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Responding to Controversial Events on Campus: A United Educators Symposium

Melanie Bennett, Esq., ARM-E
November 2023

Why Read This

On Nov. 9, 2017, United Educators (UE) hosted a symposium to understand how institutions are confronting the challenges presented by controversial events. This publication summarizes practices and considerations for managing contentious campus events shared by participants and includes practical examples from their institutions.

Key Takeaways

  • Students and faculty often misunderstand free speech protections. A clear, comprehensive campus speech policy can define permissible speech and impermissible hate speech.
  • Any institution preparing for a controversial speaker or event should work closely with its campus security or police officers, using their knowledge and experience to help manage the speech or other event.
  • Effective internal communication is a key aspect of safely managing an event.

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