Speech and Expression Policy

Policy Number: #200

Responsible Executive(s):

  • Provost
  • Vice President of Student Affairs

Responsible Office(s):

  • Academic and Research

Date Adopted: 01-01-2018

  1. Purpose
    This policy affirms the University’s commitment to freedom of expression and academic freedom as defined in the faculty handbooks and articulates our expectations regarding civil and respectful discourse within the traditions of its mission and Jesuit, Catholic heritage as articulated in the President’s Statement of Principles.
  2. Scope
    This policy applies to all Regis University students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
  3. The Policy
    1. Policy Statement: Regis University is committed to a free and open exchange of ideas and recognizes the rights of community members to assemble peaceably, to express their views, and to challenge competing viewpoints as long as any speech, expression, event or activity does not limit the freedom of others; incite violence; provoke hatred; damage or deface University property; or impede the student body, faculty and staff in the performance of their work, education or scheduled activities.  The University may regulate the time, place and manner of expression to preserve order within the University community, protect and preserve institutional property, and provide a secure environment for all individuals to exercise freedom of expression.  Because free and open inquiry and debate are essential to the core educational and intellectual mission of our institution, all members of the University community share in the responsibility for maintaining civil and respectful discourse to encourage the unfettered exploration of ideas.
    2. Community Standards:
      1. Regis University expects each community member and event participant to abide by the following standards:
        1. Respect the rights and human dignity of others.
        2. Ensure that your actions maintain an atmosphere conducive to learning and personal development.
        3. Respect the University's traditions of academic freedom, including honesty, freedom of expression, open inquiry, and civil and respectful exchange of ideas.
        4. Respect the different backgrounds, religious traditions, and identities of others.
        5. Cultivate a community in which assistance is offered to others in need of support, guidance, or friendship.
        6. Obey federal, state, and local laws and ordinances.
        7. Abide by the directives of University authorities and adhere to University policies, procedures and regulations.
      2. The University prohibits expression that violates the law, constitutes an immediate threat, conflicts with or opposes the University's mission or Catholic character, or violates the University’s Nondiscrimination & Sexual Misconduct Policy or standards of the Student Code of Conduct. Bias-related incidents, such as epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping, threats, intimidation or hostile acts of communication that relate to actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, religion, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, parental status, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information or any classification protected by our laws and policies are prohibited and may be considered a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. *Please review the Student Conduct policies in detail at www.regis.edu/studenthandbook.  The University reserves the right to manage such incidents through the Bias Incident Response process.  A bias incident may be reported via the website for the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence at www.regis.edu/diversity. Please review the website for details.
    3. Event/Activity Guidelines: Regis University strives to provide quality meeting spaces and a safe community environment for university-sponsored events that foster learning and spiritual growth in the Jesuit tradition of cura personalis, care for the whole person.  Accordingly, only Regis University academic departments, administrative offices, and officially recognized student organizations (sponsoring organizations) may submit a request to reserve a table or space to sponsor an event, speaker, or demonstration.  Requests must be submitted to the Student Affairs Office of Conferences and Events, Monday through Friday, in a timeframe sufficient to appropriately plan for an event.  Submission of a request is not a guarantee of approval or a reservation.  The sponsoring organization or individual will receive a confirmation if a request is approved and an explanation if a request is denied. Regis University, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to deny, alter, or cancel an event.  Sponsoring organizations and individuals are invited to consult with Student Affairs staff to ensure that their event reflects the University’s Catholic, Jesuit standards and values. If a request is denied, the requestor may appeal in writing to the Vice President of Student Affairs or his/her appointed designee. Appeals must be submitted within 24-hours of the denial and may affect the date/time of the request if approved following an appeal. In the event that the University, in its sole discretion, elects to incur additional costs for security related to an event, the sponsoring organization will be responsible any security expenses incurred.
    4. In addition to the limitations and conditions enumerated above, the University has specific terms for the following kinds of events.
      1. Requirements to Hold a Demonstration, Protest or Rally:
        1. Only Regis University students, faculty and staff are permitted to demonstrate on Regis University’s campus.
        2. A request to hold a demonstration must be submitted Monday through Friday at least 48 hours prior to the event.
