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Introduction
Responding to Campus Bigotry
Taking Action Against Hate
Hate Crimes and Bias Incidents
Table of Contents
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Responding to Bigotry and Intergroup Strife on Campus:
Guide for College and University Administrators RULE
Introduction

FREE SPEECH, INTERGROUP STRIFE AND HATE ON CAMPUS

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the right of freedom of speech to all Americans, even those whose opinions are reprehensible. To place an outright ban on certain speech would be unconstitutional and contrary to a fundamental tenet of American democracy. However, the Constitution does not oblige universities to host everyone who wants to speak or write there, nor does it require campus newspaper editors to publish every item submitted to them. Campus leaders and journalists must responsibly draw a line between valid, fact-based opinions and outright bigotry.

When dealing with specific speech issues on campus, there are certain fundamental guidelines that can be applied in most situations.
  • Be a public presence on campus by voicing your support or opposition in tense situations. 
  • Establish university response protocols to deal with hate incidents. These protocols must be communicated to the campus through student policy manuals, orientation materials, the institution’s Web site and clear step-by-step instructions placed in every campus building.
  • Continually review and train on the emergency protocols and be able to direct victims to where they can get assistance. 
  • Appoint a central university ombuds officer as a point person to dealing with issues of hate, bigotry and intimidation.
  • Establish high-priority, long-term human relations and anti-bias programming within the curriculum, in the orientation process, through student services and in university publications.
  • Be equally concerned about and respond equally to instances of bias directed at any group on campus. Base your response on the incident itself, not the group identity of the targets.
  • Hold fraternities, sororities and other student organizations responsible for acts of bigotry committed by their members participating in any fraternity, sorority or organizational activity. 
  • Encourage alumni, parents and members of the larger community to speak out on issues of bigotry on campus. Their voices can have a significant positive impact on the atmosphere on campus.

Next: Responding to Campus Bigotry


Campus Presidents/ Senior Administrators Speak Out to Oppose Hate on Campus
Howard University

...[T]he Board reaffirms its commitment to the principles of academic freedom and free speech. ... Unequivocal adherence of these rights and principles, however, does not mean that the University is required to open its doors to those who would destroy or violate the moral and intellectual integrity of the institution and what it stands for. ...[T]he University must prevent hate mongers from using the University as a venue and launching pad for their hate speech campaigns.

Statement by Chairman of the Board Wayman F. Smith III regarding expressions of bigotry and hate on the Howard campus.

 
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