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Pledge to protect freedom of speech and expression

This petition had 55 supporters

We, the student body of Emory University, demand a public response and a change in policy concerning free speech on campus. Given the recent controversy and media backlash surrounding written political phrases on campus, we are writing this petition to urge the Emory University administration to uphold the highest standard of protection for student free speech on campus. Given the political and discriminatory ambiguity of the incident that had occurred earlier this week, many found the event particularly difficult to assess whereas others saw direct intentionality. Despite the writings being prohibited on certain buildings, we firmly believe that the content of this speech was within the bounds of University policy.

Although Emory University has previously stated in policy writing its values and commitment to free speech, we fear that the University will act against its written commitments and thereby nullify the protection of free speech.As a path to improve relations between the administration and the community, to protect speech on campus, and accommodate the concerns towards violence that many groups and communities on campus may feel, we request:

  • The University verify its values and commitments towards free speech as well as specifically state what actions warrant restrictions.
  • The University take further actions to clearly define when certain acts of speech or expression compel restrictions in order to mitigate the threat of violence.
  • An equal standard and equal promptness of response time to all violations of University code. This especially includes those that are racial or discriminatory in nature.
  • The University further engage in the public dialogue concerning the values of academic inquiry, free speech, diversity, and community inclusion.
  • The University issue a public statement reaffirming its commitments to free speech as well as fostering of public dialogue in an effort to publicize the community’s values.

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