Statement by NYU Spokesman John Beckman on Event with Linda Sarsour


"Many institutions in our society speak with a single voice; however, universities are not among them. The role of the university is to be a forum for many points of view, even points of view with which the institution itself may disagree. At a university, the presence of a speaker cannot and should not be construed to mean an endorsement or even agreement with his or her point of view.

"Ms. Sarsour was invited by the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU. Academic centers such as these at NYU and elsewhere commonly invite speakers to campus and publicize these appearances, and on occasion these speakers may hold controversial or unpopular ideas. We always hope that speakers will be chosen with care, discretion, and attentiveness to how his or her presence may be felt on campus; however, as an institute of higher learning, upholding the principle that faculty and students may invite speakers as an exercise of academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas is a core value. We appreciate how troubled some members of the NYU community may be by Ms. Sarsour's presence; we hope that they will appreciate that the implications of the alternative -- routine interference by the University in community members' selection of speakers -- is worse."

-- NYU Spokesman John Beckman

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