NIU Statement on Freedom of Expression

Relevant excerpt

Northern Illinois University (“University”) is committed to freedom of expression and open discussion in all matters of public interest and is further committed to assuring that all members of the University community1 have the broad latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge and learn. Except insofar as limitations on freedom of expression are necessary to ensure the functioning of the University or are otherwise allowed by law, the University respects and supports freedom of expression as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States and Illinois Constitutions.

The University is committed to the principle that debate or deliberation may not be suppressed just because the ideas put forth are thought by some or even by most members of the University community to be offensive, unwise, immoral, discordant or disrespectful. It is for the individual members of the University community, and not for the University as an institution, to make those judgments for themselves, and to act on those judgments not by seeking to suppress speech, but by openly contesting the ideas that they oppose. Indeed, fostering the ability of members of the University community to engage in such debate and deliberation in an effective and responsible manner and without fear of retribution is an essential part of the University’s educational mission.

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