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Express Yourself: Understanding your right to free speech

September 22, 2016

free-speech-portraitYou and your student organization have a constitutional right to express your opinion to the campus community. Come learn how to successfully plan and implement an “expressive activity.”

NIU students are invited to an open forum on the university’s revised Freedom of Expression Policy at 5 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 22, in the Sky Room of the Holmes Student Center.

As a public university, NIU is committed to upholding the principles of free speech and expression while striving to create a community that is just, caring, open, disciplined and celebrative. To that end, the updated policy on speech and expression aims to ensure that students, faculty, staff and visitors can exercise their right to free speech and expression as long as they do not significantly disrupt or interfere with university business or violate the rights of others.

Additionally, NIU is expanding its Freedom of Expression Policy to apply to all outdoor areas of campus including sidewalks, streets and open spaces, as well as the Board of Trustees meeting room in Altgeld Hall (while not in use). The rights and expectations for those involved in expressive activities are outlined in adjoining procedures to this policy.

The forum will provide an overview of the proposed policy and procedures. During the forum, students will also have the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed policy changes. The university values free speech and civil discourse and looks forward to this discussion on Thursday, Sept. 22.