Resolution to Support the Resolution of the Faculty Assembly on the Proposed Freedom of Speech Policy Drafted by the Board of Governors

Motion FS 17-18/11-01 to approve the Resolution to Support the Resolution of the Faculty Assembly on the Proposed Freedom of Speech Policy Drafted by the Board of Governors, passed by the Faculty Senate on Nov. 13, 2017.  supporting documents can be found in the November 13, 2017 Meeting Agenda at:  https://facsen.appstate.edu/sites/facsen.appstate.edu/files/November%201...


Resolution to Support the Resolution of the Faculty Assembly on the Proposed Freedom of Speech Policy Drafted by the Board of Governors

Whereas, universities in democratic societies are founded on the principle that the pursuit of knowledge and truth requires an institutional setting characterized by maximal protection of and minimal restriction on free speech;

Whereas, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the freedom of speech and assembly, and article 1, section 18 of the North Carolina Constitution states that freedom of speech is one of “the great bulwarks of liberty” and that it “therefore shall never be restrained”;

Whereas, in reaction to recent disruptions on university campuses, some have called for punitive measures in the name of protecting free speech and preventing “censorship”;

Whereas, the University of North Carolina Board of Governors has recently proposed restrictions on “speech and expression for activity not protected by the First Amendment under State or federal law” and “disciplinary sanctions, up to and including dismissal or expulsion, for anyone under [a UNC institution’s] jurisdiction who substantially disrupts the functioning of the constituent institution or substantially interferes with the protected free expression rights of others”;

Whereas, the aforementioned measures risk restricting free speech in the name of protecting free speech;

Whereas, the aforementioned measures also show a preference for punishment in resolving occurrences that are part of campus life over measures more consistent with the mission of academic institutions

Whereas, in a landmark free speech case, Justice Louis Brandeis stated that “[i]f there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the process of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence” (Whitney v. California, 1927).

Whereas, the University of North Carolina’s Faculty Assembly has proposed reasonable and fair amendments to the UNC Board of Governor’s” Free Speech and Free Expression within the University of North Carolina” policy;

Resolved, that Faculty Senate supports the adoption of Faculty Assembly Resolution 2018‐2 “On Free Speech and Free Expression within the University of North Carolina.”

Resolved, that Faculty Senate calls on other UNC Faculty Senates to support Faculty Assembly Resolution 2018‐2.

Be it resolved that, Faculty Senate calls on the UNC Board of Governors to heed the amendments suggested in Faculty Assembly Resolution 2018‐2.

 


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