Approved:
14 Oct 2019
Prior Version:
23 Jan 2012
Applicability:
This policy applies to all university personnel, students, guests, and visitors.
Policy Owner:
Advancement Vice President
Responsible Office:
Office of the Advancement Vice President
Contents, Related Policies, Applicability

Approved:
14 Oct 2019
Prior Version:
23 Jan 2012
Applicability:
This policy applies to all university personnel, students, guests, and visitors.
Policy Owner:
Advancement Vice President
Responsible Office:
Office of the Advancement Vice President
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Speakers and Events Policy

University personnel should seek to invite speakers who are appropriate role models for the university’s students and whose professional and personal lives reflect integrity and respect for the values of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Church). Similarly, university personnel should host events that support The Aims of a BYU Education and reflect integrity and respect for the values of the Church. Prospective speakers must not be invited, and events should not be promoted, until they have been properly approved in accordance with this policy and other applicable university policies. (See Public Expression Policy; Political Neutrality Policy.)


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Criteria for Speaker Selection

All of the following criteria must be met for a person to be qualified to speak on campus:

  • The speaker must have the education, training, or experience to discuss the topic(s) chosen for presentation.
  • Speakers are expected to use clean language and to be courteous and respectful of the university and its campus community.
  • The speaker’s presentation must not seriously and adversely affect the university’s mission or the Church, including expression that contradicts or opposes, rather than analyzes or discusses, fundamental Church doctrine or policy, or expression that deliberately attacks or derides the Church or its general leaders.

A speaker’s presentation that is inconsistent with the Church’s position on public policy issues may be included as part of an academic conference organized by a university college, school, or department, as long as the presentation is respectful and is balanced by other presentations at that academic conference.

Unless specifically approved in advance during the approval process, a speaker must not market or promote any commercial or personal product.


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Approvals for Speakers and Events

As used in this policy, the term “event” means any activity planned or organized by a campus unit for university personnel, students, or others, but it does not mean employee meetings or individual university classes. Except as described below, for any event that (1) is intended for an audience broader than a single college or educational support unit, (2) will be open to the media, or (3) is planned to be streamed publicly or recorded to be shown online, event organizers must obtain approvals from the applicable department chair or director and from the applicable dean or executive director. Once these approvals are obtained, approval must be obtained from the line vice president unless otherwise indicated below. No invitations may be extended and no promotional materials may be distributed until all required approvals are obtained.

  • The office of the president coordinates the approvals and invitations for commencement speakers.
  • The advancement vice president coordinates the approvals and invitations for events at which general authorities or general officers of the Church will speak. The advancement vice president also coordinates the approvals and invitations for devotional speakers.
  • The academic vice president coordinates the approvals and invitations for forum speakers.
  • The associate academic vice president—undergraduate studies coordinates the approvals for all student academic association-sponsored speakers and events.
  • The student life vice president coordinates the approvals for all speakers and events sponsored by Student Life (e.g., speakers or events for a BYUSA club) that will be open to the campus community or the media, or that are planned to be streamed publicly or recorded to be shown online.
  • The dean of the Division of Continuing Education coordinates the approvals for all speakers and events sponsored by the division that are not already connected with another campus unit. Division of Continuing Education speakers and events that are connected with another campus unit require the approval process described above for speakers and events in general.
  • The Dean of Students Office, in accordance with the Public Expression Policy, coordinates the approvals for all public expression events and associated speakers in advance of any event.
  • The applicable dean or director coordinates the approvals for speakers and events that are intended for an audience of a single college, school, department, or office that are sponsored by a college, school, department, office, or center, or by any non-academic student club or association supervised by one of those units.
  • A faculty member may host a speaker for the enrolled students of his or her class. The audience is limited to the students enrolled in the class, and the speaker may not be promoted outside of that class.

Decisions to approve or disapprove an event or speaker under this policy are final and may not be appealed. Following approval as required, the event may be published in the university calendar and internal campus publications. Press releases can also be distributed through BYU University Communications once full approval has been given.


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Courtesy to Speakers with Controversial Positions

The university permits events where controversial positions are expressed. Participants in these events should be treated with courtesy and respect. Those desiring to express public opposition in connection with these events must follow the request procedures, the content standards, and the time, place, and manner standards of the Public Expression Policy. Banners, placards, handouts, unusual dress, shouts, or any other expression or actions that attempt to disrupt or harass the participants in an event are not allowed, and violators may be subject to university discipline or arrest.