Code of Virginia

§ 23.1-401.1. Constitutionally protected speech; policies, materials, and reports; report

Except as otherwise permitted by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, no public institution of higher education shall abridge the constitutional freedom of any individual, including enrolled students, faculty and other employees, and invited guests, to speak on campus

Recently passed Virginia law now requires additional reporting about the university's efforts related to protecting free speech - including maintaining a website that includes an annual report. This annual free speech report [posted and linked on the right side of this page] is a state requirement. The annual report must include the university's educational efforts; any filed lawsuits claiming violations of free speech, included in full; and a listing of related resources. Details from the Commonwealth  can be found in the Code of Virginia.

For questions, comments, or concerns, please use the VCU Helpline, or email

First Amendment

Virginia Commonwealth University is committed to creating an environment that fosters the exercise of protected speech and other expressive activity on university property while maintaining an atmosphere free of disruption to the mission of the university. It recognizes that the free expression of ideas and open inquiry are essential in fulfilling its academic mission by embracing rigorous open discourse, argumentation, speaking, listening, learning and the exploration of ideas. 

Government Building Icon [View Image]Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. - US Constitution

Report an incidentSpeaking up icon [View Image]

Any concern or complaint may be raised to VCU using the mechanisms outlined below. This includes any report of disruption of constitutionally protected speech. If you believe your right to free speech has been infringed at VCU, please report it and it will be addressed. You will receive a response.

  • Emergency reports needing a public safety response should be directed without delay to VCU Police @ 828-1234 or 911.
  • You may call the VCU Helpline @ 1-888-242-6022, or log a report online at Both of these options are anonymous and confidential, and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you are calling from Qatar, to make a collect call / reverse charge, call +1-(720)-514-4400. Give the name "VCU" instead of your name for anonymity.
  • You may call or email the Integrity and Compliance Office directly at (804) 828-2336 or

These options are available to everyone, no matter enrollment or employment status, role, position, or length of service at VCU. All concerns and allegations are taken seriously. They are vetted for merit and addressed by appropriate and conflict free expertise. All concerns receive a final response. The VCU Reporting Concerns webpage provides an overview of the process for handling concerns.

Related information

2020 Report

VCU completed a report in 2020 for the state of Virginia surrounding speech that is constitutionally protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. 

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