Board of Regents Policy Manual

Official Policies of the University System of Georgia

6.5 Freedom of Expression

The rights guaranteed by the First Amendment, including the right to free speech, free expression, free exercise of religion, and the right to assemble peaceably are of the utmost importance, and the University System of Georgia (USG) is committed to protecting those rights.

As public institutions of higher education, USG institutions must promote open ideas and academic freedom on their campuses. While institutions may need to enact policies to promote campus safety, to ensure the proper functioning of the academic environment and institution activities, or to further other important institution objectives, those policies should not unduly burden the free expression rights of students, faculty, and staff. Any parameters placed on the time, place, and manner of expression must not be based on the content of the expression.

To facilitate the free exchange of ideas, institutions may designate accessible, high-traffic locations on campus as public forum areas. The designation of public forum areas may not be used to prohibit individual students, faculty, or staff from engaging in communication elsewhere on campus. Reservation and use of designated public forum areas may only be required in the following limited circumstances: (1) speakers who are not enrolled at or employed by the institution; and (2) students, faculty, or staff who engage in large group demonstrations. Institutions may not consider the content or viewpoint of expression when requiring or assigning use of public forum areas.

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