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  • Writer's pictureCorey Lee Wilson

Adopting the Chicago Statement Petition

In its 2015 Report of the Committee on Freedom of Expression, the University of Chicago reaffirmed that: “Because the University is committed to free and open inquiry in all matters, it guarantees all members of the University community the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn."

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (F.I.R.E.) surveyed the policies of 466 colleges for compliance with First Amendment standards and found 28% maintain at least one severely restrictive policy and 62% have either restrictions on a narrow area of expression, or vague policies that could be applied to restrict freedom of expression. Only 10% fulfill their student’s First Amendment rights.

That’s a failing grade by any standard and the SAPIENT Being intends to raise the grade through two programs:

  • Make Free Speech Again On Campus Movement (MFSAOC)

  • World Of Writing Warriors (WOWW) Program

Both start with the adoption of the Chicago Statement petition that can be found on the Resources webpage of the SAPIENT Being website at the link (button) below.

Circulating a petition on campus to gain support for the Chicago Statement petition can be a highly effective activism strategy for protecting freedom of speech, enhancing viewpoint diversity, and encouraging intellectual humility on campus.

The “Chicago Statement” refers to the free speech policy statement produced by the Committee on Freedom of Expression at the University of Chicago, in July of 2014, that tasked the Committee with “articulating the University’s overarching commitment to free, robust, and uninhibited debate and deliberation among all members of the University’s community.”

When your school adopts the Chicago Statement, it shows that your institution values free expression for all students and faculty. Free speech rights benefit everyone on campus.

Whether your goal is to campaign, write, protest, research, or simply learn in an environment that promotes open inquiry and the free exchange of ideas, the Chicago Statement will help to hold your institution accountable for protecting the free expression rights of its students and faculty.

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