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Resolution concerning the policy on Freedom of Expression and the Use of Indoor and Outdoor Spaces

Whereas the Faculty of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism voted unanimously on September 20th, 2017, that the interim “Freedom of Expression” policy be rescinded because it raised significant procedural and First Amendment issues;

Whereas the interim policy was not rescinded but instead was extended for another interim period;

Whereas the Executive Staff Policy Committee (ESPC) has submitted a proposal for a new policy, consisting of three documents on Freedom of Expression, Use of Indoor Spaces, and Use of Outdoor Spaces;

Whereas the principles of free speech laid out in the Freedom of Expression policy proposal are not reflected in the prohibitive and restrictive policies on the Use of Indoor and Outdoor Spaces, creating a concerning disconnect between them;

Whereas the policies on the Use of Indoor and Outdoor Spaces take a prohibitive and punitive approach by delegating ultimate decision-making to the police, rather than proactively implementing procedures for de-escalation and dialog;

Whereas the policies on the Use of Indoor and Outdoor Spaces put undue restrictions on free speech by using vague and circular definitions of what constitutes disruption and by arbitrarily connecting disruption and safety issues, based on the mere assumption of potential safety problems;

Whereas the policy on the Use of Indoor Spaces puts undue restrictions on free speech by excluding all but three public indoor spaces-such as atriums, foyers, and lobbies-from the use for protests, while only allowing spaces outside of public perception-such as classrooms-for demonstration and protest;

Whereas the policy on the Use of Indoor Spaces puts undue restrictions on free speech by excluding community members from the participating in spontaneous indoor protest;

Be it resolved that any policy restricting free speech is not acceptable and must be rescinded;

Be it further resolved that if any policy regarding freedom of expression is crafted, it must be guided clearly, consistently, and unequivocally by the principles of free speech;

Be it further resolved that any policy regarding free speech must be based on positive rights and not on prohibitive and negative forms of regulation.

Passed unanimously by the faculty of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism on April 18, 2018.


For additional info contact Robert Stewart at 740.593.2601

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Posted by Bob Stewart on 04.18.2018 @ 00:00:00