“Freedom of Speech: A Privilege with Rules?”

Alex Gogan, Staff Writer

The Freedom of Speech: A Privilege with Rules discussion Monday afternoon was met with a room full of students. Ted Wilson gym was full of students and faculty.

President Hellie began by thanking the Diversity Advisory and all of their hard work. Hellie believes that the protests began long before the elections. Some of the issues our campus face, have been around for some time. He made remarks on events such as the physical battles at Berkeley in March, a guest speaker being attacked at Middlebury College, and our most recent cancellation with Jordan Peterson. Hellie says, “Outside interests use college campuses to incite emotions and to come on to campus to create violence”. Both Willamette and Pacific University have adopted policies which prohibit harassment including sexual harassment.

At Linfield, anti-harassment policies will be added to the Common Chapter. They will be for all students. He hope is that the policy will not limit, but as harassment arises, it can be met with immediate response.

“Respect. We’re all human beings and members of community” says Hellie. There are signs all over campus which promote respect for diversity.

Prof. Dimitri Kelly spoke about the campus survey and some of the results. The survey was sent to the entire school, asking students for their feedback on recent events, particular policies, and how students should treat each other. Students who completed the survey believe that: there should be some restrictions of speech, people should watch their language as to not offend anyone, and that offensive speakers should not be restricted. “Free speech or not, where do we draw the line?” asked Kelly before bringing Prof. Dawn Graff-Haight to the stand.

Prof. Graff-Haight led the students through discussion prompts and guidelines. Tables with prompts such as: White Privilege, Free Speech and Social Responsibility, and Academic Freedom were present.

After students discussed for forty minutes they were allowed to grab ice cream as they left.