https://pen.org/press-release/new-well-formulated-campus-free-speech-policy-by-williams-college/

PEN America responded favorably to the committee report at Williams in the press release linked above:

“This is a well-formulated document which offers solid recommendations for future policies and their implementation. We are gratified that our work proved useful to the Committee and hope that these new Williams guidelines provide a solid foundation for the firm defense of free speech and open discourse in the years to come.”

The press release emphasized the importance of prioritizing inclusion along with free speech:

“…we read its report to affirm an unshakeable dedication to precepts of academic freedom and protection for speech, while going beyond that to reflect how these values can be robustly defended in the context of the College‚Äôs principled commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion.”

Importantly, PEN America pointed out that it can be beneficial for colleges to form their own policies rather than adopting the policies of other institutions, such as the Chicago Statement:

“We have also recognized the need for institutions to develop their own policies through deliberations that engage students, faculty, administrators, and staff and yield results that enjoy a sense of ownership across the campus community. Williams has modeled such an approach.”

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