As part of the published Students’ Guild External Speaker process...
The Public Speaking Society are hosting an event on Tuesday 1 March with their invited speaker, Dan Peña. As part of the published Students’ Guild External Speaker process, an event panel was held jointly with the University to risk assess the event and put mitigations in place to balance both our duties of freedom of speech and duty of care to our students.
Whilst the correct procedure was followed in reaching the decision to allow the event to go ahead, this was not without consideration for the safety and welfare of our student community which remains paramount. We understand the concerns raised by some students regarding the controversial views and approach of the speaker, however, they are not illegal. We would only normally seek to prevent an event going ahead where, even after mitigation, there remained safety concerns or the potential for illegal speech as defined by relevant legislation.
Supporting inclusive communities and student wellbeing remain our priority, so the event will be supported by content advisory warnings and signposting to wellbeing services such as:
The Guild is also supporting a number of student protests and we support your right to peaceful protest. We support individual students and student groups in actively challenging unpopular ideas, or ideas they disagree with, with better ideas.
We also encourage ongoing conversations occurring around free speech and the role of your Students’ Guild in facilitating a diverse array of student-led events and external speakers, and we welcome students to attend and contribute to this discussion at our next Guild Council meeting on 25 March or please get in touch via email.