Brown University President Christina Paxson recently had an article published in the Washington Post, titled “Brown University president: A safe space for freedom of expression.”
The article was written to address students for the new
academic year who are entering college during a time of debate over the size of
the student body at colleges and universities across the United States. Paxson
wanted to prepare students for the difficulties and issues facing society.
“Freedom of expression is an essential component of academic
freedom, which protects the ability of universities to fulfill their core
mission of advancing knowledge,” Paxson wrote in her article. “Suppressing
ideas at a university is akin to turning off the power at a factory. As
scholars and students, our responsibility is to subject old truths to scrutiny
and put forward new ideas to improve them. I don’t share the view that American
college students want to be protected from ideas that make them uncomfortable.
Just the opposite. Over the past few years, our students have addressed topics
that make many people very uncomfortable indeed — racism, sexual assault,
Paxson says these are some of the toughest problems facing society
today, and that Brown does not shy away from them.
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