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March 8, 2017+Jeremy Willinger
+Campus Policy+Viewpoint Diversity

Northwestern University Passes Motion Calling For More Viewpoint Diversity On Campus

Heterodox Academy Congratulates Northwestern University On Becoming First School To Pass Motion Calling For More Viewpoint Diversity On Campus

“A model campus, where the political majority does not dictate what the political minority gets to hear”

NEW YORK, NY – The student government at Northwestern University made a powerful statement in support of viewpoint diversity as the first school in the United States to pass student-directed resolutions to promote viewpoint diversity and guard against political orthodoxy on campus.

The Northwestern University resolutions were championed by Lauren Thomas, PHA Senator and sponsored by a varied group of fellow students including: Shayna Servillas, Kaibigan, TASC, VSA, Singapore Society Senator, Alexander Oltarsh, College Republicans Senator, Dillon Saks, District 2 Residential Senator, Isabel Anaya, District 7 Residential Senator, Tommy Doles, Athletic Senator and Charlie Valdes, IFC Senator.

The series of resolutions endorsed by the student government highlighted academic research that demonstrated the value of viewpoint diversity for students, professors and researchers. In addition, the resolutions called to attention several recent instances where intellectual rigor and debate were stifled on other college campuses- with the implication that the Evanston, Illinois campus must not fall victim to the same circumstances if it is to maintain an environment of truth, political engagement and reasoned exchange of ideas.

Select resolution items include:

  • Be it resolved, that the Associated Student Government here assembled calls upon Northwestern University to allow speakers of all viewpoints, assuming they are invited by a student or university organization, conduct themselves in a lawful manner, and do not violate the university’s policy on harassment, to speak on campus without the threat of disruption, and to enforce the policies set forth in the Student Handbook, should disruption occur;
  • Be it further resolved, that this body calls upon the Northwestern administration to allow and protect peaceful protests by members of the Northwestern community, assuming those protests adhere to the policies put forth in the Student Handbook;
  • Be it further resolved, that this body calls upon Northwestern’s administration to continue to expand organizational diversity statements and efforts to include viewpoint and intellectual diversity;
  • Be it further resolved that this body calls upon the Northwestern administration to only restrict speech insofar as it is unlawful, discriminatory, harassing, or threatening, or invades substantial privacy or confidentiality interests;
  • Be it finally resolved, that this body calls upon Northwestern’s administration, faculty, and student body, to embrace the discussion and study of uncomfortable or heterodox ideas.

Heterodox Academy, a collaborative network of over 450 tenured and tenure-track professors from across the political spectrum and from universities throughout the United States seeks to advance viewpoint diversity and promote free inquiry in the academy.

“The ability to hear and discuss ideas that may be politically or emotionally challenging is a skill that colleges are designed to impart. With the passage of this resolution, we can now look to Northwestern as a model campus, where the political majority does not dictate what the political minority gets to hear, and where free speech and free inquiry are held in high esteem. We hope that Northwestern is the first of many universities to pass similar resolutions in support of viewpoint diversity.” said Jonathan Haidt, co-founder of Heterodox Academy and a professor at NYU-Stern School of Business.


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