Support Free Speech on Campus by Endorsing the University of Chicago Statement

 

shutterstock_248056876Today, FIRE is launching a national campaign asking colleges and universities to adopt the free expression statement authored by the Committee on Freedom of Expression at the University of Chicago earlier this year. FIRE endorsed the statement back in January and has written hundreds of faculty members, students, and student journalists at institutions nationwide encouraging them to do the same.

This announcement comes after the Sunday Washington Post published an op-ed by FIRE’s Will Creeley and Geoffrey Stone, the current Dean of the University of Chicago Law School and one of the authors of the statement, urging universities to protect academic freedom and free speech:

Backed by a strong commitment to freedom of expression and academic freedom, faculty could challenge one another, their students and the public to consider new possibilities, without fear of reprisal. Students would no longer face punishment for exercising their right to speak out freely about the issues most important to them. Instead of learning that voicing one’s opinions invites silencing, students would be taught that spirited debate is a vital necessity for the advancement of knowledge. And they would be taught that the proper response to ideas they oppose is not censorship, but argument on the merits. That, after all, is what a university is for.

The statement, which can be adapted to all universities— not just the University of Chicago— guarantees “all members of the University community the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn.” Most importantly, it makes clear that “it is not the proper role of the University to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive.” These ideas echo sentiments expressed by Jonathan Haidt and I in our recent cover story for The Atlantic and by public figures, including President Obama.

The Chicago statement is one of the best, most inspiring declarations of the critical importance of free speech on college campuses that I have seen in my career. If you want your alma mater to endorse the statement, I encourage you to sign FIRE’s pledge and write to your alma maters or local institutions. And make sure to check out Geoffrey Stone and Will Creeley’s Sunday Washington Post op-ed about the statement as well.

There are 8 comments.

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  1. Inwar Resolution Inactive
    Inwar Resolution
    @InwarResolution

    Greg, these are big milestones!  Congrats!  You are putting points on the board!

    • #1
  2. Brian Wyneken Member
    Brian Wyneken
    @BrianWyneken

    Well, OK, I’ll sign it, but if I get in trouble it’ll be all your fault!

    (Seriously – Thank you Mr. Lukianoff for all your dedicated work to this cause)

    • #2
  3. barbara lydick Inactive
    barbara lydick
    @barbaralydick

    Big milestones, indeed.  Though, as of 9:00 pm, PST, there were only 359 signatures for FIRE’s pledge.  Let’s get going, Ricochet

    • #3
  4. J. D. Fitzpatrick Inactive
    J. D. Fitzpatrick
    @JDFitzpatrick

    Proud to be a Maroon today.

    • #4
  5. Greg Lukianoff Contributor
    Greg Lukianoff
    @GregLukianoff

    Inwar Resolution:Greg, these are big milestones! Congrats! You are putting points on the board!

    Thank you! It’s been a big couple of months.

    • #5
  6. Greg Lukianoff Contributor
    Greg Lukianoff
    @GregLukianoff

    barbara lydick:Big milestones, indeed. Though, as of 9:00 pm, PST, there were only 359 signatures for FIRE’s pledge. Let’s get going, Ricochet

    Yes, we need any and all help, so please send to friends, family, any one you know who cares about what’s going on on campus.

    • #6
  7. Greg Lukianoff Contributor
    Greg Lukianoff
    @GregLukianoff

    Brian Wyneken:Well, OK, I’ll sign it, but if I get in trouble it’ll be all your fault!

    (Seriously – Thank you Mr. Lukianoff for all your dedicated work to this cause)

    Thanks Brian! And if you get in trouble FIRE can help! :-)

    • #7
  8. Arizona Patriot Member
    Arizona Patriot
    @ArizonaPatriot

    GL, thanks again to you and FIRE for your great work in this area.

    Let Freedom Ring!

    • #8

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