As an institution dedicated to Communication and the Arts, the first amendment of the US Constitution is of high importance. Different members of the College Community will at times have different opinions or perspectives on a particular topic. Such differences in thought and perspective are a natural part of life and an important part of the educational and learning experience. It is not the role of the College to shield individuals from ideas and opinions that are different from their own; that they may find disagreeable or even offensive. The College values and supports a climate of mutual respect, however these concepts should not be a reason to stop a discussion of ideas.
The College encourages students to present ideas, express their individuality and be open to thoughts that differ from their own. While the free expression of ideas is vital to daily life and learning. It is important to note that the College may restrict expression that violates the law, that falsely defames a specific individual, that constitutes a genuine threat or harassment, or that is otherwise directly incompatible with the functioning of the College. Expression that may violate the Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment & Sexual Violence is also prohibited. Students that fail to meet these expectations can be referred to Community Standards or to the Office of Equal Opportunity, as applicable.
In addition, the College may reasonably regulate the time, place, and manner of expression to ensure that it does not disrupt the ordinary activities of academic and community life. Please review the College’s Policy on Demonstrations for more information.
Civil discourse is the engagement in constructive dialogue or discussion that is intended to promote understanding of an idea or ideal, which is an essential function of freedom of speech. One moves away from civil discourse when they use language that can be characterized as hurtful or meant to cause harm, that contains direct insults, includes threats, defames an individual, and/or that rises to the level of discrimination or harassment. It is also important to keep in mind that censorship is defined as the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are considered offensive by a particular person or group.