|Student Union Policies
|Student Union Practices
The University of King’s College (UKC) Code of Conduct (Code) references free expression in its Commentary:
Nothing in this Code shall be construed to prohibit peaceful assemblies and demonstrations, or lawful picketing, or to inhibit freedom of speech.
In addition, Section 2 of the Code of Conduct’s Commentary recognizes the following limitations on UKC’s jurisdiction:
In the exercise of its disciplinary authority and responsibility, the University treats students and employees free to organize their own personal lives, behaviour and associations, subject only to the law and to University regulations that are necessary to protect the integrity of University activities, the peaceful and safe enjoyment of University facilities by other members of the University and public, the freedom of members of the University to participate reasonably in the programmes of the University and in activities in or on the University's premises, or the property of the University or its members. Strict regulation of such activities by the University of King’s College is otherwise neither necessary nor appropriate.
UKC, in Section 6 of its Commentary, also protects academic freedom, to the extent of “normal and accepted academic practice”:
The University of King’s College is a place of academic work. As such, none of the definitions in this Code shall be construed in such a way as to limit or hinder normal and accepted academic practice.
Section 3B of the Code of Conduct, “Disruption, etc.”, states:
No student or employee shall, by action, threat or otherwise, disrupt, obstruct or adversely affect any activity organized by the University of King’s College or by its schools or programmes, or the right of other persons to carry on their legitimate activities, to speak or to associate with others.
UKC supports free expression in section 2 of its Policy and Procedures on Sexual Harassment (Harassment Policy), subject to the limitation that it be “conducted in a mutually respectful and non-coercive manner”:
The University of King's College promotes teaching, scholarship, research and the free and critical discussion of ideas. This policy is not to be applied in such a way as to detract from the right of faculty, staff and students to engage in the frank discussion of potentially controversial matters. This policy is not intended to limit or prohibit debate, instructional techniques, or the assignment of readings that advocate controversial positions, provided that discussion and instruction are conducted in a mutually respectful and non-coercive manner.
UKC does not provide resources or funding to a diversity office or any similar body that engages in ideological advocacy.
There are no recent cases of the University failing to uphold free expression rights on campus.
Within the Bylaws of King’s Student Union (KSU), the following rights (among others) are affirmed as “Founding Provisions” of the student union:
the right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion
the right to freedom of expression, precluding reasonable restrictions on incitement towards violence and advocacy of hatred
the right to form a society or political organization on campus and apply for funding and ratification for said body as per the criteria set out by the Union
The KSU Society Ratification Package does not include any policies or obstacles that discriminate against societies based on belief, opinion, or philosophy.
Under the “Elections” tab of the KSU website, the KSU says, in regards to how to run an effective campaign:
The number one most important thing is to never step outside of the strictly defined rules laid out by the KSU Bylaws and Elections Procedure. These documents are available on this website and have been transmitted many times over in many different ways, so there’s no excuse for any transgression. Our CRO [Chief Returning Officer] will be on the lookout for anything that is deemed insulting, unnecessarily vitriolic, offensive, smearing, or otherwise preventative of another campaign’s ability to function.
However, the KSU Bylaws and Election Procedure do not reference any policies that prohibit “insulting”, “vitriolic”, “offensive”, or “smearing” campaign materials.
The KSU does not advocate for positions outside of its mandate.
The authors found no cases of the student union discriminating against students or student groups on the basis of their speech, nor of the union denying access to space and resources to student groups because of their views.