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Note that the following feedback statements have not been altered, and spelling and grammar errors have not been corrected.

Anonymous

I had no problems with most of the draft in any rational manner, as it actually was fairly clear for the most part. However, there are some definitions that I take slight issue that are not strictly legal terms as outlined in the end of the document. Under discrimination, it is defined as: "Treating someone unfairly by either imposing a *burden* on them, or denying them a privilege, benefit or opportunity enjoyed by others, because of their race, citizenship, family status, disability, sex or other personal characteristics." This burden is not terribly well defined and could refer to possibly anything. Because it is vague, someone can potentially make the argument still that, for example, having to tolerate a public speaker speaking on a controversial topic at the university imposes a great emotional burden on them and therefore should be stopped under abiding by the principle behind this definition. I think this term needs more specific wording. I think if the 'burden' that is being talked about is something that is related to a person's own tolerance of having something on campus that they disagree with on the grounds of a political/philosophical opinion, it should NOT count as discrimination and/or the principle of Inclusive Freedom should override this principle on those grounds. You also define Equity as the following: "Fairness, impartiality, even-handedness. A distinct process of recognizing differences within *groups of individuals*, and using this understanding to achieve substantive equality in all aspects of a person’s life." Now, this is very minor, but I think you should make this principle extend beyond just groups. Human beings are infinitely unique on an individual level, and therefore the individual is the ultimate minority in that sense. I think if you are to be truly fair and equitable to all, you must treat everyone on an individual basis. If you do not do this, you quickly run into problems of bias: one individual belonging to a 'group' is NOT representative of that entire group and may differ in significant ways from the rest of it. Now, this is minor because the definition of Inclusion you have outlined states that it is "Appreciating and using our unique differences – strengths, talents, weaknesses and frailties – in a way that shows respect for the individual and ultimately creates a dynamic multi-dimensional organization.", but I feel if you want to have a more non-biased definition of equity to go by you should define it on an individual level to account for and due justice to the complexity of human beings as individuals first. Finally, I must ask a question: what will the university do to prevent individuals from unlawfully shutting down events they disagree with by subversive tactics? It has been in the past and continues that, when one group occasionally finds something being publicly discussed on campus to be intolerable to them, they go and pull the fire alarm and the event is shut down. There has been no way of dealing with this in the past and it has become so widely heard of it is practically a staple of the post-secondary experience. I find this behavior immature and extremely disruptive to freedom of expression at post-secondary institutions. There is no easy fix to this, and the solution I have may have several problems with it, but I offer a potential solution nonetheless: If a public event is being hosted at the university such that a speaker is presenting on a potentially controversial or polarizing topic (this is vague right now and will need to be better defined later, I am aware), the university or the Clubs and Associations department will provide either volunteers or paid individuals whose job it is to stand by the fire alarms of a building and make sure they are not disturbed by someone attempting to shut down the event. These people will work in pairs. In the case of report of fire, the pair will split and one of the two will go with the informant to investigate the veracity of this and report back. I do recognize that there are several issues with a system like the one I've described above for this, including, and especially, safety in general. However, I would like to see the university attempt to prevent unlawful triggering of fire alarms during such events in the future in some manner, as there is currently nothing to prevent individuals from attempting this but the threat of punishment afterwards, which has been shown to not be adequate enough for certain individuals in the past. I thank the university for giving me the opportunity to express my opinions on this subject matter.

