The free and open exchange of ideas is fundamental to Bates’ excellence as a liberal arts college and to our distinctive commitment to the “transformative power of our differences.” A Bates education teaches students to think critically, to reason from evidence, and to communicate with others clearly, convincingly, and respectfully. As a community, we are bound together in the shared enterprise of learning. We aim to foster the free exchange of ideas by helping all members of the college community find their own voices and listen to the voices of others. Such an exchange requires the ability to assert arguments and the possibility to dissent from them. Each of us enjoys the right to speak out as our conscience dictates, as long as such speech does not prevent the free speech of others.