A student-led campaign initiated by Quilliam to give university students a way to challenge controversial speakers has been launched today (25/02/2016) across the country.

The #Right2Debate campaign, a student-led initiative to provide a platform for students to challenge hate preachers, launches today at universities across the country. Initiated by Quilliam societies, the campaign has developed a transparent process to identify and contest controversial university speakers who may undermine the principles of mutual tolerance and respect. #Right2Debate empowers the campus community to challenge, rather than censor contentious issues.

The campaign enables students to organise if they feel a speaker undermines these principles and present their student union with evidence to support that mutual tolerance and respect may be undermined. This begins a process that means a speaker can, eventually, be challenged and moderated instead of censored or banned.

“We cannot rely on censorship to counter intolerant views that do not break the law, but undermine the human rights of others. These views can make  student communities feel unsafe and they must be challenged,” Quilliam University Outreach Officer and King’s College London Postgraduate Student Haydar Zaki said. “#Right2Debate campaigns for the protection of free speech by contesting these views using opposing speakers and other opinions, undermining the indoctrination that is based on divisive and intolerant narratives.”

#Right2Debate is a student-led campaign which is already active across the country and aims to preserve free speech on campus by protecting young people’s voices. This work, backed by over 2,600 people already supporting the reform of free speech policies on campus, takes place in the heart of student communities through discussions, lectures, and passionate students uniting on common platforms. The campaign also collaborates closely with university leadership, human rights activists, and student unions.

#Right2Debate aims to ensure that university communities remain a positive, welcoming, environment. The campaign urges students, societies, and other student-led associations to get involved with the #Right2Debate campaign on campus and online.

“#Right2Debate ensures that the university environment can continue to display a rich tapestry of ideas, and also challenge extremism on campus. Providing a balanced, open approach for contesting extremist ideologies is a vital part of this campaign,” said #Right2Debate Policy Advisor Alastair Cole.

#Right2Debate organisers are pleased to have support from across the country and look forward to working with students, societies, and other organisations in the near future.

Some of our early supporters include:

Right2Debate

For more information see:

Website: www.Right2Debate.org
Twitter: @Right2Debate
Sign the petition: https://www.change.org/p/stop-censoring-start-debating-support-the-right2debate-campaign-at-universities
Quilliam University Societies: http://www.quilliamfoundation.org/outreach/universities/

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