All entries for Wednesday 25 May 2016

May 25, 2016

Europe, Universities and the Media

There is a story in today's Daily Telegraph (Wednesday 25th May) which asserts that this University, and others, have been telling students how to vote in the forthcoming referendum. It was inevitable in the highly charged debate on this topic that such claims would be made. There has indeed been very active debate on this campus, and that is a very good thing. We have also been active in encouraging students to register to vote. But as is usual for these sorts of stories the true facts have a tendency to become buried underneath rhetoric and sensational headlines.

As a university, we have taken a position on academic grounds only - thus meeting the Charity Commission guidance - that we would support Remain. This was done in March, at our Senate. This was done because many organisations have asked us to declare a position, and grounds for it. And we have done so. This position does not constrict freedom of speech on our campus. I have personally chaired a referendum debate organised by a student society, and there is an active student Brexit society. All views on this issue have, to my knowledge, been aired and continue to be aired on our campus, and elsewhere by individual students and staff, and we have a legal duty to protect freedom of speech for our students, staff and visitors to campus. That duty comes before pleasing the viewpoint of any one newspaper.

You can find out more about registering to vote and EU events on campus on the Warwick SU website.


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