“Participants will learn about policies and expectations related to free speech, how to identify if a situation needs to be reported”
Calling this a free speech program might be a little misleading. The university’s diversity and inclusion division is involved.
Campus Reform reports:
University launches free speech program, requires faculty training
The University of Iowa is set to offer a free speech program later this month, part of which is required.
“Participants will learn about policies and expectations related to free speech, how to identify if a situation needs to be reported based on a policy or values violation, and how to locate resources for consultation or report possible violations,” the “Free speech and challenging conversations” program description states.
Panel discussions and workshops will run starting Feb. 16 through Apr. 7.
The university’s Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion announced the series in January.
Notable panel and workshop topics include “negotiating potentially contradictory values/policies” and “acknowledging and caring for those directly targeted or impacted by harmful speech.”
Campus Reform spoke with University of Iowa student Jasmyn Jordan, who expressed concern that the program may not promote tolerance for political disagreement.
“It must not be forgotten that hateful speech, offensive speech, and controversial conversations are all protected by the First Amendment,” Jordan said.
“If you do not agree with something that someone says, you do not have the right to cancel that person by silencing their voice and eliminating their relationships, opportunities, and future,” she added.
Per the university’s webpage, “[a]ll faculty, staff and students are expected to complete” a “15–20-minute training module” on free speech. The program’s additional panels and workshops are voluntary.
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