A message to the campus community

A message to the campus community

David L. Soltz With recent campus visits by external groups, it is apparent that the freedom of expression guaranteed in the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution is alive and well. And so it should be. As an open, public campus, BU welcomes the free exchange of ideas so integral to both a democracy and a flourishing institution — by invited speakers and others who choose to use our campus as their platform.

With this tremendous respect for free speech, we recognize there will be occasions when speakers promote ideas that may be offensive or distasteful to some listeners or may be contrary to the values of the university itself. At those times, it is important to remember that freedom of expression is critical within an academic community and that the belief that a viewpoint is offensive or distasteful will not support its suppression.

Each member of the campus community or visitor to Bloomsburg University is responsible for expressing his or her viewpoint in a civil manner, being mindful that others have an equal right to disagree. Although the speech and images presented by the group on campus last week were extremely distasteful, reports indicate that the response of the campus community was appropriately civil. However, it is important for all to remember that violence, profanity, disorderly conduct and unlawful behavior will not be tolerated.

As an institution of higher education, let us encourage the free exchange of ideas and use others' opinions as a starting point for examining our own and an opportunity for civil discourse.

    — David L. Soltz, President