Student Handbook: Speakers Policy

As part of the educational process, student clubs and organizations that are officially registered by Fordham University are encouraged to invite to campus guest speakers who have a demonstrated expertise in an area of interest to the University community and/or who, in the club/organization's view, 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 required for student clubs or organizations planning to host a speaker to consult with the Student Involvement staff and appropriate to consult 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 activity, unlawful or otherwise, that, in the judgment of the Vice President for Student Affairs and/or the Dean of Students, (1) would endanger or imminently 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 or entail violation of the University Code of Conduct, including the Demonstration Policy. 

Moreover, expression that is indecent or is grossly obscene or grossly offensive on matters such as race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation 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. Registered student clubs and organizations are encouraged to apply for funding for such events to the appropriate student government/Student Involvement budget committee for their campus. The request must be signed by the President or other authorized representatives of the organization, and the organization's faculty advisor. After budget funding and/or consultation with the Office for Student Involvement, a space reservation request must be submitted to the Assistant Director for Campus Center Operations in the Office for Student Involvement (Rose Hill) or the Director for Student Involvement (Lincoln Center). The request must be signed by the President or the other authorized representatives of the organization, and the organization's faculty advisor. Space reservation requests are subject to availability on a generally first come/first served basis.  
  3. The minimum lead time (unless waived by the Assistant Dean/Director on the Rose Hill Campus or Director on the Lincoln Center Campus) from the date of consultation will be three (3) weeks, with additional lead time if large audiences are anticipated. Prior to the time that a space reservation is approved or a contract prepared, the student organization should submit a speaker reservation form/the following information to the Office for Student Involvement 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 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 Vice President for Student Affairs in the exercise of his/her general responsibility for the safety of the University community.