University of Washington Policy Directory

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*Formerly part of the University Handbook
Presidential Orders

Executive Order

No. 23

Non-University Speakers Sponsored by Student Organizations

1. As an institution of higher learning devoted to the search for truth in a democratic society the University of Washington is dedicated to the maintenance and expression of a spirit of free inquiry. For its students, accordingly, it promotes the development of an atmosphere of open exchange and of conditions conducive to critical evaluation of divergent points of view.

2. The University also recognizes and accepts a responsibility to insure that such inquiry is conducted in a manner which furthers the educational objectives of the institution, namely, the open minded, objective evaluation and dissemination of knowledge.

3. Student organizations officially recognized by the University may therefore invite speakers to the campus to address their own membership and other interested students and staff providing suitable space is available and there is no interference with the regularly scheduled program of the University. The appearance of such speakers on the campus implies neither approval nor disapproval of them or their viewpoints by the University. In the case of speakers who are candidates for political office, equal opportunities shall be available to opposing candidates if desired by them. Speakers are subject to the normal considerations for law and order and to the specific limitations imposed by the state Constitution which prohibits religious worship, exercise, or instruction on state property.

4. In order to insure an atmosphere of open exchange and to insure that the educational objectives of the University are not obscured, the President in a case attended by extreme emotional feeling may prescribe conditions for the conduct of the meeting, such as requiring a designated tenured member of the faculty as chair, or requiring permission for comments and questions from the floor. Likewise the President may encourage the appearance of one or more additional speakers at the meeting in question or at a subsequent meeting so that other points of view may be expressed.

5. The President shall prescribe the length of time and form of notice required prior to the holding of all meetings to be addressed by outside speakers and may designate representatives to recommend conditions for the conduct of particular meetings.

6. The Office of Student Affairs has been designated to represent the President in the implementation of this policy, to process forms and to advise on situations where special conditions should be imposed. When a student organization wishes to sponsor the appearance of a non-University speaker or speakers on the University campus, the sponsoring organization must file with the Office of Student Affairs at least three school days (not including the day of the event) prior to the scheduled meeting, a form indicating its intent and providing information regarding the arrangements, including date, time, place, topic to be discussed, the name of the speaker, sufficient biographical data regarding the speaker to identify him or her clearly, the name of the proposed chair or moderator, and other pertinent information.

7. The Office of the President will prescribe, where necessary, special conditions for the conduct of particular meetings.

8. To avoid scheduling conflicts, the ASUW Program Panel will review and approve the dates and times of meetings which are open to persons other than members of the sponsoring organization.

9. Sponsoring organizations are responsible for making room reservations and other arrangements for their meetings and for any expense occasioned by their meetings. Assistance in making room reservations and other arrangements will be given by staff persons in the ASUW Activities Office.

June 1, 1972.

For related information, see:

  • Chapter 478-136 WAC, "Use of University of Washington Facilities"
  • Executive Order No. 22, "Helicopter and Airborne Vehicle Policy"
  • Executive Order No. 42, "Speakers or Artists Sponsored by Non-Student Groups"
  • Administrative Policy Statement 10.10, "Noncampus Groups Using Campus Facilities and Grounds"