The University on Freedom of Expression on Campus

From Executive Vice President for University Life Suzanne Goldberg

October 4, 2018

Supporting all of our students in campus

The safety and well-being of all of our students at Columbia is fundamentally important, together with the exchange of ideas and a deep commitment to diversity of both identity and viewpoint. 


From Executive Vice President for University Life Suzanne Goldberg

January 16, 2018

A Conversation about the Rules of University Conduct and Invited Speakers on Campus

This post shares highlights from many conversations I have had this year with students and faculty about the Rules of University Conduct and their application to campus events with invited speakers. I have prioritized questions about student involvement in protests, though the Rules apply to other contexts as well.

October 30, 2017

FAQ about CU College Republicans Event with Mike Cernovich on 10/30/17 

On permitted protest, free speech, campus safety and support for students, and more. The University does not agree with Mike Cernovich’s messages, but allows student organizations to invite speakers to campus, even when those speakers’ ideas are deeply offensive and objectionable. The University’s commitment to free expression, open debate, and the testing of ideas means that no message will be ruled out on the ground that it is untrue, offensive, or contrary to our values.

October 17, 2017

Provost John Coatsworth on disrupting speakers

It is the duty of every member of the community to help preserve freedom of speech for all, including protesters. 

From Executive Vice President for University Life Suzanne Goldberg

October 16, 2017

Responding to speaker disruptions on campus 

How does Columbia respond to disruptions of speakers who have been invited to our campus? A clarification of what University rules are, and are not.

October 16, 2017

President Lee Bollinger in the Columbia Spectator 

President and Professor Lee C. Bollinger, First Amendment legal scholar, discusses the state of free speech on campus in an interview with the Columbia Spectator. 

From Executive Vice President for University Life Suzanne Goldberg

October 10, 2017

Contentious speakers on our campus 

It is foundational to Columbia's learning and teaching missions that we allow for the contestation of ideas. This includes expression of ideas that are deeply unpopular, offensive to many in our community, contrary to research-based understanding, and antagonistic to University tenets.

President Bollinger’s Fall 2017 Convocation

August 27, 2017

We Must Grapple with Complex Ideas and Defend our Values 

The entire system we have built up over a century critically depends upon judges and leaders condemning the content of the speech at the same time we insist on “protecting” or “tolerating” it. 

President Bollinger’s Spring 2017 Commencement Address

May 17, 2017

Towards a Public Discourse Based on Tolerance, Not on Fear 

Anyone with a voice can shout over a speaker; but being able to listen to and then effectively rebut those with whom we disagree—particularly those who themselves peddle intolerance—is one of the greatest skills our education can bestow.  And it is something our democracy desperately needs more of.

From Executive Vice President for University Life Suzanne Goldberg

March 2016

Speech, Protest and the Rules of University Conduct 

The rules are "intended to ensure that all members of our community may engage in our cherished traditions of free expression and open debate."