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Is One Person’S Free Speech Freer Than Another’S?That Is

Decent Essays
Is one person’s free speech freer than another’s? That is the ethical dilemma posed in the Admiral Davy Jones Case. As a board member of Bradtown University, I will seek to use the framework for ethical decision making while adhering to The Responsibility Principle, as defined by Freeman’s excerpt Managing for Stakeholders (Freeman, 2007): “Most people, most of the time, want to, actually do, and should accept responsibility for the effects of their actions on others” (p. 61).
Clarify
The ethical issues presented by this situation are primarily related to free speech. Does anyone have more of a free speech right than another? It appears sides have been taken by specific groups, but any decision will affect the entire university. The
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Other outside groups representing gun rights and nuclear nonproliferation hope to use this event as a platform for their causes. The entire university, including its leadership, but also the broader community will be impacted by virtue of the institutional reputation going forward based, in part, on how this event is handled.
Evaluate
There are several options available to the board. Cancelling the appearance is a decision that would not address any of the ethical conflicts identified and would probably become a public relations nightmare. The opposite option would be to take no action on behalf of the university and see how the event plays out. This would not likely encourage discourse, however, as the loudest voice would likely dominate. The speaker could be allowed on campus, but all protests could be forbidden, striking a perception of bias regardless of whether that was the intent. Likewise, restricting the work of the press would also inflame and perhaps magnify the disagreements they feel a duty to share. It is here where I would consider how “Managing for stakeholders suggests that executive try to reframe the questions” (Freeman, p. 64). Is there an alternative that creates an opportunity for campus and community wide discussion about foreign policy?
Decide
Based on the fact pattern and decision making steps thus far, I would proceed as follows:
Admiral Davy Jones would be permitted to speak in the auditorium. I would direct
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