Wright State University

Location: Dayton, Ohio
Website: http://www.wright.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 6th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Wright 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.

  • Wright State University: Christian Group Banned from Campus

    March 2, 2009

    Wright State University has agreed to grant recognition to the Campus Bible Fellowship (CBF) for the 2009-2010 academic year, reversing its previous decision to rescind the CBF’s official club recognition because of its requirement that voting members “accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior,” among other faith-based requirements written into the club’s constitution. Despite the CBF’s thirty-year presence on Wright State’s campus, the university removed the club’s official recognition for its failure to include required “non-discrimination” language in its constitution. After FIRE wrote Wright State President David R. Hopkins, reminding him that this policy violated the CBF’s constitutional rights to […]

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Red Light Policies

  • Housing Sourcebook: Intolerance 12-13

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech, Statement

    Acts of intolerance include overt actions such as verbal attacks and physical assaults on students and their property, as well as covert actions such as jokes, posters, and comments.

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  • Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct: Code of Conduct 12-13

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    Communicating verbally either directly or indirectly through another party, by telephone, regular or electronic mail, voice mail or any verbal, mechanical, electronic or written communication in a manner likely to cause causes injury, distress, or emotional or physical discomfort is also prohibited.

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Yellow Light Policies
  • Division of Student Affairs: Bias Incident Response Team Information 12-13

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech, Statement

    The Bias Incident Response Team is committed to contributing to a campus community that fosters civility, community standards, total student development, academic freedom, freedom of expression, diversity and personal empowerment. The bias response will provide for a timely internal and external intervention to incidents and will be sensitive to the rights of all parties involved.

    When a bias-related incident occurs, a coordinated, effective, and timely university response will be implemented. The BIRT provides a university response that is comprehensive, coordinated, unified and establishes a communication system that will ensure that all BIRT members are informed and updated on a regular basis.

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  • Housing Sourcebook: Harassment 12-13

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    Verbal, written, electronic, or other types of harassment - including, but not limited
    to, sexual, racial, ethnic, or religious harassment that causes injury to, distress, or emotional or
    physical discomfort of Residence Services staff members and/or other community members will
    be considered a violation of this policy

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  • Housing Sourcebook: Inappropriate Behavior 12-13

    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes, Statement

    For our community, inappropriate behavior is defined as any behavior
    by a community member deemed to be inappropriate or in violation of the general community
    standards.

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  • Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment 12-13

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    Following is a non-exclusive list of practices which may constitute sexual harassment:

    a.) Verbal: sexual innuendo, suggestive comments, insults, humor and jokes about sex or gender-specific traits, sexual propositions, threats.
    b.) Non-verbal: suggestive or insulting sounds, leering, whistling, obscene gestures.

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  • Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment 12-13

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    Harassment is conduct that has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's work or educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational environment. Such conduct may constitute harassment even if done under the guise of humor.

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  • Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct: Code of Conduct 12-13

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    Any unwelcome sexual advance and all forms of sexual misconduct including but not limited to deliberate touching of another’s sexual parts without consent, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that expressly or implicitly imposes conditions upon, threatens, interferes with, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning environment for an individual’s participation in any aspect of university life.

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  • Housing Sourcebook: Respecting the Rights of Others 12-13

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

    Because we live in a community of respect, no individual shall infringe upon the right of the community at large whether through repeated disruptive noise, aggressive behavior, or any other action construed as detrimental by members of the residential community.

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  • Demonstrations and Marches 12-13

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies, Statement

    Sponsors of marches and demonstrations are to register their events with the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. ... Sponsors should register their events not less than 24 hours in advance of the event.

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Green Light Policies
  • Demonstrations and Marches 12-13

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression, Statement

    Wright State University recognizes the exercise of the rights of expression, affiliation, and peaceful assemblage. Wright State students, faculty, and staff may express their views by demonstrating peacefully for concepts they wish to make known, and the university will make every reasonable effort to protect this right.

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  • Responsible Use of Information Technology- WSU Students 12-13

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies, Statement

    Students may not access, send, or store any messages and/or material that is found to be fraudulent, harassing, or in violation of any local, state, federal, or international law.

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  • College paper pulls white supremacist ad after funding threats

    November 13, 2013

    by Kristen Hare Student journalists at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, ran ads from a white supremacist group, then pulled the ads after administrators threatened to cut funding. Samantha Vicent writes about the decision in Student Press Law Center, reporting that student paper The Guardian agreed to a four week contract with a group called The First Freedom, which reports on its own site that it’s supported by the Nation of Aryans Against Commie Putrefaction. Michael Crew reported on the paper’s decision to run the ad, and later pull it, for The Guardian on November 7. Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian Brandon Semler said […]

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  • Wright State resolves student religious group issue

    June 23, 2009

    A Christian student organization that claimed it was banned by Wright State University for the 2008-2009 academic year has received recognition for the coming school year, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). “Wright State advocates for diversity and we have resolved the registration matter with the Campus Bible Fellowship student organization so that they can practice the full expression of their religious beliefs on campus,” said Dan Abrahamowicz, university vice president for student affairs, on Monday, June 22. Wright State in January withdrew recognition for the Campus Bible Fellowship “after the group refused to eliminate faith-based […]