Anonymous

If your aim is to make this document both timeless and removed from the political and social climate currently at play, then this document fails. This document is grounded heavily in the current Laurier climate, offering very pointed notes on speakers discussing unpopular (borderline hate speech) discussions on campus harkening back to Faith Goldy and the issues surrounding Lindsay Shepard. If this document is to stand the test of time it needs to be grounded in a historical and futuristic approach, one that understands where we have come from in regards to free speech and where we might go. By extension, what this document fails to do is to understand that freedom of speech can be, has been, and will be weaponized. It is not hyperbole to reference James Keegstra (the R v. Keegstra case) as an example. Where do holocaust deniers like Keegstra fall in regards to this document? In particular the document reads: “Upholding the principles of free expression requires that a range of perspectives and ideas have the opportunity to be articulated, including those that may be deemed difficult, controversial, extreme, or even wrong-headed.” According to this document, these views would be honoured so long as Keegstra failed to use direct hate speech. But not all people will be as blatant or overtly racist as Keegstra. What this document fails to do is to consider this future of free speech, one that, much like the re-branded Alt-Right, has done away with blatant hatred and disguised itself in subtlety. You already stated in the document that context is important, well to deny that fascism is on the rise is hard to do looking at the Hungarian, general European, and arguably American elections. With a document that allows free speech that straddles this line between hate speech and so called “intellectual discomfort”, there is room to give platform to ideas like fascism, anti-Muslim, or anti-[insert whatever minority is serving as the scapegoat today]. As a student at Laurier I would hate to see Laurier as a future breeding ground of hateful ideology, where an administration inadvertently gives protection under a statement that allows them to speak openly about racist, misogynistic, or homophobic/transphobic ideas at a public university I pay for. If the goal is to have “inclusive freedom” then this document also fails. You cannot have an inclusive freedom unless all parties agree to engage with free speech, and by extension freedom, in a constructive way. This is so rarely the case. Where is the line drawn when hate speech is so well disguised in suits and buzz words? I do not have the confidence that a scandal-shy Laurier would be willing to draw that line fairly, or that in a different political climate (perhaps one worse than what we have now) that it would be upheld in a productive way. The idea of intellectual discomfort itself is rather demeaning. It implies that what students feel when their identities are questioned is simply a mental discomfort. Personally directed attacks are one thing but identities are so often formed out of communities or cultural/religious identities. When those are attacked then under this document so long as it is not direct hate speech, it is allowed. So if I, as a gay woman, had to sit through a classroom debate on whether gay marriage should be made illegal and I felt uncomfortable with my identity being challenged as students debated my right to love as a human being… then that would simply be another part of the university experience? An “intellectual discomfort.” At what point do we historicize “uncomfortable” issues and make them non-negotiable. Is it intellectual discomfort to discuss whether interracial marriage should be allowed? Would that be considered hate speech? (And for the record, the gay marriage example is not a hyperbole as I had to do this as a high school student.) I cannot simply criticize this document without offering suggestions to improve it (though I would argue against the need for this document period). The portion I quoted earlier regarding extreme or wrong-headed ideas needs to be heavily worked on as it allows far too much room to allow well-disguised hate speech onto campus. I worry about this statement being used as precedence that will allow foot-in-the-door tactics. The part about intellectual discomfort needs to be re-worded as well since it comes off as extremely condescending especially when identity is so often not individualized (and whose existence is not up for discussion at a public university). There is also a portion discussing marginalized groups and being unable to engage in discussion. This should be expanded to identify example groups (like LGBTQ+ people, racial minorities, etc.) as otherwise this could very easily be twisted to justify fringe extremist groups who are technically “minorities” perhaps politically or socially from being protected.

Anonymous

The statement is weak. Of course freedom of speech is important, and so is avoiding purely toxic discourse. However, the statement appears to have no teeth. What is being proposed to help secure freedom of speech from silencing voices? What protections are you offering to the those who disagree with certain speech being acceptable? The line between freedom of speech and unacceptable speech seems no less clear, with vague wording allowing for different interpretations. Hate speech can 'always' be defended under exception c). Any sort of discomfort can be interpreted as discrimination due to "imposing a burden". This task force and statement are needed because the language used in the sources cited leaves a lot open to interpretation. Merely offering a compendium of tools that lead to our current situation will not change the situation we find ourselves in. It is time to take those tools and shape them into something more clear and useful.

Anonymous

It's a bit long and I feel there is some repetition of the same ideas. Others may disagree and say it clarifies concepts and that may be important. I like the focus on protecting free speech while acknowledging there are legal limits, and the definitions of the ambiguous-sounding words like inclusive freedom.

