Free Speech and Campus Events

How does the First Amendment right to free speech apply to speakers who have been invited by student groups to speak on campus?

As a public institution of higher education, Iowa State University is committed to fostering free speech and the open debate of ideas. Iowa State is prohibited from banning or preventing an invited speaker based on the content or viewpoint of their speech. University policy permits student groups to invite speakers to campus, and the university provides access to certain campus venues for that purpose. Iowa State cannot take away that right or withdraw those resources based on the views of the invited speaker.

Once a student group has invited a speaker to campus, Iowa State will act reasonably to ensure that the speaker is able to safely and effectively address their audience, free from violence or disruption.

Although Iowa State cannot restrict or cancel an invited speaker based on the content or viewpoint of the speech, the university is allowed to place certain content- and viewpoint-neutral limits on how the speech can take place. These limits can be based on the “time, place and manner” of the speech.









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