University of Alabama Student Senate (2004-2005) Resolution #R-98-04

By on February 28, 2005

Authored by Pat Samples
Sponsored by Blake Barnes, Janae Staples

 

WHEREAS, The right to free speech is an inalienable human and civil right that is protected by the United States Constitution and the Constitution of Alabama;

 

WHEREAS, Free speech is absolutely vital to the mission of any university, where new and often controversial ideas must be discussed openly and rationally in order to make advances in knowledge;

 

WHEREAS, The Faculty Senate of the University of Alabama has recently passed a resolution urging the University of Alabama to regulate the speech of students at the University of Alabama;

 

WHEREAS, Speech codes have been used by other colleges and universities to silence dissenting speech, not merely so-called “hate speech”, and to persecute those with unpopular opinions;

 

WHEREAS, There are currently numerous legal challenges pending against such speech codes, and the adoption of such a speech code at the University of Alabama would invite a lawsuit against the University that would be costly and would greatly tarnish its public image;

 

WHEREAS, In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it”;

 

WHEREAS, By defending free speech for all students, one in no way condones any kind of hate or intolerance;  On the contrary, one is promoting tolerance of others despite their differences, especially their differences of opinion;

 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT The University of Alabama Student Senate most strongly urges the Administration and the Faculty Senate of the University of Alabama to refrain from adopting any form of speech code, even one that purports to ban only so-called “hate speech”;

 

BE IT FURTHUR RESOLVED THAT The University of Alabama Student Senate most strongly urges the Administration and the Faculty Senate to adopt policies that explicitly protect free speech for all students at the University of Alabama;

 

BE IT FURTHUR RESOLVED THAT Copies of this resolution also be sent to Dr. Robert Witt, President of the University of Alabama, Dr. John Mason, President of the Faculty Senate of the University of Alabama, The Tuscaloosa News, The Crimson White and Dateline Alabama for informational purposes.

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Schools: University of Alabama Cases: University of Alabama: Faculty Senate ‘Hate Speech’ Resolution