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  • Unequal freedoms on large campuses

    March 10, 2009

    Here’s another case of intolerance on the part of a university – supposedly a place where free expression and divergent opinions are welcome. Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, has banned the Campus Bible Fellowship from meeting on campus because of its requirement that voting members be Christian and its refusal to accept “nondiscrimination” language that would eliminate faith-based standards for its voting members. Never mind that students pay a hefty tuition for which they rightfully expect access to campus facilities. And never mind that the families of in-state students have paid lots of taxes to build and maintain those […]

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  • Christian group’s status renewed following stir

    March 7, 2009

    Campus Bible Fellowship (CBF) on Wright State University’s campus recently received renewed recognition as a registered student organization following an apparent conflict with university officials during the annual renewal process. According to a press release issued earlier this month by national advocacy group the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), Wright State University banned CBF from meeting on campus because of the group’s requirement that voting members be Christian and its refusal to accept the university’s ‘nondiscrimination’ language that would eliminate faith-based standards for its voting members. In response, the Campus Bible Fellowship turned to FIRE for help, according […]

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  • Banned Christian fellowship allowed to meet on Ohio campus, for now

    March 4, 2009

    A Christian fellowship group that was denied registration from Wright State University in Ohio because of its faith-based policies has now been granted recognition by campus officials – for now that is. Representatives of Campus Bible Fellowship received an e-mail Monday evening from the university’s director of student activities that they would be reinstated for the remainder of the school year. “It told us that that CBF was reinstated – that we could meet and schedule rooms and that all rights and privileges are restored for rest of school year,” Gary Holtz, who oversees the chapter, told The Christian Post. […]

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  • Christian group allowed to return to Ohio campus

    March 3, 2009

    A Christian group that claimed it was banned from the campus of Wright State University in Ohio because of its religious standards has been reinstated. Members of the Campus Bible Fellowship said they were informed late Monday that they would be allowed to resume holding meetings on the Dayton campus. The reinstatement came after repeated media requests to school officials. “We’re good for now, but come May, we’ll be up against the same qualifications they refused us on this time,” said Gary Holtz, 62, a Campus Bible Fellowship organizer. “I believe because of public pressure [school officials] changed their case.” […]

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  • Fellowship banned for requiring voting members be Christians

    March 3, 2009

    A Christian fellowship group that has been on the Wright State University campus for over 30 years was denied registration as a student group this year for its faith-based policies. Representatives of Campus Bible Fellowship, which ministers to students at secular colleges, reported that they were turned down by school officials earlier this year when they tried to re-register the group. The Office of Student Activities at the Ohio-based university named two reasons for the denial, according to CBF representatives. First, CBF refused to adopt university-mandated nondiscrimination language in its membership requirements that would have forced the group to nix […]

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  • Bible club bullied for faith statement

    March 3, 2009

    A university in Ohio has threatened the future of a campus Bible organization for requiring voting members and office holders be Christian. According to Campus Bible Fellowship representative Gary Holtz, his group had been a registered student organization at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, for more than 30 years. Upon seeking re-registration for 2009, however, the university denied the Bible group’s access to facilities, student club fairs, advertising venues and recruiting opportunities – essentially blacklisting the club – because of CBF’s requirement that voting members adhere to a doctrinal statement and “accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior.” In […]

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  • Rights in the News: Victories at UCSB and Wright State as Pressure on Bucknell Intensifies

    June 26, 2009

    FIRE’s victories for religious liberty and academic freedom at Wright State University and the University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB) were in the news this week, while Bucknell University’s continuing refusal to acknowledge its wrongful and discriminatory treatment of the Bucknell University Conservatives Club has only intensified the media spotlight it is trying to avoid. As Torch followers read this week, The Wall Street Journal’s law blog and The Philadelphia Inquirer both ran in-depth stories on Bucknell’s suppression of the political activities of the BUCC. Susan Snyder’s article for the Inquirer, since its publication on Tuesday, has been one of the […]

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  • University reverses; recognizes Christian student group

    June 25, 2009

    A university in Ohio has reversed its decision concerning a Christian student group. In early 2009, Campus Bible Fellowship was told by Wright State University it was no longer recognized as an official student organization and could no longer meet on campus. According to the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), the decision was made because the club required its officers to subscribe to the club’s faith statement.   “It was essentially like telling a Christian student organization that it couldn’t require Christians to lead the group or be voting members. Kind of similar to telling a college Democrats group that it should have […]

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  • ‘Dayton Daily News’ on FIRE’s Victory at Wright State

