Message from the Vice-Chancellor
Posted on behalf of: Internal Communications
Last updated: Thursday, 21 October 2021
Today, 21 October, the Vice-Chancellor wrote to all students. You can read the email full below:
These freedoms and protections apply to and benefit us all. A vital part of a healthy University community is the ability to discuss, debate and respectfully disagree with a wide range of views and beliefs. This is all the more important when the rights of people to hold the beliefs in question are protected by law, as is the case for those with gender-critical views which is a protected philosophical belief.
In law those characteristics that are protected are: age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership, and pregnancy and maternity.
The University cannot and will not tolerate discrimination based on protected characteristics, including sex and philosophical belief, and we will take action through our policies and procedures if this happens.
As I outlined last week, our community and our code of conduct at Sussex is based on three basic principles:
- The University is a place which values and promotes academic and intellectual freedom,
- Everybody has the right to work, learn and go about their business, free from bullying or harassment of any kind, and
- Everybody deserves to be treated fairly and that the University needs to continue to progress our work on equality, diversity and inclusion.
In the weeks and months ahead there will be ways for staff and students to come together, talk and seek a way forward and this work will be led by our Pro-Vice Chancellor for Culture, Equality and Inclusion. We are committed to ensuring that our community is one where the above principles can exist together – as opposed to one at the expense of another.
Professor Kevin Hylton wrote about this extensively in his recent article: Inclusion, Freedom of Expression and the Spirit of Sussex.
With best wishes,