LSA Student Government Passes Pro-Free Speech Resolution

The LSA Student Government released a statement on April 14 regarding free speech on campus wherein it “formally reaffirm[ed] its commitment to the principles of free speech that are meant to guide discourse on any university campus.” The statement was written on the heels of the passage of a resolution that asked the university to endorse the Chicago Principles of Free Expression, principles which hold that universities may and should not “restrict debate or deliberation because the ideas put forth are thought to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong-headed” unless that speech “violates the law, is threatening, harassing, or defamatory, or invades substantial privacy or confidentiality interests.”

Nicholas Fadanelli, President of the LSA Student Government, said in an email exchange regarding the inspirations for and passage of the resolution that, while he “cannot speak on behalf of the authors of the resolution,” the debates prior to its passing consisted of “climate … on campus both before and after the November US Elections, the statement made by President Schlissel regarding the lack of a commencement speaker, U-M’s history as a bastion of free speech, incidents happening across the nation in regards to individuals attempting to limit the speech of others, as well as the Central Student Government debate regarding your [this author’s] CSG resolution.”

Amanda Delekta, one of the authors of the resolution, had this to say: “LSA Student Government passing a resolution upholding the freedom of speech at the University of Michigan was an integral first step in increasing discourse on campus; an initiative many members of the government have identified since the 2016 Presidential Election. I believe the resolution will be a mechanism to challenge the hegemonic ideology at the University of Michigan and increase the diversity of speakers it hosts.”

The resolution passed with 20 votes in favor, 0 opposed, and 1 abstention. You can read it here.

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About Deion Kathawa

Deion Kathawa was editor in chief of the Michigan Review.