At CSUSM we are an academic community dedicated to the values of intellectual engagement, community, integrity, innovation and inclusiveness. Central to these values is the promotion of intense inquiry, expression of ideas and opinions and civil discourse. Our campus, like any university campus, is considered a “marketplace of ideas.” Within this marketplace we should acknowledge that the broadest possible latitude is afforded in exercising free speech and expression, even when offensive, unpopular, controversial or not reflective of our campus values.
At the same time, freedom is not absolute. The right to free expression includes a responsibility to maintain civility, allow for and not silence differing opinions and respect the dignity of individuals. While CSUSM will not limit protected speech, that protection does not impede our ability to speak out against expressions that conflict with our university’s values. We will also continue to facilitate and promote forums that encourage dialogue and debate on issues of difference, equity and social justice.
At Cal State San Marcos we have established policies and regulations aimed at protecting free speech while ensuring that individuals and groups exercising their legitimate rights do not infringe upon the rights of others or disrupt the education process or other operations of the University (links to these policies are provided below.)
The right to free expression is guaranteed by the First Amendment and is a freedom that is fundamental to our university and our society. I may not agree with every one of those opinions; I may find some offensive, but I will – and I hope you will as well – defend their right to speak freely.
Karen S. Haynes,