Anonymous

Well written. The statement captures the essence of well-intended & socially responsible free speech, does well outlining the legal and some ethical limitations of free speech, and provides some guidance on how we as individuals and a community might engage in such. "Members of the community are free to reject and vigorously contest ideas while still tolerating their expression". Is a great addition to the statement. "Rather than attempting to silence speech, Laurier community members are encouraged to articulate dissenting views in meaningful ways...". Also a great inclusion. I like that the statement highlights how context is important in determining the merit of speech. The statement remains a bit vague, perhaps on purpose, which I sort of like anyway because it encourages individuals to think for themselves and continuously revisit their ideas and opinions on what constitutes ethical free speech. The statement provides enough framework and guidance for individuals to do so. "It is Laurier’s role to foster an open and inclusive environment where ideas can be shared, discussed and challenged, enabling individuals to explore issues, draw their own conclusions, and develop their intellectual capacities". A good closing line. No doubt people will still contest the morality of free speech when it infringes or is perceived to infringe, on some folk's rights and/or wellbeing. However, I believe this statement does it's best to encourage those 'terminally thin-skinned' folks to overcome what may be 'invalid' victimization and at the same time outlines when free speech does fall into 'oppression'.

Anonymous

This is the biggest display of cowardice I have ever seen in a professional setting. The fact that this task force was even granted legitimacy undercuts all your efforts in creating a safe space for all students - how long did it take you to even pretend to care about minorities? Over 2 years before you granted the Gendered Violence Task Force legitimacy? Have you consulted with them on how to best support students on this campus? Have you included ANY voices of marginalized students about their opinions on what freedom of speech means to them? If you can't yes and if the idea of doing so makes you anxious, then you know that none of this is for them, rather it's save face with all those white sponsors. What this statement effectively does is allow white supremacists to spew hate onto whom ever they want, without consequences. Good job, you've brought us back to the 40's. I'm embarrassed to be associated with this institution.

Warren Gaebel

Kudos to the task force and to its individual members. I am excited to see the sentence "Laurier challenges the idea that free expression and the goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion must be at odds with one another." Media attention was lately steamrolling in that direction, so I am glad to see a clear statement in opposition. The draft statement upholds both of these concepts as fundamental to who we are and what we do, but does not hold one concept above the other. This is something I and hopefully everyone can get behind. To hold one concept above the other is wrong, so let's do it right. I am disturbed by a recent event on campus. A legally constituted student group followed proper procedure to bring a controversial speaker to campus. Participants at a nearby opposition rally harassed anyone they thought was a member of the first group by interfering with their attempts to take photographs. Someone then pulled the fire alarm when the first group's meeting was beginning. The reason I am disturbed is because of my own internal conflict over these happenings. I am vehemently opposed to the ideas espoused by the first group (i.e., Naziism), yet I see obvious harassment (which breaks the law and existing university polices) from supporters of the second group. To do the right thing, I am compelled to speak out against the actions of a few supporters of the second group, but by doing so, I end up indirectly supporting a belief that led to the slaughter of millions of innocent people less than a century ago. The draft statement on Freedom of Expression clarifies the university's position that free expression and diversity/equity/inclusion are not fundamentally at odds with each other. In those cases where they appear to be, the position statement provides some helpful guidance. However, the most helpful guidance of all will come from faculty, administration, staff, and students who also believe in BOTH of these fundamental concepts and are willing to speak up.

Anonymous

Freedom of expression should be absolute and all encompassing.

Madison Lee

I think freedom of speech is absolutely necessary on campus or anywhere in the world. This is the only way we can delitgitimize those with racist ideologies. We need to have proper discussion and debate in order to solve problems. Please keep freedom of speech on our campus! Thank you!

Michael Davenport

I really like how the statement prioritizes the protection of freedom of speech and expression on campus while still acknowledging that there are people who have serious concerns about the use of speech in a hateful manner. I also like how the university acknowledges that it is not it's role to police or censor the thoughts and ideas that are espoused on the campus, as this will undoubtedly lead to a misuse of power and put restrictions on free inquiry and the pursuit of truth. Overall I think this is a good step forward but I do have some concerns about the statement that I would like to discuss. Firstly, the definition of equity which the statement says Laurier is "deeply committed" to misses the mark in my opinion. The definition provided claims that equity involves "A distinct process of recognizing differences within groups of individuals, and using this understanding to achieve substantive equality in all aspects of a person’s life." which seems to translate to the idea of equality of outcome rather than opportunity. This is a reprehensible and impractical goal for the university to strive towards as the differences within and between groups of individuals is infinite in nature and create a reality in which no two people will ever truly be equal in all aspects of life. If it is the case that the university holds this definition of equity among its core values why does the university have a grading system which is inherently based in displaying the inequality in intellectual ability among students ? Why is there cut off GPA levels for different programs ? Why is there a rigorous interviewing process for co-op students ? If the university is a place that is committed to ensuring equality in all aspects of life then it is no longer a university. Equity in this sense can never be achieved, and should not be a value that Wilfrid Laurier University is committed to upholding. Instead I encourage the task force to amend this definition to something that reflects a policy of equality of opportunity rather than equality of outcome. This is not only more practical, but it is a more intellectually sound value to hold and something that should undoubtedly be a goal of any university or learning institution. Other than that I really do like the statement and the strong position that it seems to take on freedom of speech and expression. Although many people at W.L.U. disagree about these issues, it is important for the university to mediate these differences by fostering an environment of respectful discourse, free inquiry, and freedom of speech/expression. This draft seemingly attempts to do just that and so I applaud those who worked to put it together. As a student, this statement brought with it a sense of comfort that had not been present at the university since the scandals surrounding these issues were brought to light. Knowing that this document exists and can potentially be cited in the future by any defender of free speech, inquiry, and expression on campus is important to me and anyone else who simply wants to ensure that all ideas can be discussed and that no voices are silenced.

