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‘NY Daily News’ to NY Colleges: Adopt U. of Chicago Statement on Free Speech

Back in January, FIRE proudly endorsed the excellent free speech policy statement issued by the Committee on Freedom of Expression at the University of Chicago. In the months since, we’ve been pleased to see Purdue University and Princeton University follow suit by adopting the statement as institutional policy—and this fall, FIRE will mount a national campaign calling on colleges and universities nationwide to do the same.

Happily, when it comes to New York State, the New York Daily News beat us to it.

In an editorial today, the Daily News asks the Empire State’s institutions of higher learning to adopt the University of Chicago statement. As the Daily News notes, doing so would “re-enshrine the highest goals of higher learning: unfettered free inquiry and free speech.”

After quoting the University of Chicago statement—which demands that students, faculty, and administrators forego censorship in favor of “openly and vigorously contesting the ideas that they oppose”—at length, the Daily News writes:

So perfectly did this capture the spirit of open debate that the statement was adopted word for word by private Princeton University in April and by public Purdue University in May.

Don’t stop there. SUNY, with its 64 campuses, and CUNY, with its 24 campuses, should adopt the Chicago model — as should Columbia, NYU, Fordham and St. John’s and all the rest.

We at FIRE couldn’t agree more, and we applaud the Daily News for leading the charge. Of course, FIRE stands ready to work with students, faculty, and administrators at New York institutions statewide to reform repressive speech codes and adopt the University of Chicago statement.

Stay tuned in the weeks to come for more on FIRE’s national push on behalf of the University of Chicago statement—and how you can help.

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