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Notice re: Speakers on Campus

Some have asked why the university permits controversial speakers on its campuses.

Wilfrid Laurier University does not limit the peaceful and lawful expression of ideas. Laurier upholds the principle of freedom of expression, which amplifies diverse voices and broadens the points of view that inform our ideas. Laurier’s Task Force on Freedom of Expression is currently developing a statement to articulate this principle, and the draft statement should be complete by the end of March.

There should be room on all university campuses for the expression of both popular and unpopular ideas, and to challenge both the prevailing and emerging understanding of our physical, social and cultural experience.

In a university environment that upholds the principles of free speech and provides opportunity for critical and civil dialogue around a variety of subjects, from time to time there will be speakers who come to the university and topics presented at the university that are complex, difficult and at times polarizing.

While the rights of these speakers to present their views falls within freedom of expression, their presence at the university does not imply that the university, or all members of the university community, endorse the views they are expressing. It also comes with the understanding that the views expressed may be difficult for some to hear.  As such, there will be drop-in spaces and supports coordinated where possible. Please contact diversity@wlu.ca for more information about student supports and hr@wlu.ca for staff and faculty supports.  

The university provides an environment for respectful debate and encourages members of the university community to allow these debates to take place in a manner that is free of disruption.