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Part 6. Student Affairs

Section VIII. Student Activities

A. Speakers

1. General

Students and student organizations should be free to examine and to discuss all questions of interest to them, and to express opinions publicly and privately. They should always be free to support causes by orderly means which do not disrupt the regular and essential operation of the institution. At the same time, it should be made clear to the academic and the larger community that in their public expressions or demonstrations, students or student organizations speak only for themselves.

Students should be allowed to invite and to hear any person of their own choosing. Those routine procedures required by an institution before a guest speaker is invited to appear on campus should be designed only to ensure that there is orderly scheduling of facilities and adequate preparation for the event and that the occasion is conducted in a manner appropriate to an academic community. The control of campus facilities should not be used as a device of censorship. It should be made clear to the academic and larger community that sponsorship of guest speakers does not necessarily imply approval or endorsement of the views expressed, whether by the sponsoring group or the University.

Guest speakers, not otherwise associated with the University, are nevertheless accountable for their conduct under valid general laws, and the University may seek the assistance of those laws under appropriate circumstances. While a student organization ought not to be held responsible for unforeseeable illegal actions by a speaker on campus at their invitation, sponsorship with knowledge of the speakerís intent of probable violation of the law, which violation does in fact occur in connection with that sponsorship, may appropriately result in disciplinary action against the sponsoring students.

2. Procedures

The University is authorized by the Board to develop procedures for scheduling and conducting campus events involving guest speakers and/or expressions of student opinion and concern; such procedures shall be consistent with the intent of this policy and shall be regularly published and made available for the guidance of individual students, student organizations, faculty and staff.

No rule should restrict any student expression solely on the basis of disapproval or fear of his ideas or motives. At the same time, the fact that students may pursue interests in political action through speech and assembly on campus does not abrogate their accountability as citizens to the constitutional laws of the larger society, and the University is entitled to reflect these constraints in its own regulations. Accordingly, willful defamation, public obscenity, certain incitements to crime, as well as other civil or criminal misconduct under the laws applicable to the manner of speech or assembly directly damaging to the rights of others may be subject to institutional redress.


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