Freedom of Speech

Dear EWU community members,

As the Vice President of Student Affairs and the Provost / Vice President of Academic Affairs, we want to reaffirm that at Eastern, we take great pride in our identity as a public institution, and with that pride comes a commitment to upholding the principles of open dialogue and the protection of freedom of expression. These principles hold true even when it may seem unfair or be uncomfortable.

We acknowledge that it can be challenging to navigate a campus where external entities are granted a platform to share ideas that some may find harmful or distasteful. It may be disheartening to witness such expressions within our community. However, we want to emphasize that, as a public institution, our entire campus serves as a free-speech space, where speech is guaranteed for all campus community members and visitors alike. As a public university, EWU complies with the First Amendment rights of individuals and groups who seek to exercise these rights on public property, which includes our EWU campus. You can learn more about free speech on our campus by visiting:

While we do have the ability to regulate the time, place, and manner of speech on campus, it’s important to note that content alone does not drive our capacity to remove speech from campus. We acknowledge that free speech does not equate to being free from harm, and we are here to support you. We encourage you to reach out to us if you encounter speech or expressions that cause you distress or concern. 

Your well-being and safety remain paramount to us. Please remember that there are resources available to assist you in navigating these challenges, including:

As you embark on this new calendar year, we encourage you to engage in respectful conversations, uphold your own values, and be mindful of the rich diversity of thought on our campus. Together, we can foster an inclusive learning environment where every student thrives.

We appreciate your understanding and commitment to our shared values. Welcome to another year of learning, growth, and constructive dialogue.

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