Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Speakers Policy

As part of the educational process, students are encouraged to invite guest speakers to campus who have a demonstrated  expertise  in  an  area  of  interest  to  the  University  community.  Registered student clubs and organizations may invite to Fordham University any person who, in their opinion, might contribute to the intellectual or cultural life of the University. Individual students wishing to invite a speaker to campus should seek the sponsorship of a registered club or organization. 

In order to derive maximum benefit from a guest speaker’s presence on campus, it is appropriate for student clubs or organizations planning to host a speaker to consult with the Student Leadership and Community Development staff and with faculty in related fields of expertise prior to extending a final invitation. An important effect of such consultation will be to assist the University in its efforts to offer a full, varied, and balanced program of guest speakers that will result in a maximum exchange of ideas and opinions. 

This enjoyment of the freedom to express points of view on the widest range of public and private concerns must, however, be subject to reasonable restrictions of time, place, and manner. The right of free speech and expression does not include unlawful activity, in the judgment of the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs/Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and/or the Dean of Students, that would endanger, or imminently:

  1. threaten to endanger the safety of any member(s) of the University community,
  2. pose a threat to the physical facilities, or
  3. obstruct or disrupt the normal functions of the University.

Moreover, expression that is indecent or is grossly obscene or grossly offensive on matters such as race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual preference is inconsistent with accepted norms of conduct at the University.

Obviously, and in all events, the use of the University forum shall not imply acceptance or endorsement by the University of the views expressed.

Procedural Guidelines

  1. Any duly-registered student club or organization may invite a speaker not affiliated with the University to speak on campus.
  2. A space reservation application should be submitted to the Assistant Director for Campus Center Operations in the Office of Student Leadership and Community Development  (Rose Hill) or the Director of Student Leadership and Community Development (Lincoln Center). The minimum lead time (unless waived by the Assistant Director  on the Rose Hill Campus or Director on the Lincoln Center Campus) will be three (3) weeks, with additional lead time required where large audiences are anticipated. The request must be signed by the President or other authorized representatives of the organization, and the organization’s faculty advisor.
  3. Prior to the time a space reservation is approved or a contract prepared, the student organization should submit a speaker reservation form to the Office of Student Leadership and Community Development with the following information:
    1. The exact amount of the speaker’s fee and expenses, if any, and the confirmed source of funding.
    2. Where applicable, the name, address, and representative of the booking agency.
    3. A biographical sketch of the speaker and a brief description of the speaker’s topic or subject area.
    4. Endorsement of the invitation by the officers of the sponsoring organization, and by the organization’s faculty advisor or other faculty members who have been consulted.
  4. A Fordham University contract relating to the appearance of the guest speaker must be signed by the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs, or his/her designee.
  5. Any speaker contract must contain an agreement that, in the case of clear and present physical danger to the University or the local community, the sponsoring organization will accept the closing of University facilities to the event. Such a decision would be made by the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs in the exercise of his general responsibility for the safety of the University community.

Updated on Wednesday, August 6, 2014

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