The University of San Francisco is a University in the
Jesuit tradition. It is governed by a self-perpetuating, independent
Board of Trustees under a charter granted in 1855 by the State of
As a Catholic Jesuit institution, the University has the
opportunity and the responsibility to advocate the values and
theological tenets upon which it is founded.
As an educational institution, the University is committed
to the proposition that a truly educated student comes away from the
University equipped not only to develop and articulate a point of view
but to sustain it in the face of contrary opinions. Cardinal John Henry
Newman stated in his classic text, The Idea of a University, "It is not
the way to learn to swim in troubled waters never to have gone into
them." Education is best achieved with dialog among divergent or
The University has recognized this view of education as a
key component of its vision, mission and values, including as core
values a belief and commitment to advancing:
- The Jesuit Catholic tradition that views faith and
reason as complementary resources in the search for truth and authentic
human development, and that welcomes persons of all faiths and religions
as fully contributing partners to the University;
- The freedom and the responsibility to pursue truth
and follow evidence to its conclusion;
- Diversity of perspectives, experiences, and
traditions as essential components of a quality education in our global
Viewed in this manner there is no inherent conflict in the
mission of USF as a University and as a Catholic institution. Just as
the very nature of religious belief requires free, uncoerced assent, so
the nature of a university requires respect for evidence, for
investigation, for reason, and for enlightened assent.
Therefore, because we are irrevocably committed to full
intellectual discourse, we reaffirm the right of every member of the
University community to free expression, free association and free
exercise of religion.
B. Protections and Guarantees
Freedom of expression at the University of San Francisco
includes the right of USF students to present and advocate their ideas
in the spirit of the development of knowledge and the quest for truth.
Freedom of expression includes debates, speeches, symposia, posting of
signs, petitioning, information dissemination, the formation of groups
and participation in group activities, and the invitation of guest
speakers to address the University community.
It must be at all times understood that the positions or
views espoused are those of students or speakers themselves and do not
necessarily reflect the views of the University.
The University shall not, in general, impair or abridge the
foregoing freedoms beyond the regulation of the time, place and manner
of their expression, except as to such speech, expression or association
that falls outside of traditional constitutional protection. While
students and student organizations at USF are guaranteed the freedom to
examine and to discuss questions of interest, and to express their
opinions publicly and privately, the University also recognizes its
obligation to protect its property and processes from individual or
collective actions that are malicious, or that disrupt this institution,
or that obstruct, restrain or interfere with activities of members of
the University community, whether by physical force or intimidation.
1. USF students are free to organize and to join
associations whose stated purposes are consistent with the University
Mission and its Catholic, Jesuit character, to promote their common
interests. All student groups are required to register with the
University, and registration of a student group carries with it certain
rights, responsibilities, and privileges:
- Registration of student organizations shall be with
the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement. Information required
for registration will include the following: name of organization;
statement of general purposes; name, address, telephone number, and
student identification number of all officers and/or directors of the
organization; and any other information about the organization required
by the University administration. Registration of student organizations
shall be freely permitted, subject to the limitations set forth herein.
Registration of student organizations does not in any way suggest or
imply that the University approves, supports or sponsors such
organizations, or the points of view espoused thereby.
- Membership in registered student organizations must
be open to ALL registered students at the University, except in certain
gender-specific fraternal orders.
- All registering student organizations will agree, at
the time of registration with the University, to the policies and
procedures promulgated herein relating to their activities on campus.
- All information disseminated by any registered
student organization shall bear on its face the following statement:
"The views presented herein do not necessarily reflect the position of
the University of San Francisco."
- Registered student groups have the right to request
student activity funding from the appropriate funding source, which
funding shall not be withheld on the basis of race, color, religion, sex
or sexual orientation, disability, national and/or ethnic origin, creed
- Registered student groups may use campus facilities
and resources as defined by the Vice President for University Life (or
the Vice President's designee) and printed in the most recent edition of
the Fogcutter Student Handbook.
2. Access to University facilities shall be granted to
registered student organizations, subject to the provisions set forth
- All registered student groups shall be granted equal
access to the following University facilities and resources: the use of
information tables in designated common areas, access to designated
bulletin boards, scheduled use of meeting rooms, access to publicity
announcements in the student media (subject to the official publicity
regulations of those media). Registered student groups will be permitted
to sponsor guest speakers, which speakers shall (a) be permitted to
present and advocate their ideas in the spirit of the development of
knowledge and the quest for truth and (b) be governed by University
regulations while on University premises.
- Individual students may reserve facilities only to
conduct pre-organizational meetings (see Event Planning Guidelines in
the Fogcutter Student Handbook). Other use of meeting rooms by
individual students and the opportunity of individual students to invite
guest speakers to campus shall be subject to appropriate administrative
policies and regulations contained in the most recent edition of the
Fogcutter Student Handbook.
3. All written information or materials disseminated by
individual students or registered student groups on University premises
must be stamped with the disclaimer set forth in section C(1)(d) of this
Individual students and student groups are required to
comply with University administrative regulations at all times.
D. Activities Regulations
1. The University shall have the right to regulate the time,
place and manner of all on-campus expression, and to prohibit any
speech and expression which creates a clear and present danger of:
- blocking roadways or walkways in common areas;
- restricting or preventing physical access to campus
- generating excessive litter;
- generating excessive noise; or
- interfering with or disrupting classes or other
ongoing University events or activities.
2. In addition, the University shall have the right to
prohibit, prevent or stop expression which, by its content:
- is itself illegal or advocates a clear and present
danger of causing violence or illegal action;
- advocates the physical harm, coercion, intimidation
or other invasions of personal rights of individual USF students,
faculty, staff, administrators or guests; or
- advocates willful damage or destruction or seizure of
University buildings or other property, or destruction of or
interference with ongoing University classes, events or activities.
3. The University shall have the right to impose appropriate
discipline upon any student whose expression goes beyond that which is
protected hereunder and/or comes within the purview of activities
4. The Committee on Student Freedoms and Responsibilities
will convene to assess and respond to violations and/or student
complaints regarding this policy. Committee representation will include
faculty/staff from the Dean of Students, Student Leadership and
Engagement, Public Safety, University Ministry, and one faculty member