Speakers representing the widest imaginable range of points of view are routinely invited to the Yale campus by departments, student groups and individual members of the faculty. Sometimes a speaker will be thought objectionable by a segment of our community. Within very wide limits, however, Yale is committed to the principle of free expression, painful as that commitment sometimes is.

The ideals underlying Yale's commitment to free expression are set out in the Woodward Report of 1975. These ideals continue to be a guide and inspiration for us. Three things make it possible for Yale to meet their very considerable demands. The first is a belief, widely shared within the Yale community, that free expression is a great engine of enlightenment and discovery, hard as its effects on particular members of the community may sometimes be. This belief is itself one of the pillars of our sense of community. The second is an old and deeply entrenched culture of civility that softens the sharpest antagonisms and helps to heal the deepest wounds that uninhibited free speech can sometimes cause. And the third is our confidence that we can provide for the peace and safety of the Yale campus, a geographically defined space with clear borders.

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