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St. Lawrence College has posted a new policy on free speech that has been endorsed by all of Ontario’s 24 colleges.

The policy was developed by a task force of senior college leaders in collaboration with the College Student Alliance, legal experts and others.

The policy statement is primarily based on the University of Chicago’s Statement on Principles of Free Expression and has five core elements:

  • A definition of freedom of speech.
  • A commitment to allow open discussion and free inquiry.
  • A statement that it is not the colleges’ role to shield members of the college community from ideas they disagree with.
  • A statement that while members of the college community are free to contest the views of others, they must also respect the rights of others to express their views.
  • An affirmation that speech that violates the law is not allowed.

The policy describes the procedures for handling complaints and ensuring there is compliance. The policy also states that it is aligned with other college policies and they shall all be considered together. Once it takes effect, it will apply to the entire college community.

You can view the entire policy here: Free Speech Policy (pdf)

View the 2020 Freedom of Speech Annual Report here: Freedom of Speech Annual Report (pdf) 

You can view the SLC Implementation Report of our free speech policy here: Free Speech Report (pdf)

Questions about the St. Lawrence College Free Speech Policy can be sent to