Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
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.
|Public or Private:
|Head of Institution:
||President Charles W Steger
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Office of the President
210 Burruss Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061
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Do you have any information, updates, or changes regarding the policies at this institution? Let us know!
On this page, FIRE has excerpted policies that address speech and expression. You may download the full policy in .pdf form, below.
Restrictions on Expressive Rights
Harassment Policies (Learn More)
Hokie Handbook: Student Code of Conduct- Abusive Conduct 12-13
Assault -- Verbal/Non-verbal: Any use of words or acts which cause physical injury, or threaten any individual, or interfere with any individual’s rightful actions.
View full policy (PDF, 578 KB).
Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Policy 12-13
Discrimination/ Harassment includes the following behaviors: ... Conduct of any type (oral, written, graphic, electronic or physical) that is based upon a person’s age, color,
View full policy (PDF, 1248 KB).
disability, gender (including pregnancy), national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation,
or veteran status and unreasonably interferes with the person's work or academic performance or participation
in university activities, or creates a working or learning environment that a reasonable person would find
hostile, threatening or intimidating.
Hokie Handbook: Student Code of Conduct- Sexual Harassment 12-13
Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when ... 3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or academic environment (e.g., a pattern of conduct that causes discomfort or humiliation, or both, such as sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes, anecdotes, visual materials, or literature).
View full policy (PDF, 577 KB).
Policies Restricting Freedom of Conscience (Learn More)
Virginia Tech Principles of Community 12-13
[W]e adopt and practice the following principles as fundamental to our on-going efforts to increase access and inclusion and to create a community that nurtures learning and growth for all of its members: ... We reject all forms of prejudice and discrimination, including those based on age, color, disability, gender, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, and veteran status. We take individual and collective responsibility for helping to eliminate bias and discrimination and for increasing our own understanding of these issues through education, training, and interaction with others.
View full policy (PDF, 125 KB).
Free Speech Zones
University Facilities Usage and Event Approval 12-13
The Organizations must have approval from the university to hold an event or activity. The sponsor of the event must reserve space to hold the event. Request for space also serves as a request to hold the event. Confirmation of space implies that the event has been approved.
Use of a facility must be scheduled and approved prior to the event.
View full policy (PDF, 998 KB).
Sales, Solicitation and Advertising on Campus 12-13
Informational activity is defined as the distribution of literature and/or petitioning for signatures in support of a
View full policy (PDF, 1303 KB).
point of view, such as political, environmental, religious, etc., where no fee is involved nor donations or
contributions sought. Informational activities may be permitted if they are sponsored by a university-affiliated organization. Such
activities require prior approval by the designated authorizing office and are subject to university policies and the
reasonable guidelines of the authorizing official.
Internet Usage Policies
Acceptable Use of Information Systems at Virginia Tech 12-13
In making acceptable use of resources you must NOT: ... * use university systems for commercial or partisan political purposes, such as using electronic mail to circulate advertising for products or for political candidates. * use mail or messaging services to harass or intimidate another person, for example, by broadcasting unsolicited messages, by repeatedly sending unwanted mail, or by using someone else's name or userid.
View full policy (PDF, 74 KB).
Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
SafeWatch Frequently Asked Questions 12-13
Is the reporting system only for acts of violence?
View full policy (PDF, 298 KB).
No, the reporting system is for any incidents of prejudice and discrimination regarding age, color, disability, gender, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, and veteran status as outlined in the Virginia Tech Principles of Community or any incidents that negatively impact the Virginia Tech community. ... [O]ne of the primary goals of SafeWatch is to promote involvement of the university and larger communities in dialogs and collaborative activities that foster a positive, supportive environment for all groups.
Incidents that create a hostile, unsafe, unwelcome, or insecure environment should be reported to SafeWatch.
SAFEWATCH is established to: ... Initiate timely action in response to online reports by facilitating communication to appropriate departments.
To further support a diverse and inclusive campus community, Virginia Tech has launched "SafeWatch"-- a new university program that promotes individual and collective responsibility among students, faculty, staff and guests to incorporate the Virginia Tech Principles of Community into interpersonal and inter-group relationships.
View full policy (PDF, 267 KB).
Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
Hokie Handbook: University Policies for Student Life- Demonstrations and Picketing 12-13
As an academic community, Virginia Tech values the rights of free expression and peaceable assembly and does not intend to restrict the exercise of these rights.
View full policy (PDF, 237 KB).
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The speech codes and policies above were last fully checked via internet and other research means by FIRE in June 2013. According to FIRE’s research the substantive policies are current at least until this date. Directory information, including the name of the president of the college or university, may have been updated more recently. If any policy has been revised, or if you believe that we are in error, please contact us.