UW Officials Balk at Free Speech on Campus
The proposed companion budget bill elaborates, stating among other things, that:
- The UW Board of Regents and each college campus “shall guarantee all members of the system’s community the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge and learn.”
- “It is not the proper role of the board or any institution or college campus to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive.”
- Members of the system’s community are free to criticize and contest views expressed on campus and “speakers who are invited to express their views, (but) they may not obstruct or otherwise interfere with the freedom of others to express views they reject or even loathe.”
- “The board and each institution and college campus has a responsibility not only to promote a lively and fearless freedom of debate and deliberation, but also to protect that freedom when others attempt to restrict it.”
Walker’s proposal is raising concern among some members of the UW-Madison campus community that it might, in fact, stifle speech.
Perhaps if UW officials actually respected and protected free speech on campus today, such requirements would not be necessary.