Durham University “places vague restrictions on ‘offensive’ speech,” Free Speech University Rankings say

By Ryan Gould

Durham University and Durham Students’ Union “collectively create an environment that chills free speech,” says the spiked Free Speech University Rankings (FSUR) for 2016.

The University, which maintains its “Amber” ranking from 2015, “places vague restrictions on ‘offensive’ speech.”

The FSUR notes that the University “urged the cancellation of a speech” by Tommy Robinson, co-founder and former leader of the English Defence League (EDL), at the Durham Union Society in 2015.

Durham Students’ Union, which also maintains its “Amber” ranking, “restricts offensive speech under its sexual harassment policy, has banned blackface, and recently blocked a student who wanted to set up a men’s society.”

“The institution’s overall ranking remains Amber,” the FSUR says.

The rankings come following the release of the FSUR on Monday 18th January. In its press release, the FSUR said that “campus censorship is an epidemic.”

“According to the UK’s ground-breaking survey of campus censorship in 115 UK universities, bans, bureaucracy, and campus illiberalism continue to blight the academy.

“From the No Platforming of Germaine Greer to the rise of Safe Spaces to the University of East Anglia’s sombrero ban, campus censorship has become headline news this year.”

The FSUR, run by the online magazine spiked, “surveys all UK universities and students unions—offering deeper insight into campus censorship and the shocking stories the nationals missed.”

Featured image: Durham University

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