Ohio University

OHIO launches freedom of expression website to celebrate social and political dialogue

Published: September 16, 2020 Author: Staff reports

Ohio University has launched a website dedicated to freedom of expression that details the University’s long history of social and political dialogue.

The new Freedom of Expression website offers Bobcats a resource to help celebrate their First Amendment rights, while providing current policies and information for those planning to demonstrate and/or protest on any OHIO campus.

“As an institution of higher learning, we welcome and encourage challenging dialogues among our students – inside the classroom, at the dinner table, through small and intimate conversation, and boldly in the public eye,” Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones said. “We are encouraged by the student engagement we see regarding important conversations about the state of our university, our country and the world. We believe in each person’s right to express their thoughts and ideas with passion and respect.”  

The Freedom of Expression site includes information on policies like chalking, use of indoor and outdoor space, and production of and hosting major events. The website also dives into the history of free speech and activism at OHIO, highlighting times when students have protested local, national and international issues such as the assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the lack of an Afro-American Studies curricula, rising University tuition, the Vietnam war, and abuse of migrant farm workers, among many others.

It sheds light on ways OHIO has encouraged freedom of expression, even in more discrete ways like through the Graffiti Wall, which is managed by the community rather than the University, and the numerous independent student publications that serve has a place of expression.  

OHIO continues to make freedom of expression part of the foundation of its education, fostering growth and learning through differing views which challenge a person’s ideas. Along with encouraging the exchange of opinions, OHIO’s priority is ensuring the safety of all those involved in any events and this website serves as a resource for providing more ways for students to remain safe while confronting other views.