MADISON, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents acted today to impose a new, system-wide policy on campus speech threatening students with mandatory expulsion over complaints about their exercise of their First Amendment rights.
The provisions adopted by the Regents are similar to those contained in Assembly Bill 299, authored by far right wing Rep. Jesse Kremer and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, that is currently stalled in the state legislature.
The following are the statements of One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross:
“The Board of Regents today adopted an unconstitutional policy based on an unconstitutional bill, proposed by some of the farthest right wing Republicans in the legislature.
“This is not about academic ‘sifting and winnowing’ or protecting speech, this is about the Scott Walker-appointed Regents doing the bidding of partisan politicians and right-wing mega funders like the Bradley Foundation.
“There have been zero instances on UW campuses where right-wing speakers have been prevented from speaking and there are laws are already in place to deal with disorderly conduct on campuses.
“The Regents have imposed a system wide policy codifying an ideological agenda and creating campus safe spaces for right-wing provocateurs to engage in racist, misogynistic and xenophobic speech while at the same time silencing students.
“Students pay good money to attend UW schools they shouldn’t be threatened with expulsion for exercising their Constitutional right to free speech.”