UMBC is an institution that values inclusive excellence and encourages the thoughtful exchange of ideas. This page offers resources on how to use your voice and engage with the campus community in ways that uphold our community values, align with legal guidelines and university policies and practices, and honor everyone’s right to freedom of expression.
How will you use your voice?
I’m interested in engaging in thoughtful conversations about challenging topics with other students.
Engaging in thoughtful discussion is the foundation of a healthy community and can be challenging, especially when we have different opinions about issues. Effective communication requires active listening and mindful inquiry, and benefits from techniques for interrupting the biases we each hold.
- INTERACT, a cohort experience for first-year students designed to help students develop the skills to engage in difficult dialogue across differences.
- Center for Democracy and Civic Life events provide opportunities for participants to listen deeply and compassionately to each other to foster a humane campus culture that values agency and real connections.
I’m interested in distributing information on campus.
- Tabling is an excellent option for organizations interested in distributing print materials, promoting a message, soliciting feedback, or engaging members of our community in open dialogue. To request a table contact Event & Conference Services (ECS) at 410-455-3615.
- Review the UMBC Policy on the Posting of Notices and Event Roadway Signage.
I’m interested in organizing a peaceful assembly or expressive activity on campus.
The safety of all UMBC community members is one of our highest priorities. If you host an assembly, please note that participants are not to block normal footpaths into and out of adjacent buildings. These represent important evacuation routes in the event of an emergency.
- Scheduled events and activities have priority. You may be asked to relocate if you are occupying a reserved space.
- The use of amplified sound is only available during times that don’t interfere with normal university operations. For more information, contact ECS (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- To organize an event in a space on campus, make a reservation in 25Live, our campus-wide event scheduling platform. For questions on how to access and use 25Live, contact ECS. Our staff will help you identify a suitable space and other resources to help you organize and execute a successful activity.
- Scheduled events and activities have priority. To determine availability, view 25Live, our campus-wide event scheduling platform, or contact ECS.
- The safety of all UMBC community members is one of our highest priorities. Event participants are not to block normal footpaths into and out of adjacent buildings. These represent important evacuation routes in the event of an emergency.
- For detailed information related to event management and space at UMBC, review the UMBC Policy on Facilities Use.
- For detailed information on marketing and advertising at UMBC, contact commonvision.
I’m interested in inviting a guest speaker to campus.
Inviting subject-matter experts and leaders from various fields and industries can be a popular and effective way to facilitate learning and promote civil discourse. Making arrangements for a guest speaker event is much like scheduling and planning any event on campus.
Important things to think about ahead of time:
- How many guests are you expecting?
- This will help us identify a suitable space for your event.
- Does the speaker require compensation of some kind?
- Our advisors in ECS will help coordinate an entertainment/speaker contract for you that will outline the terms of the engagement, including the compensation terms.
- It’s also very important to know that a student or student organization should never sign a contract on their own. We have a structured process to facilitate this on your behalf, which helps protect both you and UMBC.
- Will you be advertising/promoting the event both on and off-campus? Events that may include members from our extended community bring up other considerations, including:
- Parking accommodations
- Wayfinding/directional signage
- Security/crowd management at the venue
I’m interested in organizing a voter registration drive.
- Voter registration drives must follow specific rules, guidelines, and procedures. For detailed information, consult with State and local election boards or the Center for Democracy and Civic Life (2B24, The Commons, located on the 2nd floor of The Commons, next to the Mosaic Center).
Freedom of Speech and Expression
To understand how UMBC and the University System of Maryland protect Freedom of Speech Expression, please refer to the statement and guidelines below.
If you would like to learn about additional opportunities and alternatives for using your voice, contact us! We’d love to hear from you.