Statement on Freedom of Expression on Campus

from United University Professions (UUP) – New Paltz Executive Cte

As the union representing academic and professional faculty here at SUNY New Paltz, we would like to reiterate that both academic freedom and the First Amendment rights of free expression and assembly to redress grievances are essential to all of us in the SUNY New Paltz community.  In keeping with these fundamental values, UUP will never support the mass arrest or intimidation of those exercising their right to protest or speak out against injustice.

We stand in solidarity with all of our students for their right to peaceful assembly and expression of their deeply considered views of the world, this country, this State, and the connections that they identify between these and our institution of higher education. They are here to educate themselves and to take forward from this place the mantle of leadership of the next generation, imbued with values of equity, critical thinking, and compassion for others, and it is our privilege to have played a role in that journey.

We urge the Administration to refrain from invoking academic discipline on students who are committed to expressing themselves through peaceful means, and to refrain from escalating matters by calling for police action to enforce policy infractions.

Our ultimate success as a learning community can only take place if we all maintain our commitment to (deep) listening to one another, respectful negotiation of differences, and a willingness to take part in what at times may be difficult conversations, without resort to the use of force or violence.

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