Rutgers—New Brunswick chancellor weighs in on freedom of expression, inclusion


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File Photo | Rutgers—New Brunswick Chancellor Richard L. Edwards said all members of the University should "feel secure" in their ability to express themselves in a mass email sent out Friday night.


Three days after Breitbart News tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos spoke at Rutgers, his supporters and detractors still debate whether he should have been invited at all.

Students and other members of the University should "feel secure" in their ability to express themselves, said Chancellor Richard L. Edwards in an email Friday night.

"After speaking with many students this week who attended the event, I have been reaffirmed in my conviction that we need not, indeed must not, choose between freedom of expression and inclusion," he said.

The number of students and groups at Rutgers means there will be events hosted and speakers invited who others disagree with, he said. This disagreement does not mean students should be violently intolerant.

Some of the students debating Yiannopoulous's visit have "lacked the civility and respect" the University needs, he said. There have also been "concerning and disappointing communications" made after Tuesday night.

"I have asked (Rutgers University Police Department) Chief Kenneth Cop to investigate any safety-related incidents that may be reported," he said. "The safety of our students is our highest priority."

Edwards listed some of the programs Rutgers is advancing to recognize minorities, including the Task Force on Inclusion and Community Values, the Committee on Enslaved and Disenfranchised Populations in Rutgers History, the Bias Prevention and Education Committee and a new Inter-Faith Center for people to practice their religions. 

"I encourage you all to continue discussing the right of free speech as well as the importance of respect and inclusion on our campus," he said. "Your involvement, your voice and your engagement in these conversations are essential."


Nikhilesh De

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