While the language of the First Amendment refers only to “Congress,” the First Amendment – as well as most of the other Amendments that make up the Bill of Rights – applies to government entities in general by way of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. This includes federal, state and local government officials, and extends to public schools and institutions including UC San Diego.
As a public university, UC San Diego is obligated to uphold the First Amendment. Our campus is home to diverse organizations, faculty, staff and students, each with a wide range of interests and viewpoints. Although the views expressed by a particular group or at a particular event may not reflect the views of UC San Diego, all campus community members have the right to express those views, at appropriate times, in appropriate places and in appropriate manners. UC San Diego is not permitted to silence speech merely because the speech is offensive to many or even most of the UC San Diego community. Students, faculty, and staff are all entitled to exercise their own rights to free speech to condemn or criticize offensive speech, for example, by holding protests, teach-ins or counter-demonstrations as long as they are conducted in a lawful manner.