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SIU looks at the issue of free speech in higher education

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In the 2022 Campus Climate Survey at SIU-Carbondale, one of the recommendations was to educate students on free speech.

The SIU System Diversity Advisory Council Wednesday hosted the latest Conversation of Understanding to look at this issue.

The zoom call featured Michelle Deutschman, an attorney and law professor at the University of California who specializes in safeguarding free speech at universities.

She says hate speech is a big topic that is often misunderstood because it is free speech.

"People can come onto campus and say really offensive and ugly things on the left and on the right and the University isn't going to be able to stop them."

Deutschman says this changes if hateful speech involves a threat to someone

She says it's important for young people to learn how to properly respond to hate speech, preferably before they go off to college.

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