Free speech and our commitment to respecting others are strongly held principles at Virginia Tech.

These ideals can conflict and when they do, members of the community may engage in civil discourse across differences, ignore the issue and move on, or choose a form of protest. Framing these choices are the policies of the university and the laws of our localities, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the federal government.

Even speech that stands in stark contrast to our Principles of Community is protected under the First Amendment.

Our Principles of Community, which are not laws but principles that guide us as a university, can, in some circumstances, come into conflict not only with the U.S. Constitution but with differing principles. For example, our Principles of Community reject all forms of prejudice and discrimination and value human diversity. Yet, our Principles of Community and the U.S. Constitution also recognize the importance of free expression.

When these come into conflict, we encourage open expression within a climate of civility and mutual respect. These values largely work together to create an open and inclusive environment where individuals feel safe and respected.

Virginia Tech remains committed to our policies and procedures that prohibit disrupting teaching, learning, research, and the operation of the university. Individuals who cross this line will be held accountable by our policies and the law.

Anyone in our community who believes that a policy or law has been violated or feels that there is a safety issue in our community can access resources that are available through the student code of conduct, the faculty and staff handbooks, the Division of Student Affairs, and the Virginia Tech Police Department.

Updated 2/2/2018