First Amendment arguments abound at Harvard Law School, but the law school’s administration is currently considering a policy that would limit offensive and discriminatory speech.

Traditionally, Harvard has maintained a strong advocacy for free speech. Lately, a series of racially-charged incidents speared the formation of a dean’s committee on diversity. This committee in turn formed two separate committees, one exploring multicultural affairs and one evaluating harassment policies.

The discriminatory incidences include a professor’s repeated use of offensive language during a lecture, an anonymous mailing sent to all law students including anti-Semitic language and the online posting of a student’s outline containing racial slurs.

Joshua Bloodworth, president of Harvard’s Black Law Students Association and a third-year law student, said the BLSA is calling for a discrimination harassment policy because of repeated racial incidents that have persisted for a period of several years. After staging a silent protest last year, members of the BLSA contacted alumni, encouraging them to write letters to faculty and administration.

“The school shouldn’t be silent on issues of intolerance and harassment,” Bloodworth said.

Bloodworth repeatedly said the policy the BLSA envisions is not a ban on free speech.

“If you do nothing, you foster a society that allows harassment to go unchecked,” he said. “Context and intentions are very important.”

Bloodworth believes the policy will be successful if implemented because of a similar policy developed in the 1990s detailing limits on language of a sexual harassment nature.

The University of Michigan has its own policy on discriminatory language titled “Statement on Freedom of Speech and Artistic Expression.” The University Civil Liberties Board authored the policy in 1988.

“The University of Michigan strives to create an environment in which diverse opinions can be expressed and heard. It is a fundamental value of our University that all members of the community and their invited guests have a right to express their views and opinions,” wrote E. Royster Harper, vice president for student affairs, in a preface for the statement in 2000.

First-year University of Michigan Law student Morgan Kirley said he thought the Law School would not implement such a policy as Harvard’s due to their emphasis on arguing.

“I don’t see the benefit of allowing racial slurs but I wouldn’t want to encroach on the first amendment,” Kirley said.

Recommendations on the discrimination harassment policy will be made next spring.

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