Student Affairs Blog

News and information beyond the classroom

Dear students,

VCU is a very diverse community with a host of differing viewpoints reflecting each of our personal lenses through which we see, and experience, the world. This diversity of viewpoint and opinion is a tremendous asset to our community. Our hope is that you engage in conversations with others who share similar and dissimilar perspectives. In that regard, the university is committed to fostering a climate that encourages civil and spirited discourse.

VCU advocates for the dignity of all human beings. We understand that while creating an environment that supports civil dialogue, hurtful comments can be made by others. We are committed to creating a supportive culture for all our students while balancing First Amendment rights.

VCU is also obligated, as a public university, to ensure a strong commitment to the First Amendment and Virginia law. The First Amendment prohibits prior restraint on speech and taking adverse action against individuals or groups, whether affiliated with the university or not, based on the viewpoints of their speech. This freedom of speech also encompasses the rights of those who present differing viewpoints.

Our Reservation and Use of Space policy clarifies how expressive activities may occur at VCU. A list of Frequently Asked Questions can assist with inquiries that have been made previously, including but not limited to those pertaining to time, place, manner, costs, and major events. 

With more conversations and interactions happening in the digital environment, the university has received reports of harassment, trolling and doxing on social media. 

If you feel that you are being harassed online, here are some immediate steps you can take. 

  • Document the posts or dialogue
  • Block the individuals on the social media platform(s)
  • Report the concerning use of social media to the social media platform(s)
  • The Dean of Students Office can provide guidance about the application of student conduct policies to online activity and resources designed to support students who experience concerning discourse online.

We also have a team of staff members through the Division of Student Affairs who are available to consult and are often present when expressive activities occur on campus. The Dean of Students office is available throughout the year to meet with students who have specific questions or concerns and can be reached at vcudean@vcu.edu or 804-828-8940.

As a public university, we will uphold the constitutional rights of our community, and hold tight to our core values of decency, respect, diversity, and inclusion. We will foster an environment where all members of our community feel welcome, safe, supported, and able to succeed in the context of our mission.

Thank you for your support of expressive activity on our campus and your willingness to engage in productive civil discourse with others.

Sincerely,

Division of Student Affairs

Categories Fall 2021 - Spring 2022