This University’s Free Speech Policies Will Drive Liberals Crazy
In the past couple of years, it has become popular on college campuses to shout down speakers who don’t agree with the idiotic liberal point of view. They shout or use bull horns to drown them out and prevent them from speaking, but until now, no college or university has taken a strong stance on the issue.
The University of Wisconsin has laid out a new policy that could see protesters be suspended or expelled from school for interrupting any speaker on campus. The first offense carries a written warning that will appear in the student’s college transcripts. A second offense will result in suspension and the third offence means expulsion from the university.
Universities from the earliest times allowed people of many backgrounds and many ideologies were allowed to speak and explain their point of view but with the rise of liberalism and their embrace of anarchists it has become a rare thing on campus when someone with conservative leanings is allowed to speak uninterrupted.
From the University of Wisconsin:
Regent Policy Document
Commitment to Academic Freedom and Freedom of Expression
This policy applies to all UW System students, employees, and visitors.
The purpose of this policy is to communicate the Board of Regents’ commitment to academic
freedom and freedom of expression, and expectations for those who violate these freedoms.
The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System has a longstanding tradition of support for academic freedom, dating back to 1894 and the famous “sifting and winnowing” statement contained in the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents’ Final Report on the Trial
of Richard Ely. The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System hereby reiterates its commitment to the principle of academic freedom and affirms its commitment to the principle of freedom of expression.
Academic freedom includes the freedom to explore all avenues of scholarship, research, and creative expression, and to reach conclusions according to one’s own scholarly discernment.
Freedom of expression includes the right to discuss and present scholarly opinions and conclusions on all matters both in and outside the classroom. These freedoms include the right to speak and write as a member of the university community or as a private citizen without
institutional discipline or restraint, on scholarly matters, or on matters of public concern. The UW System is committed to these principles and provides all members of the university community the broadest possible latitude to explore ideas and to speak, write, listen, challenge,
Of course, different ideas in the university community will often and quite naturally conflict. But it is not the proper role of the university to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they, or others, find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive. Although the university
greatly values civility, concerns about civility and mutual respect can never be used as justification for closing off discussion of ideas, however offensive or disagreeable those ideas may be to some members within the university community.
The freedom to debate and discuss the merits of competing ideas does not mean that members of the university community may say whatever they wish, wherever they wish. Consistent with longstanding practice informed by law, institutions within the System may restrict expression that violates the law, that falsely defames a specific individual, that constitutes a genuine threat or discriminatory harassment, that unjustifiably invades substantial privacy or confidentiality interests, or that is otherwise directly incompatible with the functioning of the university.
In addition, the institutions may reasonably regulate the time, place, and manner of expression to ensure that it does not disrupt ordinary activities. But these are narrow exceptions to the general principle of freedom of expression, and it is vitally important that these exceptions never be used
in a manner that is inconsistent with each institution’s commitment to a completely free and open discussion of ideas.
It remains to be seen how many other bastions of higher learning adopt similar policies but at the top of my head, I wouldn’t count on any of them, including publicly-funded universities. Several states are looking into passing laws that punish schools financially if they allow free speech to be hijacked by the radical element.
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