        3. Approval to hold a demonstration is not transferable. The sponsoring party must be present for the duration of the event.
        4. Demonstrators may use public areas for assembly so long as all means of egress remain clear at all times in case of an emergency. Demonstrations may not obstruct corridors, entrances, exits, or hallways within any University building or other structure or impede the pedestrian or vehicular traffic to or on campus.
        5. The University reserves the right to make reasonable restrictions on location, time or format of such demonstrations for the following purposes:
          • to alleviate potential problems with safety or disruptions of University activities
          • to facilitate a free exchange of ideas consistent with the academic environment and the University's mission and values
          • to comply with applicable federal, state or local ordinances
        6. Demonstrators are not permitted in private offices without invitation. The number of invitees is determined by the occupant of the office and may not exceed standards set by fire codes.
        7. In accordance with institutional policy, demonstrators are prohibited from smoking or consuming any controlled substance. Further, demonstrators may not possess open flames or any object employed for violence or destruction of property.
        8. Demonstrations may not materially or substantially disrupt the educational or business activities in nearby campus buildings or facilities.
        9. If physical violence occurs or if it is determined that normal business or academic activities are being disrupted, Campus Safety will request that the demonstration cease and demonstrators disperse. If demonstrators do not comply, local law enforcement will be summoned, and student conduct action may result.
      2. Requirements for Reserving Tabling Space
        1. The Student Center patio and inside the Student Center lobby may be reserved for tabling space by a recognized Regis University Student Organization, academic department or administrative office (Sponsoring Organization). External organizations and individuals must be sponsored by a recognized Regis University Student Organization, academic department or administrative office to reserve a table.
        2. All requests to reserve tabling space must be made at least two business days in advance of the event. Tabling activity is not to be confused with demonstrations, protests, or other organized activity that would fall under the policies established to evaluate, support and approve such activities.
        3. Individuals or groups that set up an unauthorized table will be asked to remove their display. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action for students. Local law enforcement will be summoned to remove external organizations or individuals if necessary.
        4. Soliciting and materials that conflict with the mission and values of Regis University are prohibited.
        5. Approval for tabling is not transferable. Sponsoring Organizations or individuals must have a primary contact that is responsible for all table arrangements. A representative from the sponsoring organization must be present for the tabling event.
        6. Any distribution of handbills or dissemination of information, verbal or otherwise, shall be done from behind the table and individuals shall not approach patrons to hand out materials or petitions.
        7. Approval to sell items or collect money must be granted by the Dean of Students or his/her designee.
      3. Requirements for Inviting a Speaker
        1. Speakers or groups who are not members of the University community must be invited by a faculty member or a recognized Regis sponsoring organization.
        2. Invited speakers or groups must abide by the all policies and procedures of the University.
        3. A faculty member inviting a speaker to campus must get the Academic Dean’s approval in advance of the event. All other administrative offices must obtain their unit’s Vice President’s approval for events in advance.  Guest lectures held in the classroom for a single course are governed by the Academic Freedom policy of the respective college and are not subject to these guidelines.
        4. The sponsoring organization must allow adequate time for facility arrangements which include a minimum of 21 days to plan for speakers, films, events, or other external organization activities.
        5. Regis University reserves the right to develop ticketing, moderating, and safety protocols for an invited speaker.
        6. The University is prohibited from participating or intervening, directly or indirectly, in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office at any level; and from supporting particular candidates or political parties.  Fundraising of any kind is prohibited for/by any political entity or organization. Rallies are also prohibited along with any political propaganda if a political official is brought to campus.
        7. Employment recruiters may be allowed on University premises providing they follow the guidelines of the University's Employment Recruitment Policy and all other University policies. All employment recruiting requests are handled through the Center for Career and Professional Development.
        8. Regis University reserves the right to exclude from campus speakers or groups whose nature or presentation is contrary to or inconsistent with the University’s mission or Jesuit, Catholic character, determination of which shall be at the sole discretion of the President or his designee.
  4. Definitions
  5. Related Policies, Procedures, Forms, and Other Resources (Optional)
  6. End Notes
    Reviewed and vetted by the Provost’s Advisory Council and the President’s Cabinet and approved by the Vice President of Student Affairs 2018.