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1.0 Free Expression
1.1 The Board of Trustees adopts the position that in a world of rapid change and recurrent crises, a college best serves its community, not as a stronghold of rigid tradition, but as an open intellectual forum where varying shades of opinion may be freely expressed and fairly debated. Positive values evolve from a free exchange of ideas among informed citizens, and the progressive evolution of American institutions may depend upon their quality of flexibility in meeting changing social and economic needs.
2.0 Basic Assumptions
2.1 That a free society functions efficiently only if its citizens have the right to discuss, to debate, and to agree or disagree constructively.
2.2 That the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech is meaningful only to the extent that the majority is willing to hear honest expressions of unpopular ideas by minority groups.
2.3 That an educated citizenry, fully aware of all the evidence, is best able to preserve the valuable heritage of American democratic institutions.
2.4 That the community college has an obligation to its citizens to promote healthy discussion as an educative force.
2.5 That our way of life is attractive enough, and our institutions are sturdy enough to stand comparison with any which exist in any culture.
3.0 Discussion of Controversial Issues
3.1 The Board endorses the principles of academic freedom.
3.2 The board seeks to enlist a faculty whose members subscribe to high standards of professional conduct, who are specialists in the various subject matter areas, and who are fair and constructive in presenting ideas and issues to the students.
3.3 The Board desires to foster in students a respect for differing points of view, supports the faculty's freedom to present controversial issues in the classroom, and declares its intention to defend this freedom against attacks by those who may be alarmed by free discussion.
3.4 The Board further declares that it is a responsibility of the college instructor to present and encourage discussion of controversial material where appropriate to the class subject matter. Such material would include not only the American heritage but other philosophies and forms of government as well, so they may be compared. The student should be taught to discriminate between fact and fiction, and to identify propaganda.
3.5 The colleges may invite outside speakers representing diverse points of view; in return they must reserve the right to impose specific conditions insuring that opportunity be provided to challenge these views.
3.5.1 Speakers shall be governed by the regulations of the colleges as to time, place and manner of public presentations.
Policy Revised: 1/28/81; 4/21/82
Adm. Regulation: R-7142
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