Free Speech and Expressive Activities in Outdoor Areas of Campus

Policy Statement

The University seeks to further the advancement of knowledge by means of research and discovery, teaching, and vigorous discussion of ideas, and recognizes the important role of intellectual freedom and free expression on campus. Students and faculty are free to discuss matters of public concern to the extent consistent with the First Amendment and the reasonable, content-neutral restrictions set forth in Fayetteville Policies and Procedures 708.0, and in other applicable University and campus policies. Various forms of expression in outdoor areas of the campus, including peaceful assemblies, speeches, leafleting, circulating petitions, distributing literature, and similar expressive communications and activities that are non-commercial in nature, and that comply with the applicable University policies, are encouraged. 

The University recognizes that individuals or groups may be opposed to certain expressive activities or speakers. Disagreement with different opinions is acceptable; however, the use of violence (including threats of violence and unlawful harassment), violations of law, or violations of University policy are not consistent with creating an environment in which ideas can be discussed openly. An individual or group wishing to protest an expressive activity on campus is subject to the same standards as presenters. Individuals who choose to listen bear the responsibility of recognizing and honoring the right of free speech. On-campus protests and demonstrations that materially and substantially infringe upon the rights of others to engage in or listen to expressive activity are not permitted. 

Applicable Policies

Among the primary policies applicable to expressive activity by members of the campus community in outdoor areas of campus are following:

  • Board of Trustees Policy 705.1
  • University Systemwide Policies and Procedures 715.1
  • Fayetteville Policies and Procedures 708.0
  • Fayetteville Policies and Procedures 723.0

Please also see the following:

  • Board of Trustees Policy 100.7
  • Board of Trustees Policy 465.1

To the extent any provisions conflict with Ark. Code Ann. 6-60-1001 through 1010, the statutory provisions shall control. 


1 "Harassment" means expression that is so severe, pervasive, and subjectively and objectively offensive that it effectively denies access to an educational opportunity or benefit or a professional workplace.