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Abstract

This Symposium addresses our continuing issues with campus speech conflicts. It aims to help us recognize that speech conflicts are not abstract disputes between ideas – Justice Holmes’s famous rhetoric notwithstanding. Rather our words and ideas represent underlying conflicts between very real people and groups. The speech we use may cause, exacerbate, or resolve conflicts. Sometimes the Supreme Court’s free speech doctrine can aid our understanding and resolution of these conflicts. Other times it cannot. Regardless, simply relying on a First Amendment frame – i.e., claiming that it is one’s right to express oneself in a par-ticular way – may be unhelpful to resolving a conflict, even if that claim is substan-tively correct. This gathering of free speech experts, dispute resolution experts, and campus administrators aims to provide a framework for discussing campus speech conflicts that works both within and beyond the First Amendment frame.

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