University of Colorado adopts new 'expression policies'

The University of Colorado (CU) Board of Regents unanimously passed several “expression policies” in September to protect students’ First Amendment rights.

The CU board adopted and changed several policies, as well as rescinded “obsolete discrimination policies” during its mid-September meeting. The policy revisions, which went into effect Sep. 14, apply to all four CU campuses.

CU is the 46th college or college system to adopt free speech policies based on the “Chicago Statement,” which is regarded as the gold standard of campus free speech policies by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

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CU also announced new efforts to educate students on their First Amendment rights through a website, as well as an initiative in which it will be hosting debates with the Free to Be Coalition, an organization designed “to promote respectful and productive dialogue and expand intellectual diversity on high school and university campuses.”

“It’s great to see the University of Colorado Board of Regents take concrete steps to improve the climate for speech in the UC system,” Nicole Neily, president of Speech First, a First Amendment advocacy organization, told Campus Reform. “Although university boards are often thought of as cushy appointments for friends of the governor, this shows how critical universities’ boards truly are.”

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“The Regents of the University of Colorado unanimously adopted revisions to its governing documents to protect freedom of expression and academic freedom on all of our campus for the benefit of our students, faculty and staff,” CU spokesman Patrick O’Rourke said to Campus Reform

“The University of Colorado recognizes that free inquiry and debate are essential to a university’s ability to create knowledge,” the spokesman added. “We will continue to protect these freedoms while promoting civil and robust discourse across our community.”

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