Freedom of Speech and Expression University Standard

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

  • Speech Code Rating
  • Speech Code Category
    Protest and Demonstration Policies
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Students, staff, and faculty may assemble and engage in spontaneous expressive activity as along as such activity is lawful and does not materially and substantially disrupt the functioning of the University. A material and substantial disruption includes but is not limited to, any or all of the following:

  1. Any action that qualifies as disorderly conduct under N.C.G.S. § 14-288.4;
  2. Any action that qualifies as a disruption under N.C.G.S. § 143-318.17;
  3. Any action in violation of a Chancellor’s designation of a curfew period pursuant to N.C.G.S. § 116-212;
  4. Any action that results in the individual receiving a trespass notice from law enforcement.


The University may restrict speech and expression or activity not protected by the First Amendment under State or federal law, including but not limited to, all of the following:

  1. Expression that a court has deemed defamation.
  2. Unlawful harassment.
  3. True threats, which are defined as statements meant by the speaker to communicate a serious expression of intent to commit an act of unlawful violence to a particular individual or group of individuals.
  4. An unjustifiable invasion of privacy or confidentiality not involving a matter of public concern.
  5. An action that materially and substantially disrupts the functioning of the University, or that substantially interferes with the protected free expression rights of others.
  6. Reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on expressive activities, consistent with N.C.G.S. § 116-300(4).
  7. Speech that interferes with the treatment of patients.