If your university is critical of the speakers you invite to campus

It can be intimidating if an institutional body is critical of your actions or your choice of speakers. Knowing your legal protections and following your campus’s policies can help you ensure that your school supports the invitation of speakers regardless of their political views.


    Familiarize yourself with the university’s policies on invited speakers, security costs, and content-neutral programming.


    Inviting speakers, including provocative or controversial ones, is an essential component of free speech that can inject fresh ideas into a campus. Talks that provide a diverse array of opinions can foster campus-wide contemplation and discussion.


    When a speaker is likely to be controversial, those issuing the invitation should consider whether outreach to additional stakeholders, the facilitation of counter-speech, or other measures are appropriate to ensure that the speech proceeds smoothly and safely.


    Insist that your university allocate funds in a content-neutral manner. Campuses should not allow security costs to be grounds for withdrawing a speaking invitation.


    Make sure that you are receiving equal treatment and that even if your administration’s values differ from your own, officials logistically treat you and your speakers with a content-neutral approach. 


    There are many organizations (like FIRE) that offer advice, legal support, and public pressure if a university limits students’ speech rights. If you feel overwhelmed, reach out.

Further Reading