Dr. Lamas, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management

Free Speech Area not to be renamed

By Dr. Frank Lamas, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management 

“At Fresno State, freedom of expression is welcomed and encouraged across campus. The University’s commitment to free speech is fully supported by the administration and formally documented in Fresno State’s interim Policy on Time, Place and Manner of Free Expression.

While freedom of expression takes place throughout the campus, for decades the plaza south of the University Student Union, known as the Free Speech Area, has been the campus’ most visible space for students, faculty, staff and community members to openly express ideas and points of view and which is also the area adjacent to the Speaker’s Platform.

The name Free Speech Area has a rich and positive history at Fresno State, but in recent years the name has become equated with restrictive practices at other colleges and universities.  We want to ensure that this iconic area is maintained as a landmark in our campus history while also communicating that freedom of expression is no way restricted to only this area of our campus.

As such, Fresno State initiated a dialogue with the campus community to gather input on a possible new name for this area. These conversations are providing valuable input, but no formal decision has been made.”