As a community, we recognize that the free exchange of ideas is central to the intellectual and academic life of a University.
As a public university, we have from time to time given non-campus groups access for the limited use of our grounds. Although we support everyone’s constitutional right to freedom of speech, often many of us may disagree with comments made by members of a particular group.
ESU's steadfast support for freedom of speech should not be seen as agreement with the message of any particular protesters or lack of respect for any members of our campus community. In fact, embracing the principle of free speech, demonstration of care and concern for our fellows, and the practice of civility are an affirmation of ESU's values in that "all of us at ESU are committed to the values of intellectual integrity, freedom of expression, the fair and equal treatment of all, good citizenship, environmental stewardship, and accountability for our actions and the resources entrusted to us."
Unfortunately, some groups take advantage of the openness of the public academic environment in an attempt to trigger reactionary responses from within the community. Know that the safety and well-being of our community is paramount. Please know that ESU provides safety and security assistance when needed.
In an effort to provide opportunities for effective counter protest, ESU has developed Project Lemonade, a program first developed at West Chester University in the early 2000s.
- To provide an effective, creative, and peaceful way to respond to off-campus groups who promote values antithetical to the university’s values in regard to diversity, inclusion, and multiculturalism.
- To generate funds to provide mini-awards for those individuals, departments, clubs/organizations, etc. that would like to sponsor programs that engage in promoting diversity, inclusion, and multiculturalism at ESU.
- To promote democratic dialogue while simultaneously upholding the University’s values of diversity, inclusion, and multiculturalism.
Would you like to help contribute to this fund? Here's how it works:
- Individuals can pledge a per minute amount or a set amount per visit. For example, if a person were to pledge 10 cents a minute and the group stayed for 2 hours (120 minutes), the pledge would be for $12.00. You could also elect a flat rate. We would then use the pledged amounts to inform speakers that, in essence, the longer they stay or if they come at all, we raise money to combat their message.
At the start of each semester, a fund total will be publicized along with guidelines for proposals. The fund will be managed by the Campus Climate and Engagement subcommittee of the Diversity and Inclusion committee with additional faculty, student, and staff representation if necessary to provide an inclusive group to select awards.