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Sheridan’s commitment to freedom of expression

Oct 6, 2021
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Inclusion and equity are core enablers of Sheridan’s 2024 Strategic Plan. Our learning community works actively to embrace the rich diversity of its community and learn from people’s lived experiences and divergent perspectives.

Sheridan does not tolerate discrimination or harassment including actions based on race, religion, ethnic origin, citizenship, or other grounds protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code. These fundamental duties, do and must, co-exist with our commitment to freedom of expression.

From time to time, allegations of anti-Semitism, anti-Black racism, Islamophobia or other forms of unacceptable hatred are brought to Sheridan’s attention and questions about Sheridan’s views on freedom of expression arise. To be clear, Sheridan condemns all speech that constitutes harassment, a threat, or hate speech under the law or Human Rights Code.

At the same time, together with our colleagues in colleges and universities across the province, we are committed to the values embedded in our Free Speech Policy.

Specifically, freedom of expression — the right to speak, write, listen, challenge and learn — must be protected as it is essential to discovery, critical assessment and the effective dissemination of knowledge and ideas.  It is essential to social and economic advancement.

Although Sheridan greatly values civility and mutual respect, it is not the institution’s role to shield people from ideas and opinions they find disagreeable or offensive. Individuals must make these judgments for themselves and challenge ideas that they find unacceptable.

Sheridan promotes open discussion and free inquiry where diverse voices can be heard and ideas and viewpoints can be explored and discussed freely and debated openly without fear of reprisal.  This must be enabled even when ideas or opinions are considered to be controversial or conflict with the views of some members of our community.

Sheridan’s policy promotes the free exchange of ideas as it is fundamental to learning and knowledge creation – which are the core purpose of colleges and universities. 

Dr. Carol Altilia
Provost and Vice President Academic

Dr. Janet Morrison
President and Vice Chancellor

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