Education

Here’s How A State College Fully Embraced Free Speech

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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter

Kansas State University (KSU) became the only institution of higher education in Kansas to fully embrace free speech on campus Friday, according to a nonprofit group tracking college civil liberties.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education awarded KSU a green light for its free speech policy. None of Kansas’ other colleges possess the rating, which the school earned after implementing a free speech policy similar to that of Ohio State University.

“The ideas of different members of the University community will often and quite naturally conflict,” KSU’s statement reads. “Some individuals’ ideas will even conflict with the University’s values and principles.”

The school notes that vulnerable members of society would be the most harmed by encroachments on free speech, also mentioning that civil rights movements “would not be possible.”

“We are committed to our values of inclusion, diversity, anti-discrimination and nonviolence,” said Cheryl Strecker, KSU’s general counsel. “At the same time, our principles and policies reflect the university’s longstanding commitment to free speech, a commitment that now is also formally expressed in our Statement on Free Speech and Expression. I hope that we can serve as a leader on this front as we and other institutions face the challenges of our day.”

KSU is one of 33 out of nearly 450 institutions that have earned FIRE’s green light rating. (RELATED: North Carolina Colleges Rated Most Free Speech-Friendly)

“With its robust new free speech statement and its other policy revisions, Kansas State University has established itself as a leader in championing the free speech rights of its students and faculty,” said Samantha Harris, FIRE’s Vice President of Policy Research.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Kansas State for comment, but received none in time for press.

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