VSU’s Guidelines on Freedom of Expression

Why is this policy important?

Free speech is a constitutional right protected by law. Colleges and Universities around the nation encourage free expression as part of the academic experience. As a result, the University has established various policies and procedures for ensuring free expression in a safe and inclusive environment.

What are the documents or policies that address free speech at Virginia State University?

VSU guidelines regarding freedom of expression are outlined in the Student Rights and Responsibilities Section of the 2017-18 Student Handbook, the 2018-19 VSU Student Organization Handbook, and the University Policy 1101, Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct and Retaliation. These guidance documents and policy can be found on the University’s Free Speech – Policies and Regulations page.

Why does VSU have guiding documents on freedom of speech?

These guiding documents serve to assure equal opportunity for the campus community, to preserve order at the University, to protect and to preserve University property, and to provide a secure environment to individuals exercising freedom of expression.

Where do i find the form to file a compliant?

Free Speech complaints can be filed on the online Trojan Care Form located at http://vsu.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3Xh0XGe9ietNWT3.

Do these guiding documents limit free speech of VSU faculty, staff and students?

Virginia State University is a community of scholars in which the ideals of freedom of inquiry, freedom of thought, freedom of expression, and freedom of the individual are sustained. The University is committed to supporting the exercise of any right guaranteed to individuals by the Constitution and the Code of Virginia and to educating students relative to their responsibilities.

Are there other guidlines that are helpful to know when talking about free speech on campus?

The guiding documents on freedom of speech specifically references the distribution of literature on campus, which can also be found in the Student Handbook and the Faculty Handbook.

Do these guiding documents apply to individuals and groups not affiliated with the university?

Regulations for individuals and groups not affiliated with the University can also be found in the Student Handbook.

How do I report concerns of prohibition of or disruptions to free speech?

If you feel that a disruption of protected speech has occurred, please complete a Trojan Care Form and send the form to Dr. Kelvin Rachell, Dean of Students, Foster Hall, Room 307A, (804) 524-5271, krachell@vsu.edu