Senate OKs freedom of expression policy

A second draft of Western’s proposed freedom of expression policy, dated Oct. 23, received unanimous approval from Senate Friday. The policy now goes to the Board of Governors on Nov. 29.

The only issue senators addressed was one of jurisdiction.

Last month, Sen. Amanda Grzyb brought forward a motion to give Senate, rather than the Board of Governors, sole say over the policy. The motion was “not a power grab on the part of Senate,” the Faculty of Information and Media Studies professor said today. “Senate is not trying to displace the authority of the Board.”

Senators briefly discussed the potential of conflict of Western’s bicameral governance, with concerns changes made by the Board might not come back to Senate for approval.

Senators voted unanimously on a motion to “approve and recommend the approval of the policy.”

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.