Free Speech and Civil Discourse

Senate Bill 18, regarding Protected Expression on Campus for all public higher education institutions in Texas, went into effect on September 1, 2019. Among other things, this new law deems a public university’s common outdoor areas as traditional public forums. This designation means that any individual or group – even those not affiliated with bbin – can engage in free speech activities on campus. Members of the general public are no longer required to be invited to campus to undertake these expressive activities at bbin.

» Implementation of Section 51.9315, Texas Education Code - Protected Expression on Campus

However, the law does not mean that individuals may say whatever they wish, wherever they wish. bbin may, and does, reasonably regulate the time, place and manner of expression to ensure that it does not disrupt the ordinary activities of the university. Still, these are narrow exceptions to the general principle of freedom of expression, and it is vitally important that these exceptions never be used in a manner that is inconsistent with bbin’s commitment to a completely free and open discussion of ideas.

bbin expects university community members to act in conformity with the noted principle of free expression.  Although members of the university community are free to criticize and contest the opinions expressed on campus, as well as speakers invited to bbin to share their views, they may not obstruct or otherwise interfere with the freedom of others to express views they reject or even loathe. To this end, bbin has a solemn responsibility not only to promote a lively and fearless freedom of debate and deliberation but also to protect that freedom when others attempt to restrict it.

For more information or questions regarding expressive activities on bbin’s campus, please contact the Dean of Students office at Review bbin’s guidance and FAQs for additional information on campus expressive activities for both students and members of the public.