Care, Respect and Expression

At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, we honor the right to free expression while showing respect and caring for our diverse community.

On this website, you’ll find information on the basics of free speech, and students’ rights and responsibilities. You’ll also learn more about harassment and discrimination, and find ways to fight bias and report an incident to UWM. Speak up, get involved and seek out resources for support. This is your campus and community.

Learn more on civil discourse and free speech through UW System’s Civil Dialogue Project.

What’s protected under the First Amendment? What is hate speech? How do I file an incident report? Find the answers to these questions and many others relating to free speech, harassment, discrimination and anti-bias, as well as how to report incidents and seek out support.
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Campus Speech

Campus Speech

As a large public university located in a culturally rich city, UWM will always be a forum for the free exchange of ideas — even when those ideas challenge our thinking in unsettling ways. Civil discourse is critical to learning and intellectual growth.

Harassment & Discrimination

Although UWM fully supports free expression, harassment and discrimination have no place on our campus. These behaviors can be harmful to individuals and our community. Learn more about how to report an incident and obtain support.

Rights & Responsibilities

As a student enrolled at a public university, you have the right to free speech and free expression. However, if your behavior crosses the boundary of what is acceptable in civil society or threatens others, you will be held accountable.

Latest FAQs

  • Am I allowed to chalk on campus?
    Similar to posting flyers on campus bulletin boards, expression through the use of chalking on campus sidewalks is protected within reasonable regulations. Conditions imposed on campus sidewalk chalking are put in place to ensure that permanent damage is not caused… Read more
  • What is incitement to imminent lawless action?
    There have been instances in U.S. history where the government has attempted to ban speech that people used to advocate for societal change. In some past cases, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld punishment of expression that advocated for change, especially… Read more
  • What constitutes a true threat?
    A true threat is not protected by the First Amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court defined true threats in Virginia v. Black (2003) as “statements where the speaker means to communicate a serious expression of an intent to commit an act of unlawful violence… Read more