Speaker Policy

Free inquiry and free expression are essential attributes of the community of scholars. As members of that community, students should develop the capacity for critical judgment and engage in a sustained and independent search for truth.

To this end, student organizations are free to examine and discuss all questions of interest to them, express their views, and hear opinions of others.

In order to implement the ideals of free inquiry and expression, it is a St. Olaf College policy that students are allowed to invite and hear any person of their own choosing, subject only to the routine procedures stated below.

It should be understood that a non-St. Olaf College speaker may be expected to answer questions from the audience. It should also be made clear to the academic and the larger community that the sponsorship of the guest speaker does not necessarily imply approval or endorsement, either by the sponsoring group or the institution, of the views expressed.

The following procedures will prevail:

  • Student organizations, joint student-faculty organizations, and unregistered groups of 10 or more full-time St. Olaf students may invite non-St. Olaf College speakers to address meetings on campus.
  • All such meetings will be chaired by a full-time St. Olaf student or a St. Olaf faculty member selected by the sponsoring group.
  • All such meetings will be open to all St. Olaf College students, faculty and staff.
  • The director of the Buntrock Commons will attempt to make available appropriate college facilities for such a meeting. Facility use charges may be imposed according to established fee schedules.
  • To facilitate allowing students to invite and hear speakers of their own choosing, the dean of students may, at his/her discretion, waive or relax any of the procedures set forth above.