University of Michigan’s policy on freedom of speech and artistic expression
The University of Michigan’s policy on freedom of speech and artistic expression was originally instituted in 1977 to emphasize the campus’s commitment to free expression, specifically regarding students’ right to protest invited speakers in public venues, while maintaining the campus as a space for invitees to share their views. The policy lays out guidelines for speech, protest, and expression at the university.
What we like about this policy
- Explicitly affirms the rights of both protesters and speakers while providing tangible protections for both.
- Explicitly notes that the university does not seek audience passivity and specifies that activities like displaying nonintrusive signs and heckling are permissible as long as they don’t impede the speaker’s ability to communicate.
- Calls for the university to provide adequate security for invitees.
- Encourages invited speakers to find time to engage directly with the audience, rather than delivering a one-sided lecture or provocation.