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To the Campus Community:

An Ad hoc Freedom of Expression Committee, with membership from faculty, students, and administrators, was struck in Spring 2018 to develop a statement on freedom of expression for the Mount. 

We believe that it is important for the Mount to have a statement that affirms the importance of free expression of ideas, thoughts, and views on our campus and commits us as a university to creating an inclusive learning environment where all members of our community can take part in free expression and enquiry. We envision the statement as helping to facilitate and guide the Mount community in engaging in the free expression of ideas and views. 

In order to help stimulate discussion about these important ideas, we have invited Dr. James Turk to give a presentation, Free Expression on Campus, on January 22, 2019, 12:30 to 2:00 pm, Seton 508. Jim is the Director of Ryerson University’s Centre for Free Expression, and from 1998 to 2014, he served as Executive Director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT). He has written and spoken extensively on freedom of expression, academic freedom, and related issues. His most recent book is an edited collection, Academic Freedom in Conflict: The Struggle over Speech Rights in the University

To date, the Freedom of Expression committee has reviewed statements and background material from universities across Canada and the United States and reviewed the process with the Committee on Academic Policy and Planning (CAPP), Senate, the Human Resource and Governance Committee (HRGC, Board sub-committee), and the Faculty Association executive. In order to make sure diverse perspectives were included in the consultation process, we circulated a draft to different groups on campus, including the Student Union, the Internal Aboriginal Advisory Committee, the Employment Equity Committee, and the Harassment and Discrimination Committee. We also consulted a number of external experts. The statement was revised following these consultations. 

The campus community is invited to provide feedback on a draft Freedom of Expression Statement (PDF 88 KB). The committee will consider all the feedback and circulate an updated statement. The statement will go to Senate for approval and then to the Board of Governors for endorsement. 

Could you please send your comments by Monday, January 28 to: 

Please provide your name and Mount affiliation for your feedback to be considered. Your comments will be kept in confidence by the committee. 

We look forward to hearing from you. 

Elizabeth Church, Gayle MacDonald, Arthur McCalla, Jamie Metsala, Patrick O’Neill, Alex Roy, Anthony Yue