Civil Discourse & Free Speech

Leadership changes, social justice issues, the pandemic, and global turmoil—each of these have demonstrated the importance of dialog between those of differing viewpoints and beliefs. The need for constructive conversation has been ever apparent in the United States, especially so in recent times.

The freedom to express oneself freely is a value staunchly ingrained in U.S. culture. The right to explore thoughts and to share ideas openly is expressed in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, a position which showcases its value within the United States. Certainly, this right exists at the core of Indiana University’s mission to teach and discover.

We encourage and support all students’ ongoing civil engagement with one another, and encourage continued involvement in student clubs, organizations, and leadership bodies. These groups are student-led spaces in which sharing your views, beliefs, and perspectives can help all to learn and grow, to be challenged and to develop character alongside one another. IU will always support free and open speech in the United States, and promote civil, contemplative discourse.

The First Amendment has, at its core, a deep distrust of the power of any government to restrain speech or to judge ideas dangerous, and a trust in the power of our citizens to assure that truth displaces falsity in a world of open exchange.

IU Bloomington Provost Lauren Robel