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. College members who are also students or employees of the University should also have regard to the University of Oxford Code of Practice on Freedom of Speech. [Issued on 9 February 2015 under section 43 of the Education (No 2) Act 1986: University of Oxford Code of Practice on Freedom of Speech
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 Policy on Freedom of Speech and with the University’s Code of Practice on Freedom of Speech.
- 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.
19 September 2018Wolfson Fellows win full professorships
Jon Barrett and Wolfgang de Melo of Wolfson College have been awarded a Recognition of Distinction award.9 August 2018The Jessup Room inaccessible to readers from 13th August - 17th August.
The Jessup Room in the Library (main reading room on the first floor) will be inaccessible to readers from Monday 13th August until Friday...6 August 2018New Online Booking System
Wolfson College is offering a new online booking system exclusively for our members, as requested at the General Meeting. The new...
Lectures and Seminars25 - 25Sep SepThe Magnificent Seven (plus): A study of early Islamic rock crystal wine jugsTuesday 25 September - 6:00pm to 7:00pmConcert and Plays29 - 29Sep SepCarmenSaturday 29 September - 7:30pm to 10:00pm
Barefoot Opera, well known for its strong production values, ensemble work, and fresh interpretation, brings its unique style to the opera everyone knows and loves: 'Carmen' by Bizet. Our brilliant young soloists include young talents from the Guildhall School of Music and the Welsh Opera Academy. At the start of their careers, they will be accompanied by Barefoot Opera’s signature ensemble of free-base accordion double-bass, clarinet, and keyboard.Art exhibition30 - 30Sep SepSteve Empson: Exhibition Private ViewSunday 30 September - 12:00pm
PRIVATE VIEW - Sunday 30 September from 12 noon to 3 pm.
Steve Empson observes two coastal communities, in Kent and Co Durham, he considers to be similar in many aspects. Both places are out on a limb, and he sees them as being quirky and attractively at the edge of society. In paintings and drawings of mixed media, he attempts to get across his feeling for these places.