Release Date: April 8, 2022
BUFFALO, N.Y. – The University at Buffalo is deeply committed to being a safe and welcoming place for all people, and a place where freedom of expression occurs without threats and in a respectful and civil manner.
The university is conducting a thorough review of events and activities leading up to, during and after an appearance by former congressman and retired Army Lt. Col. Allen West, including the posting of anonymous social media messages threatening students protesting West’s speech and harassment of students after the speech.
“These events do not define who we as a university are, nor do they define who we aspire to be,” said Barbara Ricotta, UB’s dean of students. “As a university community, we will continue to strive to be a place where all students can express themselves, be heard and live their lives in a welcoming and safe environment that values diversity and inclusion.”
As a public university, all members of the UB community and invited guests have a right to peacefully express their views and opinions, regardless of whether others may disagree.
This includes the right of individuals to oppose the views or opinions of others – including peaceful protests – but not in such a way as to limit or prevent the speaker’s freedom of expression or interfere with university operations.
West was invited to campus by the UB student chapter of the Young Americans for Freedom. Student government-sponsored clubs are permitted to invite speakers to campus, provided they abide by university guidelines and state laws concerning public events on campus.