Anonymous

I have no criticisms to make. I think the draft is great, and hope that it is not changed substantially.

Nicole Rayskin

I am truly heartbroken that Laurier allows hate groups and opinions that condone violence, segregation or oppression of other races is included in "unpopular" opinions. Re-evaluate how much an opinion is"unpopular" or shocking due to it having violent or dangerous roots. PLEASE. An unpopular opinion if you are from a root of racism or the genocide of another group is unpopular for a reason: the collective people feels UNSAFE. I avoided campus actively on the Faith Goldy day due to my Jewish heritage, and the FEAR THAT I FELT THAT THERE WOULD BE MORE PEOPLE WHO ARE READY TO COME OUT AND CLAIM ANTI-SEMITIC, EXTREMIST ALT-RIGHT ALL-WHITE OPINIONS. THIS IS HEARTBREAKING THAT FREEDOM OF SPEECH WILL JUSTIFY MY FEAR!! I cannot scream this enough! Freedom of Speech should not protect "unpopular" opinions if they stem from a place of HATRED. Very, very heartbroken that the statement does not reflect consideration for the safety of the collective in order to protect the unpopular opinions that condone hate.

Liam Nicoll

After reading the statement, I feel as though it is a restatement of implicit and common sense rules and regulations that we all know to a certain degree. Academic discord is a part of higher education and one would think that an individual, this far into their academic career, could handle the viewpoint that is somewhat at odds with theirs. I feel as though no definite solution came out of this document. With all the outcry that came about from the incidents that really sparked this Task Force to come about, this statement feels as some Band-Aid to a wound that stems further into society and individuals. Although any step in the right directions is good, and this document is one of those steps, I hope that the issues is further pursued. I also hope that the Task Force does not think of this document as the solution to the events that transpired this year. This is our campus, staff, students, administrators, task force members, so a problem as big is this is a big problem to all and I am hoping that through work and research that solutions can be found.

Daniel Singer

1. When I went to 1'st year Trent Politics class 40 years ago, Politics Professor Driscoll (in response to a student question regarding political bias in grading), said he could entertain all views on the political spectrum except fascism. The task force should similarly have the spine to advocate for denying fascists a public forum at Laurier. (It's unfortunate that the Task Force, in not taking a position on unacceptable speakers, seems to support providing just such a platform to Faith Goldy, a right-wing alt-right extremist and Nazi fellow-traveler.) 2. What's the Task Force's position on "alternate facts" and "post truth" ? How do these alt-right freedoms of expression further an academic environment fostering scholastic integrity and rigour? How do these alt-right freedoms of expression erode an academic environment fostering scholastic integrity and rigour? 3. Should the task force suggest a more pro-active role for professors and students together choosing the topics for debate and names of possible debaters? (My suggestion for the first such debate would be: "Do debates have any public value, or do they simply entrench people's already long-held opinions?)

