Regents Approve Freedom of Expression Policy Statement (Page 44)

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The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents today voted to adopt a formal freedom of expression policy statement, transitioning from the University’s existing freedom of expression guidelines.

Chris Martin, chief of staff, said the policy affirms the right of all individuals to exercise the right of peaceful assembly, free speech, and expressive activities on campus and that is consistent with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the Constitution of the State of Missouri, and the Missouri Campus Free Expression Act.

The new policy statement was prepared after reviewing freedom of expression policies adopted at other public institutions of higher education in Missouri and across the country; and in consultation with legal counsel.

The Board of Regents initially considered this topic at its Aug. 11, 2020 meeting; however, after discussion with University leaders and legal counsel tabled the matter for consideration at a future meeting.

Operating procedures will be drafted to accompany the policy, which will likely include, but, may not be limited to, procedures addressing outdoor expressive activity, indoor expressive activity, posting on campus, and other topics as may be recommended or required to ensure legal compliance with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the Constitution of the State of Missouri, and the Missouri Campus Free Expression Act, Martin said.

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