The Provost's Ad Hoc Committee on Freedom of Expression

Canadian geese flying over UC Hill

Free speech is part of the fabric of universities and Western is justifiably proud of our record for being able to debate often very controversial ideas.

The Ontario government is requiring all universities to develop a policy on free speech by January 2019. In response, Andrew Hrymak, Provost and Vice-President (Academic), has struck an ad hoc committee to develop a free speech policy for Western, in consultation with the campus community.

The committee held its inaugural meeting Sept. 26 and determined its first order of business will be to consult widely with the University community. It will develop a variety of ways by which the campus community can share their views on this important topic over the next eight weeks. The Western community will be able to provide comments through a number of in-person consultation opportunities and by email via this website.

After considering all the input, the committee will prepare a preliminary document that will be provided to Senate for discussion at its October 19 meeting. There will be further consultation before a penultimate draft is submitted for Senate’s Nov. 16 meeting. Senate’s final draft of the plan will be presented to the Board of Governors at their Nov. 29 meeting.

Updates on the committee's progress will be posted to this site.

Campus Community Consultation Update

As of October 15, the Committee has reviewed all of the feedback provided through the Campus Community Consultations Sessions hosted October 2, 3 and 5, as well as written feedback submitted by Western Community Members via email. The Committee has also established a Draft Policy that will be presented to Senate on October 19, 2018 for deliberation and comment.

We welcome your review of the Draft Policy and any feedback regarding same to the Committee’s email:

In addition, you are also invited to attend a Town Hall Consultation in order to provide your feedback in person and to deliberate with other Western Community Members. The Committee will be hosting two (2) Town Hall Consultation Sessions:


Date: Thursday, October 18, 2018

Time: 11:30 am to 1:00 pm

Location: McKellar Room (2nd floor UCC building)


Date: Thursday, October 18, 2018

Time: 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm

Location: McKellar Room (2nd floor UCC building)

RSVP is not required to these events, as attendance is not limited. If you are unable to attend the event personally, please note that it will be live-streamed at


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