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Respect for Open Expression

As a community of scholars, Emory University is committed to an environment where open expression of ideas is valued, promoted, and encouraged. Recognizing that the educational process of our institution requires diverse forms of open expression, including freedom of thought, inquiry, speech, activism, and assembly, the University affirms the rights of members of the community to assemble and demonstrate peaceably within the limits of this policy. Simultaneously, the University must maintain the right of community members to pursue their day-to-day activities and to be protected from physical injury or property damage. The Respect for Open Expression Policy was therefore implemented in 2013 to affirm Emory’s unwavering commitment to open expression while acknowledging the challenges and tensions these actions could create in an ever-changing community.

Open Expression Observers Program

Emory Campus Life supports the Respect for Open Expression Policy by coordinating the Open Expression Observers Program. Open Expression Observers may be sent or requested to attend meetings, events, or protests to ensure the rights of community members and protesters are protected. To request an Observer at your event, please fill out the form.

What do Open Expression Observers do?
Open Expression Observers are charged by the Sr. Vice President and Dean for Campus Life to:

To request an Observer at your event, please fill out the form. For urgent requests, contact the Open Expression Observer coordinator, Michael Shutt, directly at mshutt@emory.edu or 404.727.2136. On the Oxford Campus, contact Michele Hempfling at michele.hempfling@emory.edu or 770.784.8383.

Who are Open Expression Observers?
Open Expression Observers are members of the University community who:

Members of the community who are selected as Open Expression Observers must:

To apply to be an Open Expression Observer, please fill out this application. For questions about serving in this role, contact the Open Expression Observer coordinator, Michael Shutt, directly at mshutt@emory.edu or 404-727-2136. On the Oxford Campus, contact Michele Hempfling at michele.hempfling@emory.edu or 770.784.8383.

University Senate Committee for Open Expression

The University Senate, subject to the powers vested in the President of the University and the Board of Trustees, has the function and jurisdiction to review any change in existing policies or the establishment of new policies relating to matters of general University interest. To that end, it established the University Senate Committee for Open Expression.

What does the University Senate Committee for Open Expression do?
Members of the University Senate Committee for Open Expression are appointed by the University Senate to:

For more information about the Committee for Open Expression, click here. If you are seeking guidance regarding the Policy and your event, meeting, or protest, email openexpression@emory.edu. To file a concern regarding a possible violation of the Policy with the Committee, fill out this form.

Who are the members of the University Senate Committee for Open Expression?
The University Senate Committee for Open Expression is made up of:

Emory University Posting Guidelines

Emory University’s posting guidelines complement Emory University’s Respect for Open Expression Policy, while addressing sustainability, maintenance, and safety guidelines. Note that an individual’s counter-speech may not deface or materially change the meaning of another community member’s previous expression of speech. These guidelines apply to all individuals and groups of Emory.

History

As outlined by the 2011 Taskforce on Dissent, Protest & Community Report, the University Senate charged a task force in October 2012 to review and rewrite the Respect for Open Expression Policy. A revised policy was presented back to the University Senate in October 2013 for ratification and the policy revisions passed the Senate unanimously.