“smaller acts such as microaggressions are also devoid of respect and thus violate the Code”
This policy has earned Haverford College FIRE’s speech code of the month.
From the FIRE blog:
July 2021 Speech Code of the Month: Haverford College
At Haverford College, a recent amendment to the school’s Social Honor Code means students could be subject to punishment if other students determine they’ve committed an “act of … microaggression.” The amendment also states that students must be respectful of “community standards” when expressing “political opinions,” and that “political beliefs [that] perpetuate discrimination,” or that are used to “justify disrespectful or discriminatory words,” violate the code.
If Haverford’s promises of free speech are to be relied upon, it cannot delegate power to students to police the protected expression of other students. For this reason, we’ve made the policy FIRE’s Speech Code of the Month for July 2021.
The policy: going from bad to worse
Haverford’s Social Honor Code was a problematic policy before this amendment, imposing vague restrictions that earned the policy a “yellow light” rating from FIRE for its potential for abuse. The policy appeared as follows:
[W]e recognize that acts of discrimination and harassment, including, but not limited to, acts of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, ableism, tokenism, cultural insensitivity, discrimination based on citizenship status, discrimination based on religion, and discrimination based on national origin, accent, dialect, or usage of the English language are devoid of respect and therefore, by definition, violate this Code. We understand that these discriminatory acts can take many forms, and smaller acts such as microaggressions are also devoid of respect and thus violate the Code.
Thus, microaggressions were somewhat cabined under prohibited “discriminatory acts,” as the policy framed microaggressions as a form that discriminatory acts can take.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.