26 September, 2017
In response to ongoing contention regarding free speech as it pertains to the UC Berkeley campus, the College of Environmental Design (CED) hosted an open forum to discuss the issues currently facing the community.
The open forum took place the morning of Monday, September 25 in the Wurster Hall plaza and was attended by over 50 students, faculty and staff. The forum allowed members of the CED community to express concerns, pose questions and suggest solutions to the problems at hand.
Dean Jennifer Wolch addressed attendees and affirmed that the CED is committed to maintaining community values and acknowledged that at times, the free speech of others may conflict with such values.
In addition to Wolch, undergraduate and graduate council representatives also addressed attendees to reiterate their commitment to providing a safe and inclusive space for students in Wurster Hall.
The forum also aimed to support community members who may currently be facing extraordinary life challenges in light of the conclusion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program or the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.
“Our community is bound by ties of friendship and collegiality, and pledged to mutual support of those in our midst who are dealing with such challenges,” Wolch said in an email detailing the event.
Despite a last-minute cancellation, it is likely that effects of the “Free Speech Week” will be felt for more days and weeks to come. As such, the open forum served a valuable role in prompting a discussion as how to best cope with the unsettling nature of the current campus climate.
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