Public universities are venues for creative and thoughtful discourse where differing perspectives are debated and thoroughly discussed - a “marketplace of ideas” consistent with the goals of a liberal education. The guiding values of the institution - Courage, Life of the Mind, Community, Equity, and Resilience - set the framework for our commitment to being a principled, value-driven University.
To that end, the University provides an environment for freedom of expression, as well as a forum for ideas, perspectives and viewpoints to be stated and questioned, as well as tested and clarified. In doing so, we uphold a long standing tradition at SF State of supporting critical thought and expression, engendering greater awareness of systemic societal issues, and championing the development of one’s own mind.
By creating this type of open climate for free expression, inevitably there will be moments in time where viewpoints conflict and dissent occurs. We will challenge each other ascommunity members, and the community at large will challenge us. There will be times when one may be offended by the tone or content of speech being expressed. There will be times where viewpoints differ and moral codes are called into question. This will likely elicit negative feelings and/or responses; however, it is the University’s responsibility to uphold the US Constitution and the right to freedom of expression, and we will do so with as few constraints as possible.
Freedom of expression at SF State is subject to reasonable restrictions of time, place, and manner. Through the University Executive Directive (UED) 89-13 on Time, Place, & Manner (effective as of January 1, 2018), the University seeks to foster and sustain a forum for the free and orderly exchange of ideas, values and opinions. It also endeavors to ensure that the exercise of the right of free expression does not imperil public safety, obstruct or damage University facilities, or interfere with the University’s educational mission and functions.
Within the context of University Executive Directive (UED) 89-13, free speech activity includes, but is not limited to the following: pure or symbolic speech, assembly, meeting, demonstrations or rallies, picketing, petitioning, mime and theater, music and singing, and religious or political expression.
This information and more regarding the Time, Place, & Manner policy is available here: University Executive Directive (UED) 89-13 – Time, Place & Manner: Use of Buildings and Grounds.
Additional Resources & Links:
- Tabling On Campus & Request Forms
- Request to Post Free Standing Signs
- Free Speech at SF State Handout
- And Campus for All: Diversity, Inclusion, and Freedom of Speech at U.S. Universities (PEN America, 2016).
- First Amendment FAQs (Freedom Forum Institute)