Freedom of Expression

Freedom of Expression

The freedom to debate and discuss competing ideas does not mean that individuals may say whatever they wish, wherever they wish. Maryville University (the “University) prohibits expression that violates the law, falsely defames a specific individual, constitutes a genuine threat, violates the University’s Harassment Policy, or unjustifiably invades substantial privacy or confidentiality interests. The University’s Policy Against Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation prohibits discrimination on the basis of protected status (as defined in the Notice of Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity), including race, color, national origin, ancestry, creed, religion, sex, pregnancy status, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, age, disability, citizenship or intended citizenship status, veteran status, or any other status protected by federal and/or Missouri law.

Freedom of Public Expression

Maryville University is committed to providing an environment where diverse issues and ideas can be openly discussed and explored. The freedom to assemble and exchange views is essential to the life of the University. In order to provide an atmosphere in which open communication can occur without disrupting the academic mission or daily functions of the University, this policy is in place to govern all forms of public expression of ideas and information, including campus rallies, demonstrations (individual or group), public assemblies, and the distribution and/or posting of written materials. This freedom, however, is subject to reasonable restrictions of time, place, and manner so that activities do not intrude on or interfere with the academic mission and daily functions of the University, or with other rights of members of the University community as defined in University policy.

Notice of Time of Public Expression

For public expression by members of the University Community—such activities must be conducted at times such that they do not create a disruption of University work. Members of the University community are encouraged to give prior notice of their plans to the vice president for Student Life or designee at least 24 business hours prior to the event. This prior notice will help assure that the policy and guidelines are followed.

For students organizing demonstrations or other forms of public expression, the Center for Student Engagement has created additional Demonstration Guidelines to assist in delivering a successful event.

Location/Place of Public Expression Activities

For public expression by members of the University community—The University reserves the right to designate the location of these events, to help assure that this policy and these guidelines are followed.

  • The Commencement Lawn and Donius University Center Quad are examples of locations that meet the basic principles described in this policy and in these guidelines.
  • Public expression is only permissible by members of the University community

Manner of Public Expression on Campus

Principles of Free Expression: The Principles of Free Expression as set forth in the University’s Policy on Freedom of Public Expression must be followed.

University/Personal Property: Damage or destruction of property is prohibited.

Amplification Equipment: The University reserves the right to restrict the use of amplification equipment in association with any public expression activity. The use of amplification must be approved by the University in advance of the activity, and can be prohibited altogether.

Structures: The placing or erecting of structures of any size or material is prohibited.

Pamphlets: Papers, pamphlets, and similar materials may be distributed in person by members of the University community or by sponsored non-members of the University community; however, distribution by means of accosting individuals or by hawking or shouting is prohibited. Efforts must be made to avoid litter.

The Public Distribution and Posting of Written Materials

Members of the University community are permitted to publicly distribute written materials in accordance with the Policy and Guidelines on Freedom of Public Expression.


Policy Revised January 2021