Freedom of Expression & Civil Discourse Information

A First Amendment guide and resources for the campus community
In this Section

As a public institution, UW-Stout is committed to protecting and promoting the freedom of expression as enumerated in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article I of the Wisconsin Constitution. Campus community members have a right to hear diverse perspectives and viewpoints and to express their own.

While the First Amendment protects the right to express one's views, it allows the university to place reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on that expression. The following UW System and UW-Stout policies outline these reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions:


This section provides guidance for individuals wishing to engage in expressive activity at UW-Stout. Updates to these processes may occur and new areas be added should new information or changes to procedures occur at the system or university level.

Protests & Demonstrations

Campus community members and organizations that are planning a demonstration or protest are asked to contact the Conferences & Events Office (MSC 214 | 715-232-2000 | for events planned within or on the campus grounds. Why? Not to impede, but to help:

  • Get detailed information on the guidelines for the space and the event
  • Get access to AV support & other equipment
  • Get a referral to University Police to help keep your protest safe and to protect your speech
  • Get a referral to appropriate parties on campus to ensure your demonstrations meet time, place, and manner guidelines

While time, place, and manner guidelines may vary depending on the nature, size, and scope of the demonstration or protest, the minimum guidelines for all events are:

  1. There must be free access and egress to, from, and within the building (staff may define barriers or lanes to ensure access/egress).
  2. The activities cannot unreasonably disrupt another event or activity.
  3. The activities may not enter the space(s) of another event or activity. 

Spontaneous demonstrations or protests will be afforded the same commitment to free speech and freedom of assembly.  However, spontaneous demonstrations or protests will be held to time, place, and manner guidelines as noted above.

View reservable space locations

View reservable tabling locations

Learn More about Protest & Demonstration Procedures

Posting materials

Campus Community

Use of bulletin boards, common exterior windows, and exterior doors in university buildings is controlled by the building supervisor of each facility as outlined by UW-Stout Policy 76-3 Facility Use. The building supervisor may designate specific bulletin boards on which authorized groups, as defined in UWS 21.04 Use of University Facilities, may post materials.

The building supervisor must also approve any materials, such as window clings, placed on exterior doors or windows in common areas—unless specifically permitted by all-university policy.  A list of current building supervisors can be found on the Business, Finance, & Administrative Services website (must log in with UW-Stout credentials).

Residence Halls

Signs are allowed and should be displayed with these two residence hall policies in mind:

Fire Safety - Decorations (pg.19) - Students may not cover more than fifty percent of the hallway-side of their room doors with decorations. Decorations should not protrude from the door.

Posting of Signs (pg. 21) - Students may not post signs anywhere inside or outside of the residence halls without prior approval from University Housing. Unauthorized removal of approved postings is not permitted.

The university assumes no liability for the content of materials distributed on its campus and reminds those who distribute materials to be aware of applicable laws, including, but not limited to, laws regarding libel, defamation, obscenity, fair labor relations or incitement to violence.


There are several areas on campus that are available for chalking.

Contact Us to Make Reservations 
UW-Stout Conferences and Events (MSC 214)
Phone: 715-232-2000

View reservable chalking spaces

Harassment (and Other Non-academic Misconduct)

Students need to know some types of behaviors may be deemed incompatible with membership in the University community and therefore may result in disciplinary sanctions which may include suspension or expulsion from the University of Wisconsin System.

The type of conduct that rises to the level of non-academic misconduct as defined in UWS Chapter 17 (Student Disciplinary Procedures) can be described as conduct that harms self or others. UWS Chapter 18 - Conduct on University Lands provides additional information regarding usage, behavioral expectations, and processes related to campus and operations.

Examples below, while not exhaustive, gives some general types and examples of serious misconduct violations that may result in separation from the UW-System:

  1. Victimizing Others (battery, sexual assault, stalking, and harassment)
  2. Poor Citizenship (theft, vandalism, giving false information, failing to abide by restrictions imposed by earlier disciplinary action)