Eastern University is a diverse, Christ-centered community preparing students to impact the world through faith, reason, and justice. Freedom of expression is the foundation of an Eastern University education. Eastern University strives for excellence in our mission through open debate and deliberation, critique of beliefs and theories, and uncensored academic inquiry.

Eastern University students shall enjoy the freedoms of speech and assembly on our campuses not by virtue of this statement or any university policy. Those rights are secured by the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press: or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” This is additionally supported by other federal and state constitutional provisions and laws, which establish our freedoms far beyond what a university policy may supplement or diminish.

Freedom of expression refers to the ability of an individual or group of individuals to express their beliefs, thoughts, ideas, and emotions about different issues free from government censorship. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the rights of individuals to freedom of religion, speech, press, petition, and assembly.

Freedom of inquiry and expression are hallmarks of a Christian education. We are entrusted with the intellectual and civic preparation of students who will create, build, discover, teach, minister and lead in our communities, both nationally and globally. Eastern University supports free speech as it protects our faith, keeps an informed democracy, and gives a voice to the oppressed. Freedom of expression guarantees other freedoms and is essential to educational development. Our students, faculty, and staff are stewards of Eastern University’s legacy of activism and free speech. 

Eastern University welcomes free expression in all its forms, including the expression of dissent. We welcome respectful discourse and dissent. We recognize that debate and civil disagreement are healthy signs of an engaged university community and a diverse range of perspectives.