Anonymous

If the goal of the university is to teach people to think, then students must hear from all perspectives. Old fashioned things such as reason, debate, and facts, are the appropriate tools with which to counter ideas, not emotions. This statement is drafted to be open to interpretation, and so far, it has not heralded a change in the actions of the university, which made it impossible for the Laurier Society for Open Inquiry to host a forum in which to debate Faith Goldy. People like Lindsay Shepherd, who are standing up for true freedom of thought and expression, are not welcome in Laurier classrooms or lecture halls. This makes me ashamed and embarrassed of my association with Laurier, and more significantly, I fear making this comment, because I know how insidious this censorship is, and I see what happens to people like L.S., who bravely speak up. It does not bode well for Laurier in the long term.

Anonymous

I believe this statement is an important first step. I appreciate that this statement identifies the difficulty in engaging in freedom of expression. I believe it is important that this statement include not only references to religion but also spirituality as some forms of spirituality are not recognized as religion and might consequently be excluded from the benefits of this document. I believe it is important in such discussions to name explicitly that there are no safe spaces, despite the current discourse in the Laurier community that suggests this exists. Some have proposed the notion of brave spaces. I suggest that what we really need is courageous spaces; spaces where we speak and listen with open hearts and open minds; spaces where we make kind inferences, that each of us is doing the best we can with what we have in each moment; spaces where we call each other in, in order engage in discourse rather than calling each other out in ways that risk silencing and shaming; spaces where we are committed to learning from each other, particularly when we differ; spaces where we can make mistakes and learn from them; spaces where critique meets compassion.

Anonymous

The recent policy implemented that charges student groups outrageous amounts of money is a violation of charter rights. This is a grotesque misstep that contravenes all the hard work put into the Task Force on Freedom of Expression.

Jen Vasic

Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback and the in-depth exploration of freedom of expression. I have a clearer understanding of what Freedom of Expression entails in this context and legally. Overall, in the statement there seems to be a strong emphasis on freedom of expression, which I agree is an essential value and right to uphold at a University and in general, but I would like there to be some more emphasis on the university's responsibility and role in addressing systemic violence, a concept that is studied at this university. I also have two specific comments related to the introduction and the statement. (1) "Throughout our work the task force was keenly aware that to be effective, the statement must stand the test of time and protect expression under any campus leadership or in any social or political climate. We believe our statement achieves that." Rather than a static statement that "must stand the test of time", I would be interested in seeing a statement that is open to dialogue, critical reflection, and ongoing change and transformation based on the ongoing input from multiple perspectives (which aligns with many of the ideas of critical thinkers that are studied at WLU). While this is not directly in the statement, this motivation informs the statement and might be given some more consideration. (2) "Laurier recognizes that on occasion individuals and groups on campus may find it difficult to engage in or respond to free expression, and that some members of the community may feel marginalized, or may be negatively impacted as a result of the ideas expressed. The university takes seriously its commitment to the well-being of all community members and provides a range of support systems and services. " This seems to go over a bit too quickly the systemic violence and emotional labour that free expression might require of those who have been most marginalized in society. This part of the statement could potentially give the university a bit of an out in taking responsibility by saying that at least we provide the services. Is that enough? I'd like the committee to delve into the above statement a bit more (i.e., what does systemic violence mean? How might it be related to free expression? What is the university's role, more specifically and more actively, in it commitment to the well-being of all community members?)

Mohit Bhagat

I think this is a great statement! Freedom of expression is a huge issue on many university campuses. Sometimes, opinions deemed controversial are suppressed, people are demonized for certain political views and in the worst cases discussions about ideas are stopped entirely using violent or uncivilized means. I am very pleased to see that Laurier is taking an active role to promote the expression of ideas of all kinds. However, I'm eager to see how these principles are integrated into the campus culture. It's easy to create a set of values that people can agree with, but difficult to enforce and promote those values in the society. Good luck to you, I really hope you succeed in creating a positive and inclusive environment for freedom of thought and expression. As George Orwell once said, "Freedom is the right to tell people what they don't want to hear." Thank you for taking an interest in this very important issue.

