The University of East Anglia and UEA Students’ Union have been awarded a red rating for free speech for the second year running.
According to Spiked, the political commentary website who awarded the ranking, “the University of East Anglia and the UEA Students’ Union collectively create a hostile environment for free speech.
“The university places restrictions on offensive speech, jokes and leaflets [and] the student’s union has banned [The Sun] and sombreros.
The university was awarded an amber rating for their leaflet and poster policy, and approach to bullying, harassment, abuse and stalking, as well as use of social media. According to Spiked, this means that they have “chilled free speech through intervention”.
The union was awarded a red rating, having “banned and actively censored ideas on campus”. The ‘Sexual Harassment is Never OK’ campaign was judged as an amber infringement on free speech, however the red judgement of the advertising policy and academic boycott of Israel took the overall rating to red.
Commenting on the rankings, SU Campaigns and Democracy Officer Amy Rust said
“It’s fair enough to highlight debates and about Sombreros and The Sun, but these ‘rankings’ are ridiculous- they mark UEA down for having policies about harassment, criticise us for taking action on homophobia and condemn others for having policies on bullying and blacking up.