As a public research institution, the University is bound by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
Protected speech usually includes the oral or written exchange of ideas, particularly those that contain political, scientific, literary or artistic value. The commitment to free speech is at the core of UC Santa Barbara’s commitment to teaching, research, and public service.
Because the First Amendment is intended to allow for the expression of varied perspectives, the presentation of ideas and beliefs that conflict with your own is likely to occur. This can be, at times, uncomfortable as well as emotionally and intellectually challenging. It is, however, an equal right afforded to all persons and perspectives, which the University is legally bound to protect.
This does not mean that there are no restrictions upon speech.
The following are forms of speech which are not protected:
- Defamation: Intentionally false statements about a specific person that has the effect of damaging their reputation with material repercussions.
- Incitement of Violence: Statements that are intended, or likely to provoke, a physically violent response and are directed toward a specific individual.
- Harassment: Speech that targets a specific individual based upon their membership in a protected identity category such as gender, race, or religion, and interferes with their access to educational opportunities.
- Time, Place, and Manner: The government permits the restrictions of speech to appropriate times, locations, and methods of delivery, provided these policies are uniformly applied. For example, assemblies may not disrupt quiet periods, or violate fire codes. Activities that are determined to pose a risk to personal safety, university property, or facility security will be rescheduled until such time that adequate and appropriate security can be made available.
Demonstration Response Team
The Demonstration Response Team (DRT) is made up of staff members from around the Division of Student Affairs. DRT is responsible for being on site to monitor demonstrations, protect demonstrators' right to free speech and assembly, advise demonstrators if they are violating campus policies or laws, assist demonstrators to stage an effective and lawful event, and coordinate with UCPD, if necessary. DRT Team Members are present at most demonstrations or protests on campus and always seek to make contact with student organizers to offer support.