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New University of Wisconsin policy hypocritically exploits idea of free speech to punish student protestors

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OCTOBER 10, 2017

On Friday, the governing board of the University of Wisconsin system approved a policy placing harsh sanctions — suspension or expulsion — on students who repeatedly disrupt campus speeches. The vote comes amid a perceived “free speech” crisis: a crippling disdain for conservative thought on liberal college campuses.

Did it ever occur to University of Wisconsin’s board of regents that heckling itself is a form of free speech? The policy explicitly reaffirms a commitment to free speech yet says members of the community cannot interfere with others right to “express views they reject or even loathe.”

In other words, don’t protest.

These restrictions would effectively turn college campuses into safe spaces for bigoted speech, actively muffling students threatened by the likes of Milo Yiannopoulos.

The proposal is also a part of a Republican-backed legislative bill that passed Wisconsin’s state assembly in June, but hasn’t yet gone to the senate.

The same people that tout their commitment to free speech are using it as a cover to curtail the First Amendment rights of marginalized students.

Editorials represent the majority opinion of the Editorial Board as written by the opinion editor.

OCTOBER 10, 2017