Williams College must formally adopt a free expression statement that protects speech on campus. Some examples of good free expression statements are the Chicago Statement or the newly proposed MIT statement or DePauw University's stated free expression values. The key components that all these statements have in common is that they protect the rights of faculty, staff, and students to teach, research, protest, and learn without fear of institutional backlash. Freshman orientation is a key opportunity for colleges to practice free expression from day one. Often students don’t understand the importance of free expression or believe their right to express themselves will be protected. Free speech freshman orientation programming provides education and confidence for students in their free expression rights. FIRE has free to use and easy to adapt free speech freshman orientation programming available. Purdue University also has excellent freshman orientation programming for free speech that they’ve been conducting for years.
Lastly, we need to grow alumni awareness of speech issues at Williams. Many Williams alumni don’t understand how fearful students and faculty are to discuss ideas. Alumni need reliable information so that they can ensure the college fulfills its goal “to provide the finest possible liberal arts education.” Together we can protect free speech at our alma mater.