Committee on the Intersection of Incidents of Bias, Expression, and Conduct
At the forefront of Wake Forest’s commitments is the desire to support a campus free from bias and fully inclusive for all students, faculty, and staff. Also central to the environment is an unwavering commitment to the broadest possible latitude for inquiry and expression, both inside and outside the classroom. Wake Forest has affirmed this responsibility in the Statement on Expression, which reads in part:
“Free speech and peaceable assembly are basic requirements of a university as a center for free inquiry and the search for knowledge and insight. The University is committed to providing all students the right to openly dissent and to speak, write, listen, challenge, protest, and learn. These rights have limitations and involve a concurrent obligation on the part of students to maintain on the campus an atmosphere conducive to scholarly pursuits and to respect the rights of all individuals, including the right to be free of harassment or other behavior that diminishes a person’s or group’s dignity and which is prohibited under the Code of Conduct. When the University’s commitments to the free exchange of ideas and to providing an inclusive environment come into conflict, what principles will guide our response? The Committee on the Intersection of Biased Incidents, Conduct, and Expression has been established to help the University explore and answer these critical questions.”
Examining how the University should respond when its commitment to open inquiry and an inclusive environment come into conflict requires a community-facing approach where faculty, staff, and students can contribute to and shape recommendations. The committee will explore the intersection where incidents of bias, observed behavior, and expression meet, considering both hypothetical and actual situations and incidents. Additionally, the committee will evaluate how the minimum expectations we have for one another are defined in light of incidents of bias and expression. Finally, the committee is empowered to recommend changes to the code of conduct and the bias incident response process.