Freedom of Speech Policy
Free speech is the lifeblood of a university. It enables the pursuit of knowledge. It helps us approach truth. It allows students, teachers and researchers to become better acquainted with the variety of beliefs, theories and opinions in the world. Recognising the vital importance of free expression for the life of the mind, a university may make rules concerning the conduct of debate but should never prevent speech that is lawful.
Inevitably, this will mean that members of the University/College are confronted with views that some find unsettling, extreme or offensive. The University/College must therefore foster freedom of expression within a framework of robust civility. Not all theories deserve equal respect. A university values expertise and intellectual achievement as well as openness. But, within the bounds set by law, all voices or views which any member of our community considers relevant should be given the chance of a hearing. Wherever possible, they should also be exposed to evidence, questioning and argument. As an integral part of this commitment to freedom of expression, we will take steps to ensure that all such exchanges happen peacefully. With appropriate regulation of the time, place and manner of events, neither speakers nor listeners should have any reasonable grounds to feel intimidated or censored.
It is this understanding of the central importance and specific roles of free speech in a university that underlies the detailed procedures of the University of Oxford/Wolfson College, laid out below.
College policy on Freedom of Speech
The College is committed to ensuring freedom of speech within the law. Members, students and employees of Wolfson College must conduct themselves so as to ensure that freedom of speech within the law is secured for members, students and employees of the College, and for visiting speakers.
The College agrees to the following principles governing Freedom of Speech on its premises and at its events:
- All speakers and audience members alike are reminded of their responsibility to observe the College's policy on harassment.
- In any case where the College is proposing to grant permission to an outside organisation or group to hold meetings or events on College premises, the outside organisation or group shall be required to act in accordance with the College Code of Practice on Meetings and Events.
- If an event is likely to cause security concerns, the President reserves the right to relocate that event to premises where the safety of all participants can be properly provided for.
8 July 2020Refurbishment of the balcony
This project has been given the go-ahead as part of the Estates Strategy to improve our College buildings and environment.30 June 2020Wolfson: Plans and Prospects 2020 out now
The 2020 edition of the annual College magazine brings readers up to date with all the latest news and activities from Wolfson.30 June 2020Great success for Student Hardship Auction
The auction was a great success, raising over £12,500 for students in need as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
Courses and Workshops13 - 26Jul JulEarly Hindi & Brajbhasha WorkshopMonday 13 July - 3:00pm to Sunday 26 July - 4:00pm
This international workshop brings together scholars and students of literature in Brajbhasha and other forms of of Early Hindi (including Avadhi, Hindavi, Rajasthani, and Maithili), as well as related languages and literary idioms. During the workshop we read and discuss texts on which a particular academic is working.Parties and Dinners01 - 01Aug AugDegree DaySaturday 1 August - 11:00am to 3:30pm
Preceding the degree ceremony in the Sheldonian Theatre at 14:30, the College hosts the Signing of the Graces and a celebratory reception for our graduands and their family and friends. This event is by invitation only; please see the degree days page on our website for further information.Parties and Dinners07 - 07Aug AugDegree DayFriday 7 August - 11:00am to 3:30pm
Preceding the degree ceremony in the Sheldonian Theatre at 14:30, the College hosts the Signing of the Graces and a celebratory reception for our graduands and their family and friends. This event is by invitation only; please see the degree days page on our website for further information.