Board approves freedom of expression policy

Western’s proposed freedom of expression policy received unanimous approval from the Board of Governors Thursday.

Among the next steps is disseminating a letter from the President to student groups and other university stakeholders to outline the policy, which applies to all activity on campus.

Earlier this month, at the Senate meeting, Senators unanimously recommended and approved the freedom of expression policy. At the same time, some voiced concerns that Western’s structure of governance might mean the board could make changes that wouldn’t come back to Senate for approval.

The Board sought input from internal and external counsel and determined the policy was a “Board matter of approval,” Andy Hrymak, Provost & Vice-President (Academic), said Thursday.

The Ad Hoc Committee on Freedom of Expression comes in response to a directive issued by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities on Aug. 30 that requires all publicly assisted postsecondary institutions to develop and publicly post their own free speech policy by Jan. 1, 2019.