University Community

A reminder regarding free expression at Ohio University

OHIO’s interim Campus Freedom of Expression policy, Policy 01.041, was signed into effect in July 2022 to not only ensure state compliance with the Ohio Higher Education Reform Bill, Senate Bill 135, but to also reaffirm OHIO’s commitment to fostering a thoughtful and expressive campus environment for everyone across our community.

Freedom of expression is the foundation of an Ohio University education, and we believe that robust debate and civil disagreement — when conducted safely and legally — are signs of an engaged community and a diversity of perspectives. Furthermore, we recognize that all people and organizations are legally permitted to express their views and invite participation on campus, provided that such activities neither infringe on the rights of others nor disrupt University activities and operations. Additional details about OHIO’s campus policies regarding free expression are available online.

It is important to note that members of our community may sometimes encounter expressive activities or perspectives with which they disagree. As a public institution, Ohio University is prohibited from censoring legal expressions of free speech, including speech that some may consider controversial, offensive or at odds with our institutional values, and the on-campus presence of any persons, groups or organizations should not necessarily be viewed as an endorsement of specific beliefs or speech, but instead serve as a reflection of the University’s obligation to comply with legal free speech requirements.

More information about the University’s commitment to free expression, including a look back at OHIO’s rich history of activism and free speech, is available online.

Reporting an alleged violation of free expression

Students, student groups, and faculty members may use any of the options below to submit a complaint about an alleged violation of this policy by an Ohio University employee. Reports may be submitted regarding any alleged violation, and those submitting are encouraged to provide as much information as possible.

1) Report online using the Freedom of Expression Form by clicking on Submit Report at Reports submitted online are routed immediately to the Director of University Equity and Civil Rights Compliance (ECRC).

2) File a report with ECRC by mail, phone, or email. A report may be submitted at any time (including during non-business hours) using the contact information below. Reports may also be made in person at the ECRC office on business days when a staff member is available.

University Equity and Civil Rights Compliance
006 Lindley Hall
Ohio University
Athens, OH 45701
740.593.9140 (phone)

3) Harassment that also rises to the level of a crime should also be reported to the Ohio University Police Department.

May 8, 2023
Staff reports