The concepts of academic freedom and an open exchange of ideas are essential to the mission of any educational institution. Binghamton University is committed to these ideals, and as a public institution is legally obligated to protect its members’ First Amendment right of freedom of expression. Respect for this right requires that members of the University tolerate the expression of views that are contrary to their own, and recognize that the expression of ideas that are intolerant, bigoted or deeply offensive are entitled to First Amendment protection. Equally important, however, is the understanding that free expression carries with it the responsibility of civility and respect for others. The University views conduct intended to disparage or demean others as contrary to the pursuit of knowledge and rational discourse. So-called “speech codes” have been deemed unconstitutional by the courts. Therefore, while Binghamton University does not condone incivility within the campus community, it has not adopted a policy to prohibit offensive speech. Moreover, Binghamton has a proud history of inviting and encouraging the expression of diverse views.