Saint Louis University understands that the exchange of ideas and the opportunity to critically analyze and express different viewpoints is essential to the University’s mission, which emphasizes the pursuit of truth for the greater glory of God and for the service of humanity. However, speech and expression are not absolute rights at a private institution and must be examined in light of both particular circumstances and the broader values and aspirations of Saint Louis University as a Catholic, Jesuit institution. While restrictions on expression must be reluctant and limited, in some situations they may be deemed appropriate.
This policy provides guidance for Students and recognized Student Organizations who seek to sponsor a performance, presentation or speaker (hereafter, referred to as “program”) at Saint Louis University, such that: (a) the freedom to pursue truth may flourish; (b) the teachings of the Catholic Church will always be respected even when examined; and, (c) the opportunity to exchange ideas will not conflict with the rights or safety of others in the Saint Louis University community, or interfere with the University’s mission, traditions, responsibilities, and objectives as a Catholic, Jesuit institution of higher education.
Examples of programs that the University would not approve would include those deemed to encourage, celebrate or glorify hatred, violence, abusive behavior, religious intolerance, irresponsible or illicit drug and alcohol use, and the objectification of human beings. Furthermore, the University will not approve any campus program which it determines cannot be held in a safe, orderly way, in adherence to its policies and procedures, and without significant interference to other University events or normal functions.
While acknowledging there may be approved programs which include critiques of Catholic teaching and/or of Saint Louis University, the University does not knowingly make available its facilities to individuals, organizations or businesses, whose activities will deride, mock or ridicule the Roman Catholic Church or the University’s mission and values.