Anonymous

Feedback on freedom of expression statement To begin, I believe the biggest gap in this document is any acknowledgement of power differentials, as they exist at Laurier, in Ontario, and in Canada more broadly. Ultimately, a conversation around freedom of expression that does not examine societal power is missing the very factor that determines who is afforded freedom of speech and who is not. It is no longer a “controversial opinion” that Canada was founded only through the eradication, confinement, and exploitation of Indigenous peoples. This fact has been openly acknowledged and addressed by the Canadian government. As such, it is important that institutions make every effort to work toward reconciliation in the manner recommended by those peoples from whom land, resources, and lives were stolen. While Laurier has committed to territorial acknowledgements, this statement on freedom of expression provides evidence that as an institution, Laurier lacks a fundamental understanding of the existing power differentials that disadvantage Indigenous and other racialized students within the institution. The only mention of power comes when “freedom of speech” in this statement is explained as vital for “challenging the improper use of power.” This statement seems to dismiss the fact that many groups within our institution are currently using their power in our institution to promote ideas and ideals that directly oppose human rights. For example, we recently had a speaker visit the school that advocates for limiting 1) the human right of freedom and movement within states, and 2) the right to asylum from persecution. These rights are outlined by the United Nations in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The UN Declaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” Freedom of expression is defined as a human right. In Canada, there are many media platforms where free expression is unlimited. While obvious hate speech is not approved by many platforms, controversial ideas and ideals can be shared freely given the many different types of media we have access to in our globalized world. While the UN identifies free expression as a human right, it also has specific statements about the human right to education, and the responsibilities of educational institutions specifically. According to the UN Declaration: “(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit. (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.” This statement illustrates that as an institution, Wilfrid Laurier University is dismissing a fundamental goal of education, the promotion of understanding, tolerance, and friendship. “Inclusive freedom” as articulated in the statement, may be better defined as freedom to express ideas within the university that align with the goals of education outlined by the United Nations and the very values of diversity, equity, and inclusion that are espoused by the institution. I will now draw on some specific examples from the statement on freedom of expression that I would like to challenge: “Upholding the principles of free expression requires that a range of perspectives and ideas have the opportunity to be articulated, including those that may be deemed difficult, controversial, extreme, or even wrong-headed.” → I challenge this statement. I don’t feel that upholding freedom of expression should compromise the universal human right to education that strives for racial equality, understanding, and tolerance. Laurier promotes the “exchange of ideas in a manner that not only supports critical thinking, but also fosters respectful interactions.” → I challenge this statement. While tone and volume and “the way one says something” are very important, in conveying respect, hateful statements that reinforce and uphold racist ideals should not be allowed within the university simply because they are spoken in a “respectful” manner. For example, regardless the volume or tone of voice used, statements that deny Canada’s long history of colonization and violence against Indigenous peoples and other people of colour is not and cannot be done in a respectful manner. At the core, these statements act as a barrier to respectful interactions. “Some challenging cases of free expression will have to be navigated on the basis of their complexities.” → Yes, each individual situation is nuanced and deserves attention. However, current events at Laurier clearly illustrate that there is a need for some clarity on what ideas can be freely expressed within the institution and those that do not align with Laurier’s values. “To grant the institution such power sets a dangerous precedent; even if institutional censorship was deemed acceptable in one context, there is no guarantee that these restrictions would be applied fairly or wisely in other contexts, or as power changes hands over time”. → My question here is - Why doesn’t Laurier make statements that are unambiguous, and cannot be so easily interpreted in an unwise or unfair manner. Instead of saying “offensive views cannot be explored on campus” say “speakers that do not promote understanding and tolerance among all racial and religious groups and do not respect the protection of Canada’s multicultural heritage (outlined in the Canadian charter of rights and freedoms) will not be allowed platform within our institution, which values equity and diversity.” “It is not the role of the university to censor speech.” → No, it is not the role of the University to censor speech outside of the institution, but this statement is naïve and misses the mark. In reality, the university censors speech all the time. There are many types of language that have been deemed too offensive to have any place on campus and would not be allowed in classes, during fundraisers, orientation presentations, etc. The issue here is that the “controversial” ideas being allowed on campus recently are not deemed significant enough to be disallowed. Imagine that a professor enters his lecture hall on the first day of term and explains to the students that it is his person belief that Laurier is and should be a European-Canadian institution, and N-words and other minority students will not be respected within his lecture hall. Although he tells all students are welcome to stay, he stresses that he personally doesn’t believe people of different backgrounds should be granted the same privileges as the European students for whom Laurier was founded. Surely, this freedom of expression would be challenged, and he would be disallowed from expressing these views on campus. Laurier’s statement on freedom of expression needs to illustrate that Laurier stands behind its commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity by allowing freedom of expression of ideas that align with institutional values. If not, why hold these values in the first place?

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