UB promotes understanding and sensitivity between and among our
diverse student body and we empathize with their concerns. The
university also embraces the important concepts of freedom of
speech and expression. Indeed, these freedoms are a powerful
tradition in America, and nowhere does it have greater or more
significant power than in universities.
Free speech and free assembly are fundamental to the concept of
a university, which serves as a marketplace for the exchange of
ideas and opinions and as a forum for the public expression of
views. Some of the expressions may be counter to commonly held or
popular values, theories and beliefs. The University at Buffalo, as
a public institution, has a special obligation to protect the First
Amendment rights of free speech and assembly, rights guaranteed by
the federal and state constitutions.
The university is a public forum for the exchange of ideas. We
respect the rights of all students and their organizations to
present their views on a variety of topics, and we ask others to
respect these rights as well. As a university, we promote
understanding and diversity of thought and cannot tolerate
repression of expression.
The University at Buffalo should not attempt to repress free
expression because a particular view or views are morally repugnant
or personally offensive to members of the university or greater
community. In fact, Rules of the Board of Trustees of the State
University of New York specifically state, “No student,
faculty or other staff member or authorized visitor shall be
subject to any limitation or penalty neither solely for the
expression of his views nor for having assembled with others for
Over the years, many controversial issues have been presented at
the university. As a university community, we have a responsibility
to maintain an environment that promotes free expression and
challenge of ideas, but recognizes and considers the sensitivities
of our diverse populations.