As a public university, UWM has several areas on its campuses that serve as public forums. The university cannot prohibit speakers based on their viewpoints, even though their words may be abhorrent to many students, faculty and staff.
Speakers not affiliated with UWM may be invited to campus by recognized student organizations or university departments or divisions. Working with Union Operations staff, groups can schedule talks, vigils and other events outside, such as Spaights Plaza, or inside, such as in the Union Concourse. Events cannot disrupt classes or regular university operations.
Here is guidance for student organizations on inviting guest speakers to campus and how to reserve space:
- Guest speaker events are those with a speaker who is not a UWM student, faculty or staff member.
- Registered student organizations may invite to campus any speaker they choose, as long as they follow university procedures in scheduling appearances. Inviting student organizations do not need to consult with any other group when determining whether speakers are qualified to address a university audience.
- UWM does not regulate the content of speeches, and the views and opinions expressed by a guest speaker should not be construed as approved or endorsed by the sponsoring group or by UWM.
- Audience members should be given a reasonable opportunity, if appropriate, to ask questions at the end of the presentation.
- A student organization must fill out a university contract at least four weeks before the event (if no compensation is being requested, use the Unpaid Performer Contract) and submit it to Student Involvement in Union 355.
- For a guest speaker event that includes a book signing/sales component, student organizations should call Union Event Services at 414-229-4828 to make arrangements.