Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Division of Student Affairs

Executive Policy 15 Work Group
Free Speech Subcommittee Meeting Minutes


Attendees: Judi McDonald, Nicole Manzione, Beth Blanks Hindman (and Nikki Henshaw trying to call in)
Absent: Kathy MacKay (sick), Douglas Yamamoto (driving and unable to call in), Lucila Loera, Berto Cerrillo (previous engagement)

We brainstormed how to structure the free speech/discrimination/harassment material we will eventually put online. It seems there should be three general emphases for this material:

  1. General education/background on 1st amendment rights, responsibilities of WSU, This would include an intro paragraph on the role of the university in free access to ideas, as well as the university's commitment to providing an open, diverse, welcoming community (and an acknowledgement that sometimes those may be in conflict). It would also include an explanation of the differences between speech rights at the K-12 level and the university level
  2. FAQs for WSU community (some relevant specifically to students, some to faculty and staff). The group suggested that the FAQs should be accompanied by a list of resources students/faculty/staff can use for guidance/education/empowerment. Please see the OSU material that Luci provided for excellent examples. We need more of these
  3. Scenarios of specific (real or hypothetical) examples, with explanation of what would/would not be protected speech. We need more of these

Additionally, we think the following are important and we should continue with followup:

  • We should create an infographic for students; if they are bothered/offended/frightened by someone's speech, what should they do? Nicole will work on this
  • More broadly, we need to educate students on how they can respond to hateful speech (in addition to reporting discrimination and harassment) and how they can exercise their freedom of speech generally
  • There is a critical (for us) distinction between being upset by something and being hindered from doing your job/work/school. Ultimately, in many situations we all have a choice regarding how we react to events/people
  • U Oregon has a good method for reporting harassment/discrimination. We should take a look at

Next steps (by our meeting Tuesday, April 10, 8 a.m., Goertzen 124)

  • Add FAQs and scenarios to the material on our SharePoint site. We need lots of examples/ questions to work with
  • https:/ / asis-spt20 sa/ ovp/ EP1 5/ Sit ePages/ Home.aspx