    June 23, 2009

    Dave Larsen of the Dayton Daily News discusses FIRE’s victory for religious liberty at Wright State University on the paper’s “On Campus” blog today. Wright State initially denied re-recognition to the Campus Bible Fellowship for 2008-2009 on the ground that its faith-based requirements for voting members violated university nondiscrimination policies, but Wright State finally relented and recognized the group for both 2008–2009 and (after additional struggle) 2009–2010. The News quotes a senior Wright State administrator regarding the resolution of the dispute: “Wright State advocates for diversity and we have resolved the registration matter with the Campus Bible Fellowship student organization […]

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  • Victory for Religious Liberty at Wright State University: Christian Group Regains Recognition

    June 22, 2009

    Today’s press release announces another victory for religious liberty and freedom of conscience on campus. Late last week, we learned that Wright State University was finally granting full recognition to a Christian student group that wanted to limit voting membership to others who shared the group’s deeply held beliefs. The group, Christian Bible Fellowship (CBF), could not in good faith include in its constitution the nondiscrimination language required by Wright State. After all, as a Christian organization, the group was “discriminating” on the basis of religion, and Wright State was refusing to grant a religious exemption to the group. Despite […]

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  • Victory for Religious Liberty at Wright State University

    June 22, 2009

    DAYTON, Ohio, June 22, 2009—After banning a Christian student organization from meeting on campus, Wright State University has reversed course and granted recognition to the Campus Bible Fellowship (CBF) for the 2009–2010 academic year. Despite the group’s 30-year history as a registered student organization, Wright State withdrew recognition from the Campus Bible Fellowship in January after the group refused to eliminate faith-based standards for its voting members. Under pressure from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), religious liberty has been restored on Wright State’s campus. “Since its inception ten years ago, FIRE has reminded public universities that the […]

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  • Greg at Wright State University to Speak on Religious Liberty and Student Group Rights

    May 14, 2009

    FIRE President Greg Lukianoff is at Wright State University today, where he is scheduled to speak as part of a conference titled “Legal Issues in Higher Education: When Policy and Religious Freedom Collide.” The event is hosted by the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education in partnership with Wright State. Greg appears at the event alongside various representatives from local universities. The notice for the event states, “In several cases across the nation religious student groups have challenged university regulations relative to recognition of student organizations. Especially at issue are institutional anti-discrimination policies that could affect membership in these organizations.” […]

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  • Rights in the News: FIRE’s Wright State Case Hits Front Pages

    March 7, 2009

    Nationwide reaction to the news of Wright State University‘s unconstitutional denial of recognition to the Campus Bible Fellowship, a Christian student organization, has been swift and furious, as readers who have been following The Torch throughout the week are well aware. Along with continued coverage in The Christian Post and an excellent article in WorldNetDaily, FIRE’s efforts at Wright State were featured as a front page item at FOXNews.com, turning up the heat on an administration already on the wrong side of the law. As Robert noted in a previous Torch entry, the Wright State administration was quick to backtrack […]

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  • Wright State Case is FoxNews.com Featured Story

    March 3, 2009

    FIRE’s case at Wright State is big news today as a featured story, under the heading “We’re Good for Now,” on FoxNews.com! (Here’s the permanent link for when it’s moved off the front page.) Wright State’s behavior in banning the Campus Bible Fellowship has indeed been outrageous, and it’s always good to see the media taking First Amendment rights seriously. Eroding one of those rights—religious liberty—can only lead to the eventual erosion of them all. Let’s hope Wright State gets the message and restores all of CBF’s rights soon.

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  • Wright State Sets Smokescreen in Campus Bible Fellowship Case

    March 3, 2009

    Developments are coming fast in the Wright State University case that FIRE took public yesterday. Mere hours after FIRE sent out its press release on the case, Wright State began sending the following statement to journalists making inquiries: “Campus Bible Fellowship is a recognized student organization at Wright State. We do not discriminate on the basis of religion and we treat Campus Bible Fellowship like any other student group on campus,” said Dan Abrahamowicz, vice president for student affairs at Wright State University. “We are in the process of reviewing the policy for recognizing students groups on campus. If there […]

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  • Wright State University Bans Christian Group from Campus

    March 2, 2009

    Today’s FIRE press release comes out of Dayton, Ohio, where Wright State University has banned a Christian group, the Campus Bible Fellowship, from meeting on campus because of the group’s constitutional requirements for voting members. Here’s an excerpt that explains how this all started: After more than 30 years of existence as a registered student organization at Wright State, the Campus Bible Fellowship (CBF) was prohibited from re-registering in 2009. On January 30, according to CBF representatives Joe Hollaway and Gary Holtz, CBF was informed by Wright State’s Office of Student Activities that its registration was being denied for two […]

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  • Wright State University Bans Christian Group from Campus

    March 2, 2009

    DAYTON, Ohio, March 2, 2009—Wright State University has banned a Christian group from meeting on campus because of its requirement that voting members be Christian and its refusal to accept “nondiscrimination” language that would eliminate faith-based standards for its voting members. In response, the Campus Bible Fellowship has turned to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. “A Christian group has the right to be Christian, a Jewish group has the right to be Jewish, and a Muslim group has the right to be Muslim,” said FIRE President Greg Lukianoff. “Courts have affirmed this principle time and […]

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