Trustees at the University of Lincoln’s Students’ Union have voted through a second student motion on freedom of speech.
Passed unanimously by SU members at an All Student Members meeting (ASM) in October, the proposal called for ‘a difference of views towards Union or University policy and actions, either written or verbal [to] not constitute “bringing the Union into disrepute”, provided that disagreement is primarily critical of policy and in line with the Student Code of Conduct, be it from an Elected Officer, or member(s) of the Union.’
The news comes after the Conservative Society had their social media accounts temporarily suspended earlier this year, when its criticism of the SU’s free speech record ‘brought the union into disrepute’.
The second proposal followed the union’s Board of Trustees’ decision to reject an initial motion on freedom of speech earlier this year.
Lincoln SU has been contacted for comment.
Update: Lincoln SU have told The Linc that the motion was ‘passed without comment’ by the Board of Trustees ‘as it reinforced the message SU Trustees and its officers have always maintained, that:
“[We are] committed to the principle of free speech exercised responsibly within the law in all its activities. The right to think and speak freely and to explore ideas is fundamental to the idea of a university and protected by law.
“Upholding academic freedom and respecting the views of others are joint commitments shared by all members of the University and we have a clear Code of Practice on the Freedom of Speech, which is designed to ensure that freedom of speech within the law is secured for all staff, students and visiting speakers.
“The University of Lincoln Students’ Union is proud to protect the rights of all individuals to express their opinions, ideas, and concerns.”
Meanwhile, Postgraduate Research Officer Bradley Allsop, who proposed the second free speech motion in October said: “I’m happy to see it passed as it’s a necessary but not sufficient step towards a more democratic union.
“There is, however, still considerable work to be done in regards to union democracy and Board of Trustee transparency.”Tweet