UW regents may require expelling students who disrupt ‘freedom of expression’

Mark Sommerhauser:

The UW Board of Regents, mirroring what Republican state lawmakers describe as a push to safeguard free speech on college campuses, is poised to vote on whether students should be expelled if they repeatedly disrupt “the expressive rights of others.”

The proposal is part of a resolution the board will consider at its Friday meeting at UW-Stout in Menomonie, according to the agenda.

It would add to the state’s administrative code a proposal that Republican state Rep. Jesse Kremer of Kewaskum wants to write into state law. Kremer’s bill passed the state Assembly in June but has not yet come to a Senate vote.

The resolution calls for University of Wisconsin System institutions to suspend students who twice disrupt free expression. If students are found to have done so three times, they would be expelled.

The resolution also says “it is not the proper role of UW System institutions to take any action as an institution to require students or staff to express a particular view on a public policy issue.”

The policy reaffirms the System’s commitment to free speech but states students and other members of the “university community” may not obstruct or interfere with the freedom of others to “express views they reject or even loathe.”

The First Amendment.