NIU Statement on Freedom of Expression
Northern Illinois University is committed to freedom of expression, ensuring that all members of the university community have the broad latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge and learn. NIU values all individuals and their rights, and encourages meaningful dialogue and a respectful exchange of ideas and opinions so that the voices of every student, faculty, staff and visitor to our campus can be acknowledged.
When members of the university community or the public choose to express their thoughts and opinions – be that through words, peaceful actions or visuals – all should expect some form of opposing views. The role of university administration is not to weigh in on the varying perspectives, but rather to foster an environment in which differences can be explored, ideas challenged and society advanced. These points and counterpoints might be contrary to public opinion and NIU’s values of civility, collegiality, diversity and inclusiveness, but our First Amendment protects virtually all speech, no matter how unorthodox, offensive or distasteful.