Enacted Campus Free Speech Statutes – Texas

In 2019, Texas enacted SB 18, now Tex. Educ. Code § 51.9315.

SB 18 Summary

SB 18 prohibits public institutions of higher education from quarantining expressive activities in the open outdoor areas of campus to misleadingly labeled “free speech zones,”; prohibits institutions from assessing fees on events, unless those fees are set using only content-neutral and viewpoint-neutral criteria; and protects student organizations from content or viewpoint based discrimination.

Key Provisions

  • Prohibits the use of “free speech zones”;
  • Requires institutions to use content neutral criteria for assessing fees on events; and
  • Prohibits institutions from taking any adverse action against belief-based student organizations, including denial of recognition or benefits on the basis of a political, religious, philosophical, ideological, or academic viewpoint expressed by the organization.

FIRE Commentary

Texas becomes 17th state to enact campus free speech legislation