RIT to Host Free Speech Panel Discussion April 25

Discussion to serve as a follow-up to comedian Lisa Lampanelliís performance




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The Rochester Institute of Technology community will discuss the role of free speech on campus during a panel discussion at 5 p.m. April 25 in the Student Alumni Unionís Ingle Auditorium. The conversation will focus on what, if any, limitations should be placed on free speech at a private educational institution and where the line between free speech and censorship should be drawn. The panelists include:

  • Bobby Colon, RITís chief legal officer
  • Patricia Durr, associate professor in the National Technical Institute for the Deafís Department of Cultural and Creative Studies
  • Erika Duthiers, Business Litigation Group; International Arbitration Team, Nixon Peabody LLP.
  • Erhardt Graeff, graduating senior and former editor-in-chief of RITís student-run Reporter magazine

The dialogue, part of RITís Diversity Week, will serve as a follow-up to comedian Lisa Lampanelliís performance at RIT last month. Lampanelli upset portions of the RIT community after making derogatory remarks toward the deaf community on a local radio show.

After consulting with student leaders, RIT President Albert Simone decided to allow Lampanelliís performance to continue as scheduled. However, he promised this panel discussion as a means to discuss the type of speech that is acceptable on campus.