ON-Lion Letter
In September, Yale University held its 2016 Student Organizations Bazaar, where incoming first-year students had the opportunity to meet representatives from more than 300 undergraduate organizations on campus.  There, in the midst of the tables occupied by the Yale Glee Club and Yale Students for Hillary, student representatives from the William F. Buckley, Jr. Program (WFBJP) distributed copies of Campus Speech in Crisis:  What the Yale Experience Can Teach America, forthcoming from Encounter Books.

The Encounter booklet features a reprint of the Woodward Report, originally written in 1975.  That year, after a scheduled campus debate involving physicist William B. Shockley was disrupted by protestors opposing his controversial views on genetics and sterilization, Yale's administration convened a faculty-student committee to examine the status of freedom of expression on its campus.  

The committee's report garnered national attention for its reaffirmation of the value of free expression.  It included recommendations for replacing unlawful obstruction with peaceful dissent, as well as enforcing standards of civility in academic discourse, even in the face of unpopular or offensive ideas.  According to the original Woodward Report:

"The primary function of a university is to discover and disseminate knowledge by means of research and teaching.  To fulfill this function a free interchange of ideas is necessary not only within its walls but with the world beyond as well.  It follows that the university must do everything possible to ensure within it the fullest degree of intellectual freedom.  The history of intellectual growth and discovery clearly demonstrates the need for unfettered freedom, the right to think the unthinkable, discuss the unmentionable, and challenge the unchallengeable.  To curtail free expression strikes twice at intellectual freedom, for whoever deprives another of the right to state unpopular views necessarily also deprives others of the right to listen to those views."

The reprint of that original report, available to the general public through Encounter Books, also includes a preface by Bradley Prize recipient George F. Will, a new introduction written by Nathaniel A.G. Zelinsky, and commentary co-authored by Judge Jose A. Cabranes and Professor Kate Stith.

The William F. Buckley, Jr. Program was founded in 2010 by a group of Yale undergraduates under the guidance of Prof. Donald Kagan in order to promote intellectual diversity and to foster open political discussion on Yale's campus.  WFBJP promotes this intellectual engagement by sponsoring campus lectures, conferences, seminars, debates, essay contests, and summer internships in order to advance critical inquiry and to avoid ideological complacency.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee supports the William F. Buckley, Jr. Program at Yale, as well as Encounter Books.
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