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FGCU Vice President Susan Evans speaks on students’ rights

Eagle News queried FGCU Vice President Susan Evans on the truth about free speech on campus.

Eagle News: Can get I get President Wilson Bradshaw’s e-mails?

Susan Evans: University emails including those of President Bradshaw, are available to the public with the exception of e-mails or portions of e-mails that contain exempt information as defined in Florida’s public record law (Chapter 119, Florida Statutes).

Eagle News: Can I protest outside of President Bradshaw’s office?

Susan Evans: The University’s “Public Expression and Assembly Regulation” prohibits demonstrations inside University buildings. Immediately outside the President’s office door would not be allowed. If the protest were outside the building that houses the President’s office, it would be allowed.

Eagle News: Can I picket outside a basketball game?

Susan Evans: A demonstration inside Alico Arena would not be allowed. You are permitted to demonstrate outside University buildings as long as normal campus operations are not disrupted.

Eagle News: Am I allowed to wear a t-shirt to class  that says something such as “my professor sucks?”

Susan Evans: This is allowed, although, it is not in keeping with the University’s values for a campus community that is based on respect and civility.

Eagle News: Can I say whatever I want during class?

Susan Evans: A student is not prohibited from voicing his or her opinion or thoughts but is prohibited from disrupting the normal operations of a class.

Eagle News: Can I use a device to amplify my sound?

Susan Evans: A person may use a device to amplify his or her sound, but the University has the right to require volume lowering and/or sound cessation if the amplification is unreasonable in terms of disrupting normal University operations, per the aforementioned regulation.

Eagle News: Can a party who is not affiliated with FGCU but has gone through Campus Reservation use a device to amplify sound?

Susan Evans: Yes, but see the above question regarding the right to require amplified sound to not disrupt normal University operations.

Eagle News: What happens if amplified sound disturbs a class or meeting?

Susan Evans: The individual is told to lower the amplified sound to a level that does not disrupt University operations, and if he or she refuses, the sound amplification can be stopped completely.

Eagle News: Is there anything you’d like to say about free speech on campus?

Susan Evans: As a public university, FGCU strongly encourages free speech and the free exchange of ideas in a collegial, safe and civil manner that respects the University’s normal operations for education and campus life.

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