Policy 06

University of Wisconsin-Parkside
"Free Speech” Events
Policy #6


6.01 Background

Freedom of speech is one of the most cherished traditions of the academic community. A community of scholars cannot pursue truth without the ability to free and open discourse and the ability to publish critical information. One of the important responsibilities of the University is to protect the right of expression in a manner that does not impinge upon the rights of others to pursue their studies or work. In guaranteeing free speech, the administration's obligation is to provide reasonable regulations of time, place and manner, so that disruption of normal educational activities is avoided.

6.02 Facilities for Unplanned 'Free Speech' Events

To accommodate unplanned free speech events, the University has designated two areas on campus which can be utilized by any member of the campus community without advanced reservation. These areas are:

  1. In the main complex: Student Center L1 Commuter Lounge across from the Student Involvement Center; and,
  2. Outside the main complex: southwest cement seating wall on the Student Center Plaza between the Student Center and Molinaro Hall.

In the event that a free speech area is not available, the University, through University Reservations/Conference and Event Services, will make an effort to find an alternative location.

Such "free speech" activities cannot block entrances or drives or disrupt normal university activities such as classes and work. In these matters, the University will recognize "equal protection" considerations, thus providing for opposing views on issues.

6.03 Scheduling of Facilities for Planned 'Free Speech' Events

Any university department or recognized student organization may reserve available facilities for a speaker, an open forum or debate on any issue or topic. Arrangements for such events can be made through University Reservations/Conference and Event Services in the Student Center.

6.04 Policy Review

The Dean of Students, Police Department, Parkside Student Government and Student Center Advisory Committee shall review the Designated Areas for 'Free Speech' Events annually. Recommendations for changes will be forwarded to the Chancellor's Cabinet for approval no later than March 1st.


*Revised: Fall 2022

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