KCL & KCLSU face a number of challenges in balancing our commitments to freedom of expression, with appropriate safeguards of freedom from harm.
KCL & KCLSU have agreed to take part in a joint external review of the Union’s and University’s approach to external speakers and will be using the University’s process fix facilitation.
As part of this review KCL have asked KCLSU to endorse a ‘Freedom of Expression statement’
The KCLSU President and Vice President for Welfare and Community have submitted KCL’s proposed statement to both the Welfare and Activities Union Development Committees, and are actively inviting students to share their thoughts and opinions. This will help inform the discussions by the Union Development Committees when they come to make a decision on the proposed statement, as representatives of KCLSU members.
'King’s College London has a strong commitment to the values of freedom of expression, freedom of thought, freedom of conscience and religion and freedom of assembly. The university upholds this commitment through its core strategic priorities; education, research, and service. One of our central guiding principles in the King’s Strategic Vision 2029 is to ‘Demonstrate open-mindedness and tolerance and expect to challenge and be challenged in protecting the freedom of expression’. King’s expects its academic and professional services staff, its students and visitors to the university to respect and promote this guiding principle.
The furtherance of intellectual inquiry necessarily involves ideas that are in dispute, that may cause controversy, that may cause offence and that may provoke a reaction amongst audiences, in the university community and beyond. The university is committed to a safe and civil environment for the exchange of ideas and the cultivation of knowledge. Our commitment will at times see the university serve as a place in which intellectual, moral, or political dispute come to the fore. At such times, the university’s role is to ensure that all parties feel confident and safe in expressing their views.
King’s College London makes this statement conscious of the particular role that universities play in society and of the societal and public obligations that this entails. Nothing in this statement should be read as a deviation from, or in contradiction to, the university’s Charter, statutes and regulations, or its obligations under the laws of the United Kingdom, including equalities legislation. The university has in place polices that enforce this statement.'
Submitted by Imaan Ashraf and Momin Saqib
The statement was reviewed and edits were suggested by the Welfare and Activities Committees. You can see the statement that was made in May 2018 here