|Year||University Policies||University Practices||Student Union Policies||Student Union Practices|
The University of Winnipeg’s Respectful Learning and Working Environment Policy states that the University “continues to be committed to academic freedom and freedom of thought, inquiry, and expression among its members.”
The University of Winnipeg’s policy for Non-Academic Conduct and Discipline states:
In order to accomplish its stated mission, the University must be a community in which there is freedom to learn, to teach, to create and to engage in research without fear of retaliation or intimidation and without threat to person or property. Students have a responsibility to act in a fair and reasonable manner in their interactions with their peers, faculty, staff and administration and in their use of campus property. The intent of this policy is to encourage appropriate student conduct and to identify and regulate student nonacademic misconduct which infringes on the above mentioned freedoms and thereby jeopardizes the essential values of our academic community: mutual respect, dignity and civility.
This statement indicates that it is misconduct to interfere with a scheduled event, since disruption of a lecture or display would violate the freedom of the presenter and his or her audience to learn, teach, create and engage.
Section 3.1 of the University of Winnipeg’s Poster Policy states:
Poster, banners, and/or notices presented for approval must not in any form promote or encourage discrimination, racism, hatred, and/or bigotry.
The Respectful Learning and Working Environment Policy defines “personal harassment” as:
repeated, non-constructive, intentional and offensive comments or actions designed to offend, abuse or humiliate a person, when such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with an individual’s performance, or which create an intimidating, hostile or offensive learning or working environment.
The University of Winnipeg has been granted a federal Equity Diversity and Inclusion Institutional Capacity-Building Grant valued at $355,900 over two years. UWinnipeg’s Looking Inward and Forward to Improve Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Outcomes is a project “designed to make UWinnipeg a diverse and inclusive campus for everyone.” The University’s Human Rights and Diversity Office administers the University’s Equity programs. The Office leads mandatory training for faculty and staff about how to communicate with people who have accessibility challenges.
The authors are not aware of any cases of the University of Winnipeg censoring speech, or discriminating against students or student groups on the basis of the content of the group’s expression, or of cases of residence assistants censoring speech in residence.
The University of Winnipeg Students’ Association (UWSA) includes the following statement in its Mission Statement:
Our efforts include promoting the exchange of ideas and information among students, and within the greater University community. In aid of this, we support and encourage the development of student groups and societies on campus.
The UWSA has a Policy Manual which governs the operations of students and student groups within the UWSA. The UWSA divides student groups into three tiers: Affiliated Student Groups, Recognized Student Groups and Student Service Groups. Classification in one of these groups is made by UWSA depending on the membership, purpose, and other characteristics of student clubs.
Section 11 of the Policy Manual outlines the criteria by which UWSA officials can approve or deny Student Group status, including that the group “Must deliver a conceivable benefit or outcome for University of Winnipeg students.”
The Policy Manual also states that Service Groups (groups that provide a service to students, enforced through referenda) can maintain their status so long as they do not “engage in activities, advertising, etc. that is discriminatory in nature.”
When allocating space, the Policy Manual lists as part of its criteria for approval, “Will the services offered actually benefit the student population?”
The UWSA endorsed the Divest UW campaign, a movement of students seeking to pressure the University to divest of any funding going to fossil fuel companies.
The authors are not aware of any cases of the University of Winnipeg Students’ Association censoring speech, or discriminating against students or student groups on the basis of the content of the group’s expression.