October 13, 2015

Elizabeth Garrett Defends Freedom of Speech

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President Elizabeth Garrett garnered several media headlines after meeting reporters over breakfast at the Cornell Club in New York City on Thursday.



In the meeting, Garrett delineated her stance on trigger warnings.

“With respect to trigger warnings, first and foremost I am an absolute defender of academic freedom,” Garrett said, according to Politico New York.

“And there are some professors, that before they teach a particular topic or book, want to talk to the students about that and put it in some context. And if they wish to do that, they have that right,” she said. “If they wish not to do that, they also, in my view, have that right. So I would never require any kind of particular warning be given.”

Additionally, Garrett said she does not believe there should be any limits on freedom of speech at universities.

“A university is about the fullest and freest expression of ideas and arguments. There isn’t any idea that ought not to be tested and questioned,” Garrett said, according to The New York Post. “Because that’s how we get closer to the truth. We’re about reason, rationality, debate. So if you disagree with someone, the answer isn’t to shut them down.”

The Huffington Post also ran a story on Garrett, which describes how she likes to tell students to sleep more and spend more time on campus “unplugged” from their cellphones.