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Speech Climate at Williams

The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression's (FIRE) Speech Code Ranking is a comprehensive comparison of the student experience of free speech on campuses. It is based on the feedback of 55,000 currently enrolled students at over 250 colleges.


Williams received a speech code rating of yellow.  


Colleges with yellow ratings have policies that restrict a more limited amount of protected expression or, by virtue of their vague wording, could too easily be used to restrict protected expression.

Survey Results

In the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) 2024 College Free Speech Ratings:


Overall Ranking 

Williams ranked 145th out of 248 colleges and universities surveyed.

This is up from last year where it ranked 161st out of 203 schools surveyed.


Self Censorship

Just under a fifth of students (19%) said they self-censored “fairly” or “very” often, and a quarter felt “a good deal” or “a great deal” of pressure to avoid discussing controversial topics in their classes.

32% of students indicated that they are “more likely to self-censor on campus” than they were “when they started college.”


Personal Reputation Management

Almost two-thirds (64%) of Williams students also said they were worried about damaging their reputation because someone misunderstood something they said or did.


Administrative Support

Williams ranked 231st out of 250 schools measured in student's perception of the college's support for free speech. 

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