This policy is fully consistent with the Free Speech Guidelines adopted by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences on February 13 and May 15, 1990. It does not create any new or additional restrictions on free speech in our community.
The University does not prohibit all offensive speech regarding sex or gender. For harassing speech to create a hostile environment, it must be so severe, pervasive, or persistent that it denies or limits a student's ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s educational or employment programs or opportunities. While Harvard is committed to non-discrimination and condemns derogatory speech, it is also committed to freedom of expression and recognizes that members of the University community are free to state their views on issues of importance to the public and the University. The University expects its students, faculty, and other community members to recognize the importance to others of expressing their views in an uninhibited manner. The University also recognizes the interest in free speech in private settings, such as private conversations and residential spaces, and the Policy would apply in such settings only if the harassing effect of the speech were so severe, persistent, or pervasive as to create a hostile environment.