Know Your Rights

Freedom of speech is a foundational value of our constitutional system in the United States, and it is at the core of San Diego State University’s mission. 

The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition. The amendment guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely.  It also guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peaceably and to petition their government.

Read the U.S. Constitution and its First Amendment by visiting the Legal Information Institution

Also, in support of free and open expression, SDSU maintains a Freedom of Expression Policy, which states that the university can create “reasonable regulations” around speech and expression. Public universities and colleges are allowed to enact “time, place and manner” restrictions on free speech activities. Information about the Time, Place and Manner Policy is listed below.

SDSU supports and promotes the freedom of expression and assembly by students, faculty, staff and the general public on its campus. Public universities and colleges are allowed to enact “time, place and manner” restrictions on free speech activities, and those restrictions have specific criteria. Learn about our Buildings and Grounds Regulations.

The SDSU Time, Place and Manner policy exists so that speech does not unreasonably disrupt or interfere with university business, violate the legal rights of other persons, obstruct ingress or egress of campus buildings or obstruct walkways, endanger the physical safety of the campus community, unreasonably pose risk of damage to University property or campus environment, or disrupt the expressive activity of another person or group acting in compliance with university policy.

Any restrictions must meet the following criteria below. They must:

  • Be viewpoint neutral.
  • Be deemed  appropriate based on use of a location for speech activities, as coordinated by the university.
  • Serve a significant government interest and may not be more extensive than necessary.
  • Leave open other channels for the communication of the information.

Regulations exist to help assure that campus grounds and facilities are available in a fair and equitable manner and to encourage opportunities for the expression of diverse points of view. Such regulations are detailed in the SDSU Buildings and Grounds Policy.

SDSU’s Student Organizations Handbook contains summaries of the policies, procedures, privileges and responsibilities of recognized student organizations. It should be read carefully and retained annually for reference, as it defines the conditions under which your association must operate. Students and recognized organizations will be held accountable for adhering to all of the policies.