Free Speech at Montana State
Listen. Speak. Respect.
Montana State University recognizes that the freedom of expression is integral both to our democracy and to the purpose and processes of a university.
But freedom of expression does not mean you can always say anything you want — like the classic example of shouting “fire” in a crowded theater and causing a panic. Having the freedom of speech means that your right to say something is protected within certain limits. There may be consequences for the things you say, but you still have the right to say them.
At MSU, free speech and expression is only limited in order to avoid conflict with the normal uses of campus, the rights of others and the limitations that already exist in law. No university policy or rule will infringe on the rights protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
On this site, you can learn more about your rights, how to express disagreement through assembly and how to report concerns.
Questions about free speech and expression
Providing universal answers on issues of free speech and free expression is difficult. Often, the circumstances of each situation must be considered individually before any conclusions can be drawn. If you have questions about a free expression matter not covered on this site or about any of the policies summarized here, reach out to the following people for help:
- Matt Caires, Dean of Students – 406-994-2826 or [email protected] – Students can begin most inquiries with the Dean of Students who can address issues including student conduct and campus events.
- General questions about the First Amendment and protected speech can be directed to Tracy Ellig, Vice President of University Communications at 406-994-5607 or [email protected] and to Kellie Peterson, MSU Legal Counsel, 406-994-4572 or [email protected].
The information presented on this site intended only as an introduction to MSU's policies and as a guide. It is not legal advice. Legal advice for students is available from ASMSU Legal Services. Additional student resources are listed on the ASMSU website. Employees of MSU can consult with the university's legal counsel or human resources.