Free Speech at Dartmouth

The principle of freedom of expression isn't about saying whatever you want whenever you wish. It's about individual members of our community holding their own opinion, doing their homework about an issue, and actively debating it with others. – President Beilock

Understanding Freedom of Expression and Dissent

As members of Dartmouth's diverse community, we are all responsible for cultivating an environment where every voice is heard and respected. The Freedom of Expression and Dissent policy outlines how we can balance free speech, debate, dissent, and individual agency with responsibility and respect for diverse viewpoints as well as the needs, mission, and processes of the institution. This principle is memorialized in the Standards of Conduct:

The institution fosters and protects the rights of individuals to express dissent. Protest or demonstration will not be discouraged so long as the orderly processes of the institution are not deliberately obstructed. (For examples of intentional disruptions, see Dartmouth Standards of Conduct VIII).

To help undergraduate students navigate free expression, dissent, and campus policies, the Office of Student Life offers comprehensive support with assistance from campus partners, including Conferences and Events, the Department of Safety & Security, the Office of Community Life and Inclusivity, and others as needed. Students planning demonstrations or events that touch on critical issues are strongly encouraged to reach out to Student Life or its partners to ensure compliance with institutional processes and policies. Moreover, these offices can help students think through programs, navigate logistical challenges, and marshal College resources to support planned events.

Students should always review relevant policies in the Student Handbook and on the Dartmouth Student Organizations web pages. For help understanding these or other policies, students should contact the responsible office.