Massey deprives students with new policy
Massey deprives students with new free
speech/external speaker policy
12 November 2019
Responding to the launch of Massey
University's new policy and code regarding free speech and external
speaker, Free Speech Coalition spokesman Dr David Cumin
"Massey's new external speaker code is a
bureaucratic nightmare, and its "free speech" policy is an
Each event organiser, and any
external speaker, is expected to read twelve new pages of
code and policy.
The event organiser needs to fill
out a form to help university officers conduct a 'risk
assessment' of the speaker and topic, including the
likelihood of 'mental harm' and 'negative media coverage'.
This must be submitted three weeks prior to the event.
The speaker is expected to express ideas that university
officers consider 'meaningful' and 'mana-enhancing'.
And finally, if after the event the University deems
that the speaker breached these terms, it can take
disciplinary action against the event organiser.
"The broad, inscrutable language of Massey's new policy
gives university staff enormous discretion to shut down
speech according to their own biases, or those of would-be
protestors. The 'thug's veto' which saw the cancellation of
recent events will be as effective as ever."
importantly, Massey has completely failed to understand the
chilling effect of its anti-speech policies. The
bureaucracy, delay, uncertainty, and threat of punishment
all serve to discourage students from inviting any external
speakers onto campus. Massey is choosing to deprive its
students of the rich educational experience they
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