The following represents guidelines for administrative implementation of NYU’s existing policies on speech, speakers, and dissent.
The Free Exchange of Ideas, Protest, and Dissent: The free exchange of ideas and open inquiry are bedrock principles at N.Y.U.  Even as NYU remains committed to an inclusive learning environment, it is a matter of policy that invited speakers will be able to deliver their remarks without substantial interference regardless of the content of their speech.

The principles of free speech and inquiry are complemented by the principles of debate, challenge, and protest.  While dissent may be vigorous, it must not substantially interfere with a speaker’s ability to communicate, regardless of content, with an audience’s ability to hear and see a speaker, or with the University’s ability to fulfill its educational duties and conduct its operations.  

Sponsor Accountability: Certain responsibilities accompany the holding of a speaking event; these responsibilities are especially pressing in cases in which the speaker may hold views that are controversial or which may be likely to spark protest.

  • The person(s) or NYU organization sponsoring the event is accountable for its proper planning and execution.  In the case of a speaker who is likely to be controversial, this includes making arrangements well in advance of the scheduled event with the Department of Campus Safety for the safe conduct of the event.
  • Event sponsors should be forthright from the outset about the event and the identity of any speaker.
  • Event sponsors shall follow all established rules for booking space and holding an event.
  • Those securing space on campus for an event should serve as the de facto sponsors of the event, assuming responsibility for all of the aforementioned duties. They are expected to be fully cognizant of all the details of the event, be in attendance throughout the course of the event, and act as a responsible party at the event.

Campus Safety: The University and the event sponsors shall work together to ensure that it transpires safely and peacefully, with the University bearing the expense for safety arrangements. The University’s Department of Campus Safety has responsibility for determining the nature and extent of safety measures, which may include relocating an event, changing its timing, employing safety equipment or protocols, or restricting the event to members of the NYU community for reasons of safety and order.  And in those rare instances in which the University concludes that a speaker’s presence presents an insurmountable threat to public safety, NYU reserves the right to cancel an event.

  1. Dates of official enactment and amendments: Jan 21, 2018
  2. History: N/A
  3. Cross References: Speakers and Other Campus Visitors