February 28, 2020


SUBJECT:    Reminder about Civil Discourse, Voting and Political Activity

The March 3, 2020 Primary Election is approaching and UC San Diego encourages registered voters to exercise those voting rights.

In this election year, it is important to remember that debate and life on public university campuses inevitably reflect the current social and political ethos of our local, national, and global society. Like all great public research universities, our campus is home to diverse organizations, faculty, staff, and students with a wide range of interests and points of view.

Diverse points of view on social and political concerns often intensify debate and can develop into a more fervent form of give-and-take, with opposing points of view, positions, and ideologies that can offend or create feelings of discomfort. Hate speech by its nature is meant to offend, however, it is still protected by the First Amendment in the U.S. Constitution. This is why we encourage and promote civility and respect in every exchange. We strongly urge all UC San Diego students, faculty, and staff to be guided by respect as we debate the issues of our complex world.

It is important to ensure that dialogue contributes to and enriches the diversity of opinions on campus. Each member of our community bears the responsibility to create a positive and welcoming campus environment. Whether or not we agree with differing perspectives, we should all aspire to the ideals embodied in UC San Diego’s Principles of Community (

The campus offers guidelines and resources regarding free speech as it relates to the U.S. Constitution and UC San Diego policies‚ and how to navigate various areas of campus life pertaining to freedom of expression on the Freedom of Speech and Expression website at: This site contains information on related laws and policies, resources including how to express yourself if you disagree, opportunities to engage in preplanned dialogues on salient topics, and a Free Speech FAQ.

Should an incident of suspected bias occur, individuals can file a report at UC San Diego’s (, or they can file a grievance in person at the Office of Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination.

Pradeep K. Khosla

Elizabeth H. Simmons
Executive Vice Chancellor

Becky R. Petitt
Vice Chancellor –
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Alysson M. Satterlund
Vice Chancellor – Student Affairs