The Safe Space Policy is under review by the King’s College London Students’ Union (KCLSU).
The Policy wants to ensure all students are “free from intimidation or harassment, resulting from prejudice or discrimination”. Under its current form, event organisers, KCLSU staff and Safe Space Marshalls may prevent people from expressing their views when these are deemed to contradict policy aims.
The Safe Space Policy has last been reviewed in 2015. Many argue that updates are long due. Since 2015, a number of external speakers and student society events were banned, including, amongst others, a debate from KCL Atheist, Humanist and Secular Society. Some went ahead surrounded by protests, with Antifa notoriously disrupting a KCL Libertarian Society event last Spring. Others, like a debate around abortion, occurred without any incidents.
The KCLSU’s Joint Safe Space Review wishes to redesign “a new approach to safe spaces that works for everyone” by joining insights from students, University representatives, and the SU.
The review was initiated by the SU Vice President for Welfare and Community Robert Liow who argues that the current Policy “isn’t treating our members like well-informed, reasonable adults. While we have zero tolerance for discriminatory behaviour, we should not expect this to be the norm at KCLSU.”
Those interested are invited by the SU submit their feedback on the Safe Space Policy completing a survey by 25 January 2019. Next steps include a proposal jointly designed by the SU and the KCL Freedom of Expression Standing Advisory Group, responsible for upholding free speech at University, which is to be voted by the whole student community by the end of the 2017-18 academic year.