MADISON, Wis. — State Republican Assembly Rep. Jesse Kremer, author of an unconstitutional plan to attack free speech rights on University of Wisconsin campuses, has offered an amendment that makes the plan even worse, according to a review by One Wisconsin Now. Kremer’s bill was the subject of a VICE News story featuring One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross and Research Assistant Savion Castro, who both previously testified against the bill.
“There is already a chilling atmosphere on free expression for students of color like me on an overwhelmingly white campus,” said Savion Castro, One Wisconsin Now Research Assistant. “The bill’s authors have no clue what it is like to walk into a lecture hall of 200 people and be the only person of color. This amendment would intimidate students of color from speaking out against injustice for fear of making white people uncomfortable.”
The Kremer amendment, which One Wisconsin Now reviewed Friday, still includes unconstitutional disciplinary sanctions specifically for students who engage in their First Amendment right of protest, including suspension and expulsion.
In moves that make the bill even worse, the Kremer amendment would allow students to be investigated simply because two people make an allegation, meaning a student can have their life upended because two people from anywhere on planet Earth file a report.
In addition, the original bill creates a council to intimidate and bully students into staying silent, but mandated a representative from all 13 four-year universities. The amendment would strip that requirement away and put the appointment power in the hands of the Board of Regents and the Republican-controlled state legislature.
“We didn’t think it possible, but Jesse Kremer has made his unconstitutional attack on free speech even worse,” said One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. “Kremer still wants to expel students for speaking out and still wants prior restraint for student speech.”