As an educational institution, Pomona College is committed to the principle of free expression and the exploration of ideas in an atmosphere of civility and mutual respect. Thus, in keeping with the principles of academic freedom, there can be no forbidden ideas.
Pomona College also recognizes that the educational process can often be disturbing and unsettling, particularly when one’s current ideas or values are being challenged. This means that the learning, working, and living environments might not always be comfortable for all members of the college community. The College does not proscribe speech simply because it is offensive, even gravely so.
Students are members of society as well as members of the academic community. As members of society, students have the same responsibilities as other members of society and enjoy the same freedom of speech and peaceful assembly, and the right of petition that other members of society enjoy.
As an institution of higher learning, Claremont McKenna College has a profound
commitment to the free expression and testing of ideas — whether or not those ideas are controversial or
unpopular –for such freedoms are essential to the search for truth, the central purpose of any institution of
higher learning. The College’s commitment to freedom of speech generally, and to the particular ideals
associated with academic freedom, requires that the advocacy of ideas in instruction, by both faculty and
students, be protected, and requires the College to protect the rights of its faculty and students to pursue
controversial, provocative, and unpopular topics and ideas in their teaching, learning, and research.
Moreover, rights of free speech and expression are not only at the core of the College’s mission, they are also
protected by state and federal law, which limit when offensive speech or expressive conduct may be
In a situation attended by strong emotional feeling, or
where there is a past history of obscenity or indecency
associated with a speaker selected by a registered student
organization, the Dean of Students, after finding
that such a situation or history exists, shall prescribe conditions
for the orderly and scholarly conduct of the
speaking event.The conditions may include limiting the
audience to the inviting organization’s membership or to
members of the university’s academic community,
appointing an experienced senior professor to preside
over the meeting, requiring a statement from the offices
of the sponsoring organization certifying that they have
discussed the appearance of the speaker with the Vice
Chancellor for Student Affairs, and authorizing a search
of all persons entering the arena of the speech and such
other conditions as the agency deems advisable.
No student may be denied the protection of the First Amendment of the
Constitution of the United States and Article I of the Constitution of the State of
North Carolina, which refer to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of
the press, and freedom to assemble peacefully.