Commission On Multicultural Understanding



Indiana University Free Speech Rights and Responsibilities

We are mindful that as the new school year begins it might be valuable to share information regarding free speech rights and responsibilities, as well as the free exchange of ideas in a public institution of higher education.

Message to Student and Student Organizations

As a public institution of higher education, Indiana University is committed to the free exchange of ideas. While you are here, you may see or hear demonstrators who express ideas that you consider to be distasteful. Please remember that Indiana University does not endorse the message of any particular speaker or group of speakers.

Students and citizens may engage in peaceful and orderly protests, counter-protest, demonstrations, and picketing that do not disrupt functions of the university and subject to the appropriate regulation concerning time, place and manner.

If a student feels that this right has been violated, the student may file a request with the Dean of Students for an investigation and appropriate action. (Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct, Part I, Section E, page 4, approved by Indiana University Board of Trustees, June 24, 2005)

If you are approached by demonstrators and you do not wish to engage in discussion with them, it is advisable to refrain from provoking or ridiculing them. You may report incidents that are directed personally at you or at other individuals that you regard to be motivated by bias to the Incident Teams by calling 855-8188 or emailing

If you feel that your physical access to the campus and its facilities is being blocked or that your personal safety is being violated or threatened, you may call the IU Police Department at 911in emergency situations or 855-4111 in non-emergencies.

Indiana University Free Speech Rights and Responsibilities

There are numerous locations on campus available to express your views. Students and citizens may want to offer a supportive or contrary opinion proximate to any campus program or activity. IU encourages civil dialogue, expression and sharing of opinions and beliefs.

The following general conditions of use apply to all areas on the University campus:

  • Activities may not be conducted in a manner that violates any federal, state or local law.
  • Activities may not pose a threat to the personal safety of community members.
  • Activities may not be conducted in a manner or at a time or place that unreasonably interferes with the educational, research, service, or other legitimate functions of the University.
  • Activities may not be conducted in a manner that violates the rules, regulations, or policies of the Indiana University Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct.
  • Activities may not block egress (i.e. block safe access to exits and entrances, hallways, sidewalks, streets, etc.).

Student Life and Learning is available to help provide an orientation on your rights and responsibilities, in order to promote public health, safety, and welfare in accordance with this policy. Please contact us at 812-855-4311, email, or stop in our office at Indiana Memorial Union Room 371 of the Student Activities Tower.

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