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“Dialogue and Action” Panelists Weigh Free Speech and Hate Speech on University Campuse

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BC Heights, January 2024

Universities can and should have different rules for expression and speech than the public sphere, according to Kent Greenfield, Boston College Law professor and dean’s distinguished scholar. 

“I think that adopting the libertarianism of free speech doctrine is something that a university can choose to do, but need not,” Greenfield said. “I think universities can instead choose certain rules of discourse that govern their community to create an atmosphere and culture of learning.”

Greenfield spoke at an online panel on Monday evening about hate and free speech as part of a new speaker series titled “Dialogue and Action in an Age of Divides,” co-hosted by BC and eight other Massachusetts-based universities.

Roderick Ireland, professor of criminology and criminal justice at Northeastern University, former chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and moderator of the program, said that hate speech and free speech are both important topics in the world of higher education.

Read more at BC Heights.

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