We affirm the right of freedom of expression within our community and also affirm our commitment to the highest standards of civility and decency towards all. We recognize the right of every individual to think and speak as dictated by personal belief, to express any idea, and to disagree with or counter another's point of view, limited only by university regulations governing time, place and manner. We promote open expression of our individuality and our diversity within the bounds of courtesy, sensitivity and respect."
The Principles of Community encourage the exchange of diverse ideas and perspectives within a culture of respect. Building an academic community requires a careful balance of rights and needs that are sometimes in conflict. The pursuit of knowledge demands the free exchange of ideas and the open expression of opinions and findings, including those that some may find disturbing or offensive. Yet the ability to participate in a robust, open debate may be hampered if one does not feel accepted as a respected member of the community, entitled to dignity and fair treatment. The following guidelines, policies and definitions are intended to create a safe atmosphere within an educational setting. They incorporate current court decisions into public university management of free speech.
University policy outlines when, where and in what manner free expression can take place on campus. The university community includes students, staff, faculty and administrators. Each individual's expression is protected under the First Amendment, but university policy delineates more specific allowances for freedom of expression within official university status and employment roles. Please consult these policies for further information on permissible practices of expression:
- Section 270-20 Use of University Properties
- Section 270-23 Reservation of Property and Other Meeting/Special Event Arrangements
- Section 310-25 Distributing, Posting and Exhibiting Information and Literature
- Section 310-26 Distribution of Periodical Publications
- Section 270-05 Campus Organizations
- Section 270-05 Standards of Conduct (Exhibit A of the policy)
- Section 270-06 Constituent Organizations and Student Governments
- Section 270-07 Registered Student Organizations
- Section 270-08 Campus Interest Groups
- Section 280-05 Procedures for Student Complaints of Prohibited Discrimination or Arbitrary Treatment
- Section 380-12 Sexual Harassment
- Section 380-15 Staff Complaints of Discrimination
- Academic Personnel Manual (APM) 035 Affirmative Action and Non-Discrimination in Employment for Academic Appointees
Campus Mediation Service - (530) 752-9257)
The Campus Mediation Service provides confidential facilitation and mediation services for faculty and staff members (and university departments) to help identify the actions that can be undertaken by individuals to manage conflict. Department staff serve as both coach and consultant to help individuals think through their conflict situation, assess their strengths and weaknesses, consider their action options and plan next steps.
The department also provides basic and developmental facilitation to help ongoing and ad hoc groups achieve their goals when group dynamics, subject matter, context or other factors create obstacles to success. Services include facilitating meetings, training members to take over facilitation duties, educating the group about group process issues, training the group on basic meeting skills, incorporating the Principles of Community into communication processes and consulting for special issues.
The department also provides a range of education and training programs on conflict management. These include general staff development, customized group development for emergent needs, and basic and advanced mediator and facilitator training.
City of Davis Community Mediation Service - (530) 757-5623
The Community Mediation Service is a conflict-resolution program that trains community members in conciliation, mediation, case development, outreach and related skills. With staff support, these trained volunteers offer the community a free, informal and confidential forum for the resolution of a wide variety of disputes and problems including neighborhood difficulties, tenant/landlord disputes, customer/merchant issues and roommate and co-worker conflicts.
To encourage expression and exchange of ideas, multiple media exist for community members' education and use. Campus programs offer opportunities for dialogue. Student media provide other avenues of expression. Campus groups can also reserve public space to hold programs, meetings, or demonstrations.
- California Aggie: official campus newspaper.
- KDVS: student-run radio station.
- AS PAPERs: multiple student-run independent publications, part of ASUCD.
A brief brochure entitled, "Freedom of Expression, Peaceful Protest, and Civil Disobedience on Campus: Rights and Responsibilities" is available from the Student Programs and Activities Office and describes how to practice one's free speech rights on the campus. The following summary information provides highlights from the brochure:
Campus Resources/Questions About Rights and Responsibilities
These offices can provide assistance with reserving facilities, planning events, or conducting a peaceful protest.
- Campus Events and Visitor Services, 752-2813
- Student Programs & Activities Center, 752-2027
- ASUCD (student government), 752-1990
- GSA (graduate student government), 752-6108
- Student Judicial Affairs, 752-1128
- Campus Police, 752-1230
A Quick Overview of Lawful Protest
- All individuals may exercise rights of free expression at outdoor university areas open to the public, as long as they comply with rules regarding time and place and the way in which expression takes place, to assure orderly conduct.
- UCD departments and student/campus organizations may reserve facilities for events and use amplified sound. Reserved events have priority for space and other protections as recognized activities.
- The scope of permitted protest differs with the nature of the event, the campus facility and location (e.g., outdoor vs. indoor). Events in outside spaces can accommodate a higher degree of oppositional speech and activity.
- Protest activity can be organized and presented in response to a reserved event but may not interfere with the reserved event to the extent that it would cause substantial modification/cancellation of the event.
- On-campus protests are governed by law and university policies. Off-campus activity is subject to local laws and law enforcement practices.
- Individuals must identify themselves to and comply with directions of campus officials; if they engage in civil disobedience and refuse to comply with directions to leave an area for safety or other reasons, or because a building is closed, they may be arrested/subject to discipline.
- Individuals have wide latitude for expressing their views, but certain conduct is unlawful or violates university policy. Those who engage in activities such as making threats of violence toward specific individuals, disturbing the peace, obstructing or disrupting campus functions or behavior that threatens health and safety may be prosecuted and/or disciplined.