Understanding Free Speech and the Campus Code

Report: Presidential Task Force on the Regulation of Speech and Harassment (2018).

The Campus Code of Conduct  is maintained by the University Assembly. The  Office of the Judicial Administrator handles cases when the Code is violated. There is a clear cut  process for making changes to the Code.

Here are a pair of code-related questions that relate to the free speech/hate speech debate:

  1. Should the free-speech-related passages in the Code be expanded to make hate speech a violation? The Codes and Judicial Committee (CJC) is looking into this and has set up a Hate Speech Working Group dedicated to the issue. Here are minutes from the meetings.
  2. How can we make institutional changes that lead to a more diverse, inclusive, and respectful campus? The Presidential Task Force on Campus Climate will be addressing this issue with with one of the three subgroups looking into  the regulation of speech and harassment.

As the discussions unfold, it will be extremely important to have a campus that is fully educated about free speech, the Code, and the First Amendment. Here are some  background readings and videos of interest.

It is instructive to consider policies at  other schools. Of particular interest is the proactive educational work being done at the University of California Irvine and the freshman orientation program at Purdue.