Division of Student Affairs: Speech and Expression Policy

Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression School: Georgetown University Statement Rating: Green Last updated: October 19, 2017

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A university is many things but central to its being is discourse, discussion, debate: the untrammeled expression of ideas and information.

“Free speech” is central to the life of the university. … The long and short of the matter is that “time, place and manner” are the only norms allowable in governing the expression of ideas and sharing of information that is the very life of the university.

It is Georgetown University’s policy to provide all members of the University community, including faculty, students, and staff, the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn.

The ideas of different members of the University community will often and naturally conflict. It is not the proper role of a University to insulate individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive. Deliberation or debate may not be suppressed because the ideas put forth are thought by some or even by most members of the University community to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or ill conceived.

[C]oncerns about civility and mutual respect can never be used as a justification for closing off the discussion of ideas, no matter how offensive or disagreeable those ideas may be to some members of our community.

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