Students march through campus holding signs saying Say no to censorship and expression is a human right
Division of Student Affairs

Get Involved - Using Your Voice

Students march on campusFree speech is essential to our democracy. It allows us to share our opinions and ideas, leads to healthy debate and permits us to disagree. Students are empowered to be active and engaged on campus with the issues important to them! 

If you are planning to host an expressive event on campus, there are a few things to consider. First, all students should contact the Office of Student Life and Cultural Centers (OSLCC) to ensure they receive proper support for their form of expression, including reviewing time, place, and manner policies and helping to avoid a conflict with a previously scheduled campus or student event. OSLCC also has forms for scheduling outdoor or indoor events, along with checklists to ensure you have everything you need.

Each expressive event is different, and as such, it is advisable that students first contact OSLCC to communicate their plans, whether it be a meeting, march, the distribution of materials, a performance or posting/chalking.

Time, Place, and Manner

Cal Poly Pomona, like most other educational institutions, has rules and guidelines on speech and other expressive activities on campus. These rules and guidelines are in place to help ensure students can engage in protests, rallies and other expressive events, while also protecting the ability of scheduled events (such as commencement, final exams, etc) to go foward and ensuring operations of the university are not significantly disrupted.

  • Because an event with amplified sound may interfere with classes in session and/or other activities, sound amplification is generally limited to times when classes are not in session.
  • Activities that restrict or disturb the routine business of the University are generally
    prohibited or closely monitored and as such, may be directed to cease should it be
    reasonably determined such activity is restricting or disturbing the routine business of the University.

Time: Daily, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., except for current Cal Poly Pomona students, registered student clubs/organizations, staff, faculty, and auxiliary employees who may engage in expressive activities at any time in conformity with the Presidential Order.

Place: Free speech and expressive activities may take place on campus with the following exceptions: parking lots/structures, University buildings, and within 20 feet of any location in which instructional, educational, and/or official business activities are being conducted. Popular locations are University Park and University Quad.

Manner: Free speech and expressive activities must be conducted in a manner that (1) shall not unreasonably interfere with or obstruct the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic, (2) shall not unreasonably interfere with or disrupt the conduct of University business, (3) shall be carried out without creating excessive noise by use of a device, (4) shall not unreasonably interfere with classes in session or other scheduled academic, educational, or cultural/arts programs, (5) shall not promote an unlawful end, such as promoting actual violence or bodily or property harm, terrorist threats, defamation, obscenity, and false advertising, (6) shall not violate any federal, state or local safety code, such as regulations set by the State Fire Marshal, and (7) allows appropriate authorities (e.g., University Police) to act within the scope of their job at any time before or during the activity to restrict behaviors reasonably deemed to threaten life/physical safety or property.

Student Rights and Responsbilities in the Classroom

Students have the freedom to question and express opinions during classroom discussions. With academic freedom rights, students can also discuss course-related matters with faculty during office hours and take reasoned exception to the views or methods offered in any course of study. Students should be evaluated solely on their academic performance, which are assessed based on the requirements established by the instructor or academic unit.

With rights come responsibilities. Students are responsible for maintaining the integrity of the academic environment. Academic freedom does not allow a student to avoid course requirements or fail to meet academic performance standards. Academic freedom does not provide students with the right to disrupt class, disregard classroom procedures for discussion or begin discussions unrelated to the topic of the class.