BC adopts policy on speakers who dissent on Catholic teaching

BC adopts policy on speakers who dissent on Catholic teaching

Boston College has revised its speaker policy and now says that the university administration now has the power to “balance and even cancel” speakers who present opposing viewpoints to the college’s Catholic heritage.

The policy comes out of the Office of the Dean of Student Development, and it’s already garnering the usual cries that it curtails academic freedom. While the policy retains a statement that “the free exchange of ideas is a principal value of the University,” it now adds:

Such freedom of inquiry is, however, not absolute and must be balanced by the University’s obligation to adhere to the principals and values inherent in Boston College’s identity as a Catholic and Jesuit institution.

To maintain an environment in which such freedoms can thrive, while at the same time being sensitive to and respectful of the Catholic heritage of the institution, the University administration reserves the right to review presentations funded by student activity monies. Such a review could result in necessary adjustments to require that balanced views be presented, postponement of the program for further discussion and review, or, in rare instances, cancellation of the program.

The administration says that this is to be a reminder that the school is Catholic and Jesuit. It’s sad that such reminders need to be given or that anyone could have forgotten it. If a college is a Catholic academic institution, it should be bovious when a student applies and attends, so that he knows exactly what he’s getting. And if he’s not comfortable with that environment, there are plenty of secular colleges willing to serve.

Falsehood, dissent have no right to free speech

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