2.7.1 Freedom of Expression

A.  Purpose

This policy protects and provides guidance on speech, expression, and assembly of students, faculty, staff, and guests that is not part of the teaching, research, or other official functions of the University, not otherwise sponsored by the University or any academic or administrative unit, and not submitted for academic credit.

B. Persons Affected

All members of the campus community including faculty, staff, students, alumni, visitors and guests.

C. Definitions

  1. Faculty: A person who is employed by the university for the purpose of teaching a class, and who has authority to assign grades for the class.
  2. Staff: a person who is employed either full-time or part-time by the university.
  3. Students:  A person who
    1. Is currently enrolled at the university, or 
    2. Is accepted for admission or readmission to the university, or 
    3. Has been enrolled at the university in a prior semester or summer session and is eligible to continue enrollment in the semester or summer session that immediately follows, or
    4. Is attending an educational program sponsored by the university while that person is on campus.
  4.  Visitor or guest: Individual who is not affiliated with the campus community as either a faculty or staff member, student or alumni.

D.  Policy

The freedoms of speech, expression, and assembly are fundamental rights of all persons and are central to the mission of the University. Individuals have the right to assemble, to speak, and to attempt to attract the attention of others, and corresponding rights to hear the speech of others when they choose to listen, and to ignore the speech of others when they choose not to listen.

E.  Responsibilities

The Vice President for Student Success has responsibility for this policy.  Administration of this policy has been delegated to the Director of Student Engagement

F. Procedures

  1. Students, faculty, and staff are free to express their views, individually or in organized groups, orally or in writing or by other symbols, on any topic, in all parts of the campus, subject only to rules necessary to preserve the equal rights of others and the functions of the University. Teaching, research, and other official functions of the University shall have priority in allocating the use of space on campus.
  2. Guests and individuals who are not students, faculty, or staff are free to express their views, individually, or in organized groups, orally or in writing or by other symbols, on any topic, in outdoor parts of campus as authorized by SB 18 and Subchapter 6-200 in the Student Manual of Policies and Procedures.  Indoor access must be sponsored by a faculty, staff, or student organization.
  3. Except as expressly authorized by Subchapter 6-200 in the Student Manual of Policies and Procedures, the University shall not discriminate based on the political, religious, philosophical, ideological, or academic viewpoint expressed by any person, either in the enforcement and administration of these rules or otherwise.
  4. For the complete Freedom of Expression policy and procedures, please see Chapter 6 of the Manual of Policies and Procedures for Student Success, located at this website: https://www.uttyler.edu/mopp/.

G.  Review

The Division head for this policy is the Vice President for Student Success. This policy should be reviewed every five years or sooner if necessary by the following stakeholders:

  1. Dean of Students
  2. Student Government Association President or Vice President
  3. Director of Student Engagement
  4. President of Faculty Senate
  5. Chair of University Staff Advisory Council

LAST AMENDED: 04/13/2011
REVIEWED:  AY 2014-15

REVIEWED:  AY 2019-20

LAST AMENDED:  07/2020