University presidents wield substantial power to promote — or limit — free expression on college campuses. The president of Columbia University in New York City is no exception: From the moment she took office at the ivy league school on July 1, she inherited the challenge of protecting student and faculty free speech at an institution which maintains restrictive speech codes and ranks last in the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression’s (FIRE) “2022-23 College Free Speech Rankings.”
As an adopter of the Chicago Statement, the gold standard for an institutional commitment to free expression, Columbia is obligated to defend and uphold speech rights for its students and faculty. One way to put its promise to protect free expression into practice is to reform restrictive policies in ways that satisfy various campus imperatives while also respecting free speech promises and principles.
To ensure that Columbia not only promises to protect free speech but actively defends it, the New Tolerance Campaign is partnering with FIRE to empower students, alumni, and concerned citizens to urge Columbia University’s new president to improve the school’s speech policies.
Ask Columbia’s new president, Nemat “Minouche” Shafik, to fulfill Columbia’s duty to protect free expression.