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University Statement on Disruption of the "Minutemen Forum" Sponsored by the Columbia College Republicans

Free Speech on Campus is Everyone's Right and Responsibility.

The University deplores the disruption that took place last night at the "Minutemen Forum" sponsored by the Columbia College Republicans at Alfred Lerner Hall. The specific facts surrounding the incident are under active investigation by the University and so it is premature to make any official statement regarding facts that are yet to be confirmed.

This much is a matter of core principle at Columbia: The freedom to speak, to pursue ideas, and to hear and evaluate viewpoints totally objectionable to one's own is an essential value of this university and, indeed, of our civil society. We defend the right to peaceful protest and expression of opposing views. But it is never acceptable for anyone to physically take to a stage and interrupt a speaker.

Our regulations are intended to help event organizers, participants and protestors maintain a safe environment for members of the University community and their guests to engage in meaningful and sometimes contentious debate across the spectrum of academic and political issues. We will continue to review the events of last evening to determine how that safe environment was violated and take appropriate measures to ensure it does not happen again.


Published: Oct 05, 2006
Last modified: Nov 14, 2007