Freedom of Expression

United States Consitution:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Source: First Amendment Annotated, United States Constitution

Texas State University is a public institution and supports the free exchange of ideas which includes freedom of speech, freedom of inquiry, and freedom of dissent. Texas State respects the right of individuals to express their social and political views through all forms of legally protected speech, press, and assembly. 

Texas State upholds the First Amendment to the United States’ Constitution.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Freedom of Speech
    The legal definition of freedom of speech is the right to express information, ideas and opinions free of government restrictions based on content and subject only to reasonable limitations. 

    An individual or a community may articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction.

    Freedom of Religion
    The government may not establish a state religion or prohibit the free exercise of religion. All Americans have the right to practice their religion freely, without interference or persecution by the government.

    Freedom of Press
    The right to report news or circulate opinion without censorship from the government. The press serves the governed, not the governors. A free media functions as a watchdog that can investigate and report on government wrongdoing.

    Freedom of Assembly
    The government may not abridge the right of the people to peaceably assemble.

    Freedom of Petition
    People have the right to ask the government at any level to right a wrong or correct a problem.

    Source: Freedom Forum Institute

  • Types of expression that are given less or no protection by the First Amendment (and can then potentially be restricted) include fraud, obscenity, child pornography, speech that incites illegal conduct, true threats, and commercial speech (advertising).

    Individuals or groups may not engage in the following:

    • Unreasonably infringing on others' rights to free expression
    • Threaten or cause injury to others
    • Violate the law or University policy
    • Enter a restricted area without authorization
  • Texas State University's outdoor common areas are traditional public forums and as such are subject to reasonable time, place and manner restrictions. 

    Expressive activity, demonstrations, and protests may take place in any of the outdoor common areas:

    Certain locations on campus are not public forums and are not available for expressive activity. These include:

    • Inside university facilities
    • Classrooms or meetings spaces where classes or other activities are being held
    • Private offices
    • Health services facilities