’ membership in a protected class.
    • Threatening to harm an individual or group because of that person or persons’ membership in a protected class.
    • 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.

    CONDUCT THAT IS NOT PROHIBITED

    The Universities are committed to protecting, maintaining and encouraging both freedom of expression and full academic freedom of inquiry, teaching, service, and research. Nothing in this Policy shall be construed to penalize a member of the University community for expressing an opinion, theory, or idea in the process of responsible teaching and learning. Accordingly, any form of speech or conduct that is protected by the principles of academic freedom or the First Amendment to the United States Constitution is not subject to this Policy.

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  • Residence Hall Handbook: Civility

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: February 16, 2016

    As a resident student at Worcester State, you will maintain integrity in all of your relationships and respect the dignity and value the worth of all persons. At no time will you physically, mentally, psychologically, or sexually abuse any member of the community, nor will you participate in or condone (directly or implied or verbal or written) any form of bigotry, harassment, intimidation, or physical or psychological threat. This applies equally to residents and staff of residence halls, guests, visitors, and other members of the community.

    » Read More


Green Light Policies
  • Student Code of Conduct: Introduction

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: February 16, 2016

    In addition to the basic rights granted by the United States and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, members of the Worcester State University community share some other rights crucial for the conduct of free inquiry that is central to Worcester State University’s mission.

    » Read More


At present, FIRE does not maintain information on this school's policies.
At present, FIRE does not maintain information on this school's policies.