We survey British universities, examining the policies and actions of universities and students’ unions, and rank them using our traffic-light system.
Traffic-light ranking system:
has banned and actively censored ideas on campus
has chilled free speech through intervention
has a hands-off approach to free speech
The University of Warwick and Warwick Students’ Union collectively create a hostile environment for free speech. The university, which has moved to a Red ranking, instructs students on how to address one another with regard to gender identity, banning certain words, and insists that visiting speakers avoid ‘insulting other faiths’. The students’ union, which has maintained its Red ranking, operates a ban on sexist, racist and homophobic speech and, in 2015, banned Maryam Namazie. The institution’s overall ranking remains Red.
The university - RED
Trans and Gender Reassignment Policy
‘Do not add an unnecessary "-ed" to the term ("transgendered"), which connotes a condition of some kind. Never use the term "transvestite" to describe a transgender person… Be careful not to call someone "a transgender". A person who identifies as a certain gender should be referred to using pronouns consistent with that gender.’
External Speaker (Request Form)
‘Your guest speaker must… seek to avoid insulting other faiths or groups.’
Hard copy provided by university
The students’ union - RED
Consent Culture at University of Warwick
‘Former SU Women's Officer Josie Throup, with a team of volunteers, launched the NUS “I Heart Consent” campaign at Warwick, running consent classes in the academic years 2014/15 and 2015/16... Consent education, condemning sexual assault and prevent sexual violence is the responsibility of the university... consent classes are integral for fostering a culture of consent at university.’ Resolves: ‘To mandate the welfare and campaigns officer and women’s officer to lobby the university to fund, organise and conduct accessible sex-positive consent education for all students in collaboration with Warwick SU.’
Due to the specific nature of this motion, this has been weighted as an Amber Action.
Equality and Diversity
‘In its entertainment provision, the SU aims to: Contract artists who are obliged not to be racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic or transphobic; minimise occasions of racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic and transphobic language at SU events… As far as possible, songs that contain racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic or transphobic language should not be played in SU premises. Upon receiving a complaint from members of the SU, the welfare and campaigns officer shall maintain a list of songs that contravene this aim.’
External Speaker Policy
‘All speakers… must seek to avoid insulting other faiths or groups, within a framework of positive debate.’
Hard copy provided by students' union
28 September 2015
Bans Maryam Namazie