Expression of Ideas

To: UCSC Students

From: Alma Sifuentes, Associate Vice Chancellor, Campus Life and Dean of Students

As the winter quarter gets underway, several events planned by students and student organizations will be taking place on campus over the next several weeks and probably well into the spring quarter. These events range from rallies, speakers and marches.

UC Santa Cruz is committed to assuring that all persons may exercise the constitutionally protected rights of free expression, speech and assembly. Further, the university seeks to maintain a safe environment for the free expression of ideas and ideals. The ongoing opportunity for the expression of a variety of viewpoints is at the core of this commitment. As campus citizens, it is imperative that we live up to the responsibilities that accompany these rights. Detailed information on student activism and event planning is on the Campus Life and Dean of Students website at:

Below are several points that may be useful:

. Events taking place around the world affect many members of the UCSC community and there are strong feelings and beliefs on all points of view.

. There are events taking place on campus to express different views.

. I am writing to ask those who plan to participate in these events­whether in support or in protest­to do so with respect, compassion, and civility.

. It is important to remember that UCSC is a community intent on promoting the expression of different viewpoints and perspectives for the purpose of education.

. We have an opportunity to model how those in conflict can dialogue in a way that promotes dignity, intellect, compassion, and understanding.

. I encourage each of you to keep yourselves informed.

There are also a number of points from the Principles of Community and the Student Policies and Regulations Handbook's rules on speakers and public events which may be helpful:

. UCSC is a community that is "committed to promoting and protecting an environment that values and supports every person in an atmosphere of civility, honesty, cooperation, professionalism and fairness." (Principles of Community)

. "We believe the free exchange of ideas requires mutual respect and consideration for our differences." (Principles of Community)

. At university events, a speaker is accorded the right to express her or his views, even if members of the audience disagree with the speaker or find the views offensive. (Handbook, Section 30.0)

. Individuals and groups who disagree with the speaker may register their opposition but in no case may there be physical violence or threats of force, violence, or intimidation. (Handbook, Appendix I)

. The rights of the dissenter(s) should be respected, as much as the rights of the speaker. However the speaker is entitled to communicate her or his message to the audience during her or his allotted time, and the audience is entitled to hear the message and see the speaker during that time. (Handbook, Appendix I)

. The content of the speech, even parts deemed defamatory or insulting, does not entitle any member of the audience to engage in disruption, force, or violence. (Handbook, Appendix I)

. Insults of a hate or biased nature are not valid grounds for disruption or physical attack, particularly from a voluntary audience that was invited but in no way compelled to be present. (Handbook,

Campus Resources that may be helpful include:

Student Policies and Regulations Handbook:

Hate-Bias Policy:

Office of Campus Life and Dean of Students: 459-4446

Student Organizations Advising and Resources (SOAR): 459-2934

University Police: 459-2231