FS Resolution on Freedom of Expression Statement for the University at Buffalo

Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression School: State University Of New York – University at Buffalo Statement Rating: Green Last updated: September 7, 2018

Relevant excerpt

Whereas the University at Buffalo is a public forum for ideas, some of them unpleasant to many and many of them unpleasant to some,

Therefore be it resolved that because the University at Buffalo (UB), SUNY is committed to free and open inquiry in all matters, it guarantees all members of the University community the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn. Except insofar as limitations on that freedom are necessary to the functioning of the University, the University at Buffalo fully respects and supports the freedom of all members of the University community to discuss any problem that presents itself.

Resolved that the ideas of different members of the University at Buffalo community will often and quite naturally conflict. But 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. Although the University at Buffalo greatly values civility, and although all members of the University community share in the responsibility for maintaining a climate of mutual respect, concerns about civility and mutual respect can never be used as a justification for closing off discussion of ideas, however offensive or disagreeable those ideas may be to some members of our community.

Resolved that the University at Buffalo’s fundamental commitment is to the principle that debate or deliberation may not be suppressed because the ideas put forth are thought by some or even by most members of the University community to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong-headed. It is for the individual members of the University community, not for the University at Buffalo as an institution, to make those judgments for themselves, and to act on those judgments not by seeking to suppress speech, but by openly and vigorously contesting the ideas that they oppose. Indeed, fostering the ability of members of the University community to engage in such debate and deliberation in an effective and responsible manner is an essential part of the University at Buffalo’s educational mission.

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