Collegeaposs aposprotest guidelinesapos concern free speech advocates

Collegeaposs aposprotest guidelinesapos concern free speech advocates

The University of Wisconsin-Madison announced that students could face punishment if they choose to disrupt the free speech of others. 

UWM announced on Sept. 5 that it would be releasing a set of “Protest Guidelines” that are aimed at informing students about when a protest turns into a disruption of someone’s speech. Examples of “likely disruptive” behavior include “blocking the vision of others in any manner,” “producing noise that interferes with events and activities,” “turning off lights in the room,” and more.

UWM defines “non-disruptive behavior” as “silently protesting a speaker by attending an event with duct tape over one’s mouth or wearing clothes with words or pictures,” “holding a small poster in front of one’s person if an event allows signs,” and “engaging with a speaker if the speaker welcomes the interaction.”

“Bottom line: Protesting is fine, disrupting others’ free speech is not,” the school states in a news release.

[RELATED: Students call free speech ‘violent’ while disrupting lecture]

Students accused of disruptive behavior will be investigated by the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. If a student is found guilty of violating the policy twice, they will be suspended “for a minimum of one semester.” If a student violates the policy three times, they will be expelled. 

The school’s formulation of protest guidelines was accelerated when the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents approved a substantial free speech policy which would add the possibility of suspension or expulsion as punishment for disrupting others’ right to speak, as reported by Campus Reform.

[RELATED: Columbia students: Shouting down conservatives is ‘free speech’]

“The guidelines codify many practices that our campus has used for years to successfully facilitate events, protests, and counter-protests in ways that respect the free speech rights of all parties,” UWM spokesperson Meredith McGlone told Campus Reform. “We shared this document at the beginning of the academic year for two reasons: to help individuals and groups plan for pea

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