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Wisconsin State House Committee passes campus free speech bill based on Goldwater Institute model

May 31, 2017

Wisconsin's House Higher Education Committee passed a bill to restore free speech on campus, based on the Goldwater Institute's model legislation. The Wisconsin State Journal reports: 


The Assembly’s higher education committee passed an amended version of a Republican-backed campus speech bill Tuesday that requires University of Wisconsin System institutions to punish students who take part in disruptive protests.


Changes to the legislation spelled out more specifically the types of disruptions that could lead to discipline for UW students and employees. They also toughened penalties for those who run afoul of the new rules by requiring universities to expel any student who violates the policy three times.


The Journal also reports on the legislation's details:


The amended bill directs the UW Board of Regents to create a disciplinary process that sanctions students who engage in “violent or other disorderly conduct that materially and substantially disrupts the free expression of others.” The legislation previously barred a wider range of disruptive speech that Kremer acknowledged was too vague.


It also states that System institutions must “strive to remain neutral” on public policy controversies.

Another amendment requires universities to launch an investigation and hold discipline hearings if they get two or more complaints alleging someone violated the policy.


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