The University recognizes the need for all members of the University community, administrators, faculty, staff, and students to reaffirm formally their profound commitment to freedom of speech and to clarify the implications of that commitment. In this context, freedom of speech encompasses all forms of communication as well as the freedom to listen, watch, protest, or otherwise participate in such communication. We believe it is our responsibility to espouse an atmosphere of free speech and free inquiry and to advocate for the timely discussion of a wide variety of issues. We believe, further, that vital intellectual discourse is essential to democracy and to ensuring a just society. Believing speech to be false, deleterious, or in any other way odious cannot be cause for its suppression except for speech as specified under allowable exemptions below. Preventing speech from occurring by disruptive protest also constitutes an attack on freedom of speech.