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Defending Free Speech on Campus

Stanford has become the third U.S. university to commit to free speech and “institutional neutrality.” Harvard University and Syracuse University did the same just a few weeks ago.

What does this mean? It means that universities will “no longer issue institutional statements on controversial issues.” Doing this has led to speech and academic suppression that is clearly harmful for academic progress and open discussion.

Stanford’s new Statement on Freedom of Expression proclaims that the “freedom to explore and present new, unconventional, and even unpopular ideas is essential to the academic mission of the university.”

Stanford also adopted a new “Policy on Institutional Statements.” It says that “Stanford University leaders and administrators should not express an opinion on political and social controversies unless these matters directly affect the mission of the university or implicate its legal obligations.”

